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Best of 2019 + a giveaway

It’s time for my annual post with my Best of 2019 + a giveaway. 2019, what a year! Where did it (and the last decade) go?

2018 quilt . Carolyn Friedlanderfrank lloyd wright SFeverglade quilt class at Craft NapaHunt QuiltCon 2019liberty and harriot everglade blocks . carolyn friedlandertiny treasures trayFriedlander Lawn on Shrillinstead fabric . carolyn friedlanderArlo Quilt Pattern . Carolyn FriedlanderSunrise Quilt . Carolyn FriedlanderArchitextures Sunrise Quilt . Carolyn FriedlanderSunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn FriedlanderHunt Quilt Along . Carolyn Friedlanderfrank lloyd wright florida southern

Every time I do this, I’m like “that happened this year?” and “oh yeah! I’d forgotten about that!” The year goes by in a blink and yet the start of 2019 feels like forever ago at the same time. It’s weird like that. If you haven’t taken a moment to reflect back on your own year, do yourself a favor and do it. I love how a look back–big or small–inevitably helps me move forward. It can bring excitement, inspiration and clarity. Plus, it’s pretty fun to take a look back at the recaps from years prior. (See them for 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014.)

2019 had plenty of challenges for me as well as plenty of good experiences too. Professionally, I’m delighted to have enjoyed several teaching adventures in Napa, Nashville, NYC, and Sisters, as well as trips to Kansas City and Houston for Quilt Markets.

On the fabric front, I had more releases than usual with Instead, Collection CF and Jetty. I’ve loved seeing Instead and Collection CF show up in your projects, and I’m eager to highlight more of Jetty and see what you start making(!) when it starts hitting stores in a couple of months.

The new patterns I produced this year are all projects that I can’t stop making; Arlo, Hearts, and Rye. I also have new versions of Sunrise, Bartow, and Eads–all personal favorites that I’m happy to have been able to explore in new ways. My on-going Hunt quilt for the Hunt QAL has been a relaxing project for me and also a fun way to quilt along in real time with many of you. I finally finished this knit that had been sitting in limbo for far too long. That feels good! I really wanted to finish out 2019 by finally quilting my last-finish quilt of 2018. That didn’t happen, but I’m hoping to get it tackled this month. (Fingers crossed!) Of course there were many more makes and misses, but I’ll stop there. 2020 is a new year, and I’m excited to see what it will bring.

Thank you for following along, supporting my work and for sharing your thoughts and makings with me. As a special thank you, and because I love hearing from you–I’d like to do a giveaway for 4 special bundles that I’ll put together with new fabrics, patterns and stuff from 2019. To enter leave a comment below letting me know of a special highlight, success or challenge for you in 2019. Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Winners will be randomly selected on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 5PM EST.

Happy New Year!


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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