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Hunt QAL #14 ALL DONE!

Hunt QAL #14. ALL DONE! My Hunt Quilt Along quilt is done, photographed and on my bed–a quilty miracle for sure.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Binding

With the binding, I was unsure of which direction to go for pretty much the entire time. After much auditioning, here is what I came up with.

hunt quilt along binding . carolyn friedlander

An easy rule of thumb when you can’t decide on one binding is to go with all of them! This meant three fabrics in my case. I love that this satisfies all urges, and I think a scrappy binding suits many quilts nicely, especially this one. These choices are from Collection CF, Jetty and a Robert Kaufman gingham that might look black in the photo but is actually dark green. I love any gingham or grid in a binding, and the metallic adds just the right amount of sparkle.

scrappy binding in collection CF, Jetty and gingham

Hand Quilting

I don’t know what my favorite part about this quilt is, but the hand quilting is definitely up there. For a bed quilt it is massively cozy, and from a design standpoint I like how the high contrast thread stands out when you look at it.

big stitch hand quilting

The overall rows of straight lines in different directions is a pleasing contrast to the circular motifs.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Scrappy Backing

The backing is super scrappy, which you can see better in this post. Just like choosing multiple fabrics for the binding, scrappy backings are just as appealing. The snippet below is another Robert Kaufman gingham. It’s really soft, which is a great backing quality.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

I’ve always considered this a two-sided quilt. I should get some shots of the other side too, but I’ll leave that for another day.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

The fabrics for the blocks are scrappy, but the quilting thread is consistent throughout. I think this ties things together nicely.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

The hand quilting makes it soft and cozy, and I’m really happy to have it finished.

Quilt Label!

Oh, one more thing! There’s a label! I’ve been way better lately at making and attaching labels to my quilts. I make a label (this one is definitely fancier than the usual ones I make) when making or attaching the binding. This way it’s ready to add after hand-stitching the binding. My labels include my name, the project name, project dates, contact info (if the quilt will be traveling), and the type of batting used. I’ve been all over the place with batting lately, and this helps me keep track.

hunt quilt along quilt label . carolyn friedlander

Finished and in use!

I actually slept under it for the first time last night, and it was all kinds of special.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: Hunt Quilt (templates here, here and here)

Fabrics: Mostly mine from many collections including Jetty, Collection CF, Botanics, Instead, Gleaned, Friedlander

Quilting Thread: Sashiko thread from Upcycle Stitches

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

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Hunt QAL #13 Check In

Hunt QAL #13 Check In.

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

Yes, the Hunt QAL is officially over, but I thought I’d continue to check in with you on my quilt until I have it finished, which I don’t think will be too much longer!

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

The hand quilting continues, and I just love doing it. It is so relaxing pushing the needle through the different fabrics and colors. I’m loving using the sashiko threads and just following the marked lines.

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

I’d say that I am 3/4 of the way along. I’ve basically moved from the bottom to the top, so there’s just a little bit left to go. The binding decision is sort of looming at this point.

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

The texture and softness from the hand quilting is really enticing, and I’m loving the darker thread color. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m eager to see how it will look on the bed.

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

I’m also working my way through this skein of thread. It started out much more full. Part of me hopes I’ll run out so I can switch to another color randomly at the end, but I’m thinking this might be just the right amount to see things through to the end.

Pattern: Hunt Quilt (templates here, here and here)

Fabrics: Mostly mine from many collections including Jetty, Collection CF, Botanics, Instead, Gleaned, Friedlander

Quilting Thread: Sashiko thread from Upcycle Stitches

Hunt QAL Quilt . carolyn friedlander

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Hunt QAL #12 Check In.

Hunt QAL #12 Check In.

Month #12, we did it! It’s been a year of Hunt, and I appreciate you following along and joining in. At the start, I really just thought I’d make a quilt top by this point, but to my delight I have an almost half-quilted quilt! Yay!

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Backing + Basting

To back up a bit, it’s been an eventful month–or it’s at least felt that way. Looking back on the calendar, I see that it hasn’t happened fast, but instead it’s been steady bits here and there that have added up. In my mind I know this to be true, but it’s easy to forget and so this is an encouraging reminder.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Having finished the quilt top middle of last month, I pulled backing options before the start of May. They sat in my studio taunting me until the 17th when I could spend an afternoon sewing them all together.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander
hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

After my backing was ready, I couldn’t wait to get it basted so I could start quilting it. The anticipation was killing me, and I used that energy to seize on some progress.

