Tag Archives | kona cotton

Cutting Up My Kona Card.

I have been planning on cutting up my Kona card for a while now. It has been a few years since cutting up an older Kona card, and my lack of a system for that one (they were all thrown into a box) plus the addition of many new colors has made working with it an ongoing mess.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

Earlier this year, I did a rough poll to see how others are organizing their color cards, and the answers were really helpful! I recapped some of those different styles and approaches in this newsletter if you’d like to see.

The systems I saw ranged wildly in terms of additional materials required, time investment to set up and resulting usability. I love being organized, and I love how being organized can help you work more efficiently, but it’s also important to weigh the options.

For me, I prefer a direction that requires the least amount of upfront time and extra materials to set up, with the most appropriate level of usability in the end. Not only am I often picking swatches to coordinate with collections and to use for projects, but I also like seeing all of the colors as a whole. Because of that, I like the idea of having a way to see all of the colors together, as well as to work with them individually. With two color cards, and I knew that I could keep one intact and I could cut the other one up. With just 1 card, it might be better to go in a different direction, maybe one like @modernhandcraft installed, which is impressive, but that would also require a lot of time and equipment to set up, as well as the physical space to put it. I’m not mad at a system that I can fold up and put away.

Instead, I was drawn toward @houseonhillroad’s approach which uses a special box to store the swatches. I think her box is one for storing embroidery floss that you could find at a craft store, but I also heard of others using tackle boxes and other things similar.

To be honest, all of this was fantasy thinking, because projects like these aren’t usually my favorite. They can be easy for me to dream about but not anything I’m quick to act on. There are too many other things I’d rather be doing and making! However, the stars aligned and I happened to find the perfect slotted container at the Dollar Store, when I was there rooting around for something else. I picked it up hoping it would be about the right size, and it turns out that it totally was! Yay! Plus, it was only $1. You can’t beat that.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

There were many good tips that I learned from others. For one, I numbered the back of each of my swatches as well as their position on the uncut card. This way, I can easily find what I’m looking for AND put it back when I’m done with it.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

It really helps to cut the swatches to the same size. This was made easier by the fact that the newest Kona color card has standard sizes for the colors. Because of the layouts on some of the older cards, the swatches were different sizes. Having them all the same size makes everything easier to work with, and it makes them stack up so nicely.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

This new system is already paying off in terms of time, mess and general convenience. Even though it took me a few hours to cut up and number the card and swatches, I’ve easily made that up in how easy it is to work with. I would totally make myself do this again with the release of a newer color card. Now having done it, I know how much easier it has made everything. It might not have been at the top of my list before, but it will be higher on the list moving forward.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

I should note that I tried punching holes into a couple of the swatches. Also while at the Dollar Store, I nabbed some book rings, and I thought it could be nice to put the colors for certain projects into their own ring while I was working with them. I quickly discovered that you’d need either a stronger hole punch, a drill and/or more physical strength than I was willing and able to put into it, so I abandoned that direction after a couple of failed attempts. If I feel inspired, I can bust out my drill and add some holes in the future. For now, all is great.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

You can find a Kona color card on the google or at shops like ilovefabric and plenty of others. Just make sure to get the latest card with all 340 colors, and you’ll be set.

Comments: 6 | Leave a comment


Meet Babson.

Last up of the newbies is Babson, a very graphic and fun-to-sew project.

Babson Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

This quilt is kind of like Eads in that it’s super mix and matchable, works with a bunch of different fabrics, can be made without a ton of planning and has a huge amount of possible outcomes. It’s about fabrics, shapes and colors playing together in all kinds of ways.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Unlike Eads (which works with fat quarters), Babson starts with 5″ squares. I find that when you have an easy increment to start with, it’s much easier to grab a pile of stuff you’re interested in (or just a few things) and get to sewing. What’s better than that?

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

On the pattern-design side, there’s also a big part of me that loves the challenge of figuring out possibilities for 5″-square packs. They can be so enticing, and I have many stacked around in the studio. This project can work well with them.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

In this first version, maybe you’ll notice how my blocks are broken down into quadrants, each having its own coloring. One quadrant uses one 5″-square pack, plus 4 fat quarters. (Or you can also just use fat quarters for the whole thing.) I liked this formula because it makes it a much easier undertaking. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by a heap of blocks and fabric, you can work on it in sections, as well as flavor each section a little bit differently.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I used the same 5″-square pack of Polk for each quadrant, but in each group I added 4 different coordinates, so they each look a little bit different. Here’s what I added.

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Bottom left – Kona Roasted Pecan, Essex Yarn (Dyed Berry), Architextures (Sorbet, Orangeade)

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Top left – Architextures (Desert Green), Kona Parchment, Essex Classic Wovens (Natural), Essex Yarn Dyed (Chambray)

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Top right – Kona Paris Blue, Architextures (Acid Lime), Essex Yarