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Instead Sunrise (and some minis).

It’s fitting that Sunrise was one of my first patterns. I’ve always been a morning person, and I love watching the sun come up. There’s something special and promising about a new beginning, and this pattern is a tribute to that. Fast forward a few years and I’ve revisited this favorite again, but in a totally new light (and new fabric).

Sunrise Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This new version is made up in my newest fabric, Instead–a collection that celebrates dark and rich tones. While the original version of the project and many subsequent samples were made from bright and colorful fabrics, I couldn’t wait to see how fabrics with a totally different look could illustrate the design. My favorite designs are those that can be taken in many different directions, and this is a good one for that.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Another fun thing about a project like this is that it can be a good way to see how fabrics and colors can work together, which is perfect when I’m finally at the point of exploring the possibilities in a new collection. Each block is paper pieced (sidenote: these are beginner-friendly blocks if you’re new to the technique) using 2 1/2″ strips, which makes it very workable to mix and match as you go. I love projects that allow you to work this way.

Instead Fabric Roll Up . Carolyn Friedlander

One roll up can be used to make all the blocks for the throw-sized version. (Or can change it up and create your own fabric mix!) Then you can add other fabrics for the block frames, sashing and border. Here I used Essex Cadet for the frames, and 2 different prints from Instead for the sashing and border.

Sunrise Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

After making this big one, I wasn’t finished exploring, and so I moved on to working with some minis. The pattern comes with 2 bonus mini blocks, and I’ve already been using both for 2 new mini quilts. Here’s how the smallest one is shaping up.

In the big, throw-sized version I used all of the pieces in the collection, but in this one I used fat quarters from 5 fabrics–4 from Instead plus Essex in Navy.

I wanted to go really dark and relatively heavy on the blues.

I’m not sure if I want to add a border or leave it as is…we’ll see!

fabric(s): Instead and Essex Cadet added in to Throw version and Essex Navy added in to Mini version.

pattern: Sunrise

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My Instead Collection.

Finally, I can share with you something that I’ve been thinking about and working on for more than the past year.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

I’m so happy to share with you my Instead collection.

Instead started as an alternative way of thinking for me.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

A fabric collection has many places where it can start. It can start with the design or a sense of shapes and patterns. It can also start with an overall concept of ideas to explore, OR in the case of Instead it all started with a sense of color that took hold and inspired me to take action.

Sometime before the Wainwright QAL last year, I became really interested in dark and moody color palettes. Light and bright is great, but I realized that I’d never really done a project where my range reached to the deep and dark ends of the spectrum. An obsession with the idea continued to grow after realizing my own need for the fabric to take me there.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Enter the dark seeds of this collection. I wanted to explore the depths of a rich, dark color palette, and I wanted to find a new mood.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Instead is a 15 piece collection on quilting cotton. It has been such a treat for me to be able to create designs for several different substrates (linen, yarn dyed, knit jersey, etc), but with Instead I’ve been excited to get back to the quilting cotton. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about patchwork! (That said, now that the release and a few quilts are behind me, I’ve been dreaming up a few garments and other things to make with this collection…)

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

The collection is designed to work well with other things–especially all of my previous collections (I’m eager to start mixing it in!), but it’s also designed to work well on its own – like in the case of the new version of my Sunrise pattern.

Instead Sunrise Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This has been one of my favorite patterns over time–it’s great for beginners, and it can take on so many different looks depending on the fabric. Like the collection, this version gives an alternative voice to the project.

The collection can also be mixed in different ways and with others, like in my new Arlo quilt. (I have been so excited about this project–more on Arlo soon!)

Arlo Instead Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Arlo was made from the entire Instead collection, plus a special set of coordinating solids that I put together.

Instead Fabric and Solid Coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

I always love putting together a set of coordinates, because it lets you think about how the collection can start speaking to other things. In this case, I liked the idea of adding loads of texture with a variety of linens. I don’t usually look to coordinates to repeat something that already exists, but instead I’m looking for ways to complement and expand the opportunities of all of it.

Instead Fabric and Solid Coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

So there we have it–my newest collection, Instead. I hope it can inspire you just as much as it has inspired me.

Instead Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

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