It’s worth noting that I had batting ready. Normally, I get to the basting step, and I’m like “oh, batting…” (hand to face emoji.) Glad there wasn’t anything slowing me down here.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

My quilting dream for this quilt was to big stitch hand quilt with contrasting sashiko threads. I’ve loved big stitch for years, and I’ve recently been exploring (and loving) using sashiko threads. It felt like the perfect thing for this project, and it’s been on my mind for months.

Supplies

hunt quilt along quilting supplies

Here’s a look at my current supply situation. Dark green thread (from here or here), my trusty Kai scissors, Olympus needles (although I have a heap of others to try, I’m just in such a groove with this one), a thimble situation I’m pleased with (more below), and light and dark marking tools. Yes, I’m marking.

hunt quilt along quilting supplies

On a completely superficial note, the thimble situation since my last tool discussion was driving me a little crazy. I LOVE the Clover flexible thimbles, but the pink/purple combo was driving me bonkers. It’s completely ridiculous, I know, but I couldn’t handle it. Looking for other options, I tried these, and love combining one for my index finger, with the Clover blue version on my thumb and then my usual thimble on my middle finger. Joy sparked.

Quilting

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

The quilting is coming along–like everything else–in bits and pieces that are adding up. It’s the most relaxing way to unwind at night and stitch away on a few rows. I’m doing straight lines, 3″ apart in different directions. If I get tired of going one way, I change it up. This suits my mood, and I think it suits the quilt. I also like that it’s a totally different approach than my previous versions (here and here).

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Any time I add hand quilting to my projects, I do it before any machine quilting. This flow works better for me, but it also means that I often think about machine quilting while I’m doing the hand quilting. I’ve had it in mind this whole time as a possibility, and I’ll see how I’m feeling about adding it–or not–when I get there. Today, I’m happy leaving it all hand quilted. It’s just so soft and homey.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Thinking ahead

I’ll continue chugging along, and hopefully I’ll get it quilted by the end of next month. I can’t even believe that I’m halfway through already. The binding is not a settled issue, but I’ll continue to ponder that while stitching away.

hunt quilt along . carolyn friedlander

Thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for following along! How did you feel about this informal, year-long format? I hope that it felt like we were moving along together, and that the check ins provided some accountability without too much stress.

I know it helped me immensely. There’s no way I would have gotten this far or been able to keep myself on track otherwise. I eventually finish things, but it’s the extracurricular projects like this that so easily get pushed to the back burner without some means of accountability. All along I’ve been thinking about how nice it was to have monthly goals for this project, and I’m planning to continue to set a date each month to check in on my progress as this finishes up and with what I pick to work out next.

Pattern: Hunt quilt pattern

Fabrics: Mostly mine from many of my collections. Backing fabric is also mine plus Liberty of London, some sparkly linen and a Robert Kaufman gingham.

See all of the Hunt Quilt Along posts in the summary here!

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Hunt QAL #11 Check In.

Hunt QAL #11 Check In.

Month #11?! I mean, I say that with some shock on the one hand, but then on the other hand I feel like the last couple of months could very well have been years. Either way, this has always been a sanity project, but especially so in the last month.

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

Ta-da! It’s a quilt top! I am really really excited with how this turned out. (So excited that I did a small update earlier this month.) For some reason I added 3 of the borders April 5th, and then it sat another week and a half before I was able to finish up and add the last (top) border. Slow and steady…

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

The white works well around the sides and bottom, but I wanted something a little more special for the top. Piecing together some scraps and new things gives it some interest while also giving it a little bit of color. I was most excited about the warmth added from one of the new Collection CF pieces in the top left corner. As soon as I auditioned it, I knew it was just what it needed.

collection CF fabric . carolyn friedlander

The backing is coming along. I’m going scrappy and did manage to pull out some pieces this week. Next will be to iron them out and piece it all together. This is a totally lame admission, but ironing these fabrics will be satisfying.

scrappy quilt back

I like the overall tone of these picks, the variety of prints and the little bits that pop.

scrappy quilt back

Yay for progress! Hopefully I’ll get these pressed and sewn together soon. Then I can baste and get going on the quilting. I’m still thinking I’ll big-stitch, hand-quilt with sashiko threads. I’ve been accumulating threads and needles, so I am ready.

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

Technical side note and PSA: Hanging a quilt top to photograph made me very nervous. Unintentional fabric stretch is something I nerd out on and always try to avoid. This being a queen-sized beast with some weight to it, I tried to be as careful as I could not to stretch any of the borders during this process. Being careful in this way helps with basting and quilting it later.

Hunt Quilt Along . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: Hunt Quilt Pattern

Fabrics: A mix from many of my collections including Collection CF, Jetty, Instead, Harriot, Gleaned, Botanics, Polk, Euclid, Architextures

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04/10/20 What I’ve been Making

I always have my hands in several projects at a time, but lately I’ve been really hopping around. Do you do that? I thought it might be fun to share a little bit of what I’ve been making.

Hunt

We aren’t due for a Hunt QAL update yet, but here’s one anyway. With the appliqué done and the blocks sewn together, all I need are some borders to make it the size I want it to be. In this case, it’ll go on my bed, which is where I laid it out to figure exactly what needs to be added and what might look good.

If my bed weren’t already cream, I might be more tempted to go totally wild with scrappy/shiny/fun prints for the sides. However, I’ve decided to keep the borders mostly light/white to give it a little contrast. The fun prints will go on the back in all kinds of scrappy glory. In my mind, this will be a two-sided quilt. (Although, aren’t they all?)

Border tip: I always pin my borders before sewing them, with the border on the bottom and the blocks on the top. This way works for me.

Making more masks.

I’ve been making masks, with the first couple of batches going to healthcare workers as well as to a local nursing home. For those I used this May Chappell tutorial, which is fantastic. The size fits a wide range, including anyone needing to wear a cloth mask over their medical-grade mask.

The newest batch of masks is for me and for some friends. I thought I’d try a different style to change things up. These are the CraftPassion masks (tutorial here), and I used t-shirt yarn (tutorial here, although I just cut 3/4″ strips from jersey scraps that I already had). The t-shirt yarn is pretty genius. It’s soft, easy and accessible if you have jersey scraps or old t-shirts lying around. I’m a big fan.

Have you seen the jokes about using bras as masks? It’s gotten me giggling, but in all seriousness, after sewing this style of mask (and having sewn bras), I’ll tell you that there are some real similarities!

Picking the colors and fabrics are just as fun as picking them out for a quilt or a garment. Although thinking about prints and colors to wear on your face is a new consideration. I can’t say that I have any concrete conclusions to draw on that…

Just for reference, I have a couple of May Chappell style masks on the left and the CraftPassion masks on the right.

Handwork.

Handwork. I have to have it, especially now. Do you? With Hunt being done, it’s been weird not having an easy go-to for winding down in the evening. To be honest, I was hoping to get Hunt finished and basted so that hand quilting could fill the evening handwork needs, but it’s been a couple of weeks, and I can’t help myself. I need it. My scrappy Everglade blocks (using my pattern here) are exactly what I knew I’d be coming back to after Hunt. I am excited.

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Hunt QAL #10 Check In.

Hunt QAL #9 Check In.

My blocks are sewn together! Yay!

This is an exciting step seeing it all come together. Since I’ve already decided that I want to put this quilt on my bed, I’m planning to add some borders around the edges to make it the right size. I’m thinking I’ll use lighter fabrics, I may or may not scrap-ify them…or I may do something totally different. We’ll see once I actually audition some options.

I need to figure out my backing, no clue what I’m feeling like for that, but I did order some batting yesterday. Generally, I’m not wow’d by batting options lately, and so I’ve been fairly inconsistent in what I’m using. For this quilt I’ll use Quilter’s Dream Poly in their lowest loft. I’m kind of liking their poly lately, and I think the thinner option is what I’m wanting for this one. With some weightier fabrics in the mix, I feel like the thinner batting could offer a nice balance. Plus, I know it will be a delight to hand quilt.

Some tips on sewing the blocks together!

You can definitely sew them together by machine, although I’ve ended up sewing this one and all of my other Hunts together by hand. I like a slow finish on a longer-term project, and since it isn’t a ton of seams, I don’t find it to be a huge deal. Plus, it can make lining everything up a little easier, especially the seams that share the neighboring appliqués. To do this, you’ll need to draw the 1/4″ seam allowance on the back of the blocks. Then you just follow the line to sew together!

By next check in, I’d like to have my top finished and the quilt basted. Fingers crossed!

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Hunt QAL #9 Check In.

Hunt QAL #9 Check In.

I have 1 block to go! Although if you’ve been following along, in the last update I was sort of hoping to have this one done by this check in. Oh well! It’s been a crazy month, which I anticipated, and overall I am very pleased with my progress. There are 3 months left to finish this block, get the top sewn together and possibly get it quilted.

hunt QAL #9, carolyn friedlander

I did manage to get this final block basted and partially appliquéd; some progress for sure!

This month included a trip out to Austin last week for QuiltCon. I taught a Hunt workshop, and I thought it’d be fun to share some of the class photos here. Hope you enjoy! My students always make me see things in new ways and give me ideas for things to explore.

(Here’s where you can find a copy of the Hunt pattern or templates, and you can catch up on the full QAL here.)

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Hunt QAL #8 Check In.

Hunt QAL #8 Check In.

With a bonus week since the last check in, the holiday downtime and a motivated eye on the finish line, it’s been a productive few weeks.

I have every block in play–yay! Seeing the end gave me a boost of motivation, and so I pushed a little harder this weekend to wrap up on a couple of extra blocks. I now have 15 blocks fully finished and 1 block remaining to be basted and appliquéd.

I’ve saved this blue block in the corner for last. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to go so boldly blue with my original plan being more about green.

My layout is mostly grouped by color. With there being darker greens, lighter greens and shades from navy to hunter green to sage, I like how this approach can organize everything and tell a story. I’ve laid out the blocks a few times now, and each time I feel like I’ve done it a little bit differently. There are so many good options, but I’m calling this good and will sew it together without second guessing anything.

As for the blue, I love it. It gives a pop, and that print is one of my favorites from Collection CF. The color came out so vibrant, which makes me happy. This one is staying.

Another new and exciting combo that I discovered this month is this one.

hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

How has your month been? Have you been finding yourself adapting the vision as you move along too?

(Here’s where you can find a copy of the Hunt pattern or templates, and you can catch up on the full QAL here.)

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Hunt QAL #7 Check In.

Hunt QAL #7 Check In.

This month’s check in is coming a week early because of the holiday next week. This shortens things a smidge for December, but lengthens the time until the next one. It’s a glass half empty/half full situation.

Hunt QAL #7 quilt blocks on my dresser

Since the last check in, I now have 11 blocks completely finished, 1 being appliquéd, 1 fully basted and several background options cut out. This means I finished 2 more blocks and started on a 3rd, which isn’t too terrible considering it’s December and there are other things and projects going on.

Hunt QAL #7 quilt blocks that are green and creamy white

My approach continues to be a very relaxed one. This project is SO great for picking up in the evenings when I don’t have the energy/focus/motivation for anything else. It’s great.

Hunt QAL #7 quilt blocks with lots of greens

The plan is still to wrap up on all of the blocks before the end of the next 2 months, and I think I can get there!

Hunt QAL #7 quilt blocks stacked up

Highlights and reflections this month include the following:

+ I’m liking the strategic discovery last month in how I’m appliquéing the pieces.

+ I discovered new needles this month and am giving them a try. Clover size 10 Appliqué needles are my go-to, but when some 12s came under my radar I had to give them a go. They’re a bit thinner and slightly shorter than what I’m used to, and they’re great! 10s are still my favorite, but I’ll definitely be using these as well.

hunt QAL block and a Wiksten Shift top

+ This month I’ve squeezed in some other projects, including some gift sewing that I can’t share yet, and a Wiksten shift for myself. (Sidenote; I’m LOVING it, it’s such a great pattern.) After shooting a pic of it with a finished Hunt block, it gave me the idea of a potential mixing of the two…

Thanks for following along, see you next month!

Hunt QAL #7 quilt blocks in a stack

(If you’d like a copy of my Hunt pattern or the templates, you can find them here and here.)

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Hunt QAL #6 Check In.

Hunt QAL #6 Check In.

We’re halfway there! I cannot believe it, and I’m happy (and surprised) with my progress and hope that you are making good progress too.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

My goals this month were fairly loose. I only finished appliquéing 1 block over the last month, and I have the appliqué on another one underway.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

To tally things up at this 6-month point, I have 9 blocks fully completed, 1 block being appliquéd, 3 fully basted blocks and several background panels cut out and ready to get set up. I need to figure out the appliqué fabrics for the final blocks, which I’m sure I’ll map out all together. It’s easier for me to work in that way, and I hope to do that before the next check in.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I did have one strategic revelation this month. If you’ve taken a class from me, you know that I love thinking about strategic sewing. I tend to plan out how I baste and appliqué each block so that it’s an efficient use of thread, steps and time. If it makes sense, I start/stop in certain areas, I may leave basting thread to be continuous between nearby sections or I may make use of other tactics. They are small things that over the course of a project can make a difference. Of course whatever works if it gets you to the finish line, but this stuff is fun for me to think about while I’m working through a project.

With every Hunt I’ve made, I’ve appliquéd each piece separately. This is such an obvious approach, that it’s taken me this long to realize that there is an alternative. Working individually isn’t only logical, but it is definitely the way to go if there are a bunch of different colors and you need to change thread for each of them. I can’t think of another way to do it in that case. However, when all of the pieces are the same color, like I have here, it’s different. I realized that I could work multiple shapes continuously instead of stopping to cut and reset a new length of thread at each shape.

If you take a look at the block below, the shapes on the left are only appliquéd at the top. This is because I am working continuously along the tops, easily flowing from shape to shape. I am making my thread jumps from the back, which are not seen from the front. (Note: to do this knot at the back of each shape without cutting the thread, jump to the next shape, knot on the back to secure and pull the thread to the front. Don’t cut the thread, don’t reset.)

This makes for a more continuous flow and importantly, you can now use a full length of thread before stopping, recutting and resetting up. I discovered this on this block, because I needed to use a gray thread on the gray tops and the green thread at the bottom. It seemed silly to stop and start at each little top, and so I worked them continuously in this way. It seemed to go faster because I could use each strand of thread longer, and so I knew I wanted to try it for the other pieces. I think it helps, and I’m continuing to try it out. Let me know what you think, if you’re into the nerdy details!

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

Aside from that revelation, it was fun to finish this block and to see the way the print works in this context.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

I’ve been storing my blocks in a flat stack on a dresser, but I do pull them out monthly to take a pic. It’s nice to see the finished stack getting larger.

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

I’ve decided that over the next 3 months, I’d like to try to get all of my blocks finished, and I’ve updated my calendar to reflect that. This way I can spend the final 3 months assembling my quilt top, quilting and binding this project. That’s the plan anyway! It helps to verbalize it, right?

Hunt QAL . Carolyn Friedlander

pattern: Hunt quilt

fabrics: (so many!) jetty, collection CF, instead, harriot, gleaned, euclid, friedlander lawn

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Hunt QAL #5 Check In.

We’re 5 months in! Crazy.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

It’s been a good month, and I’ve been eager to lay everything out. Several of these blocks have been in hiding, because they use my new fabrics. Yay! 

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

I originally started out with a narrower selection of greens, but now I’m including much more of a range, and I’m really liking it. Some are darker, some are lighter, some are more green or more olive–it’s such a mix!

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

The mix of neutral backgrounds is also making me happy.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

Highlights this month have been embracing such a mix and getting it all laid out for the first time. I’d been working with everything in a stack, and so spreading it out to take these photos has been quite satisfying. I’m also really glad that I worked a little ahead for the month. Today is the first day of set up at Quilt Market, and I’ve been heavily prepping for the show!

In terms of entertaining things, I really got into the podcast Last Seen about the art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It’s really captivating and very detailed, and it’s kind of making me want to read more about this heist and others in general. 

Goals for next month? I’m happy to have quite a bit prepped, so I can probably mindlessly plug away or if I get inspired I may decide to prep the final blocks. We will see.

How’s your month been? 

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Hunt QAL #4 Check In.

Month #4!

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

I’ve made some progress this month, which feels good. How are you plugging away?

I don’t usually take the time to write down highlights, goals and achievements, but since making up the calendar, it’s been super easy and kind of fun to do so.  (Makes me think I should be more diligent about this in other areas of my life…)

It’s also making it helpful to figure out where I’m at with the update. To date, I have the following:

-4 backgrounds cut

-6 blocks fully appliquéd

-1 block partially appliquéd

-2 blocks fully basted

-4 blocked pinned and ready to baste

This means I have an extra background to play with, and it means I have a lot of blocks at play–yay! A big help this month was that I gave myself a larger chunk of time spread out over a couple of days to lay everything out and to figure out what comes next. Because I could see what I had, it made it really easy to play with my options. Pulling fabric, cutting out shapes and making pairs with the backgrounds is definitely a step that works best when you can allow a bit of momentum to happen. I don’t know what I originally hoped to put together, but I ended up cutting out 6 more blocks, which was far better than I’d hoped! The great thing is that now I’ll be able to work from this pile easily and whenever I have some time no matter how much or little of it there is. Since I’ll be prepping for Quilt Market and traveling next month, I’m already glad to free up some mental space.

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

Are you making any discoveries while working on your project? Is the appliqué feeling more comfortable?

Hunt QAL . carolyn friedlander

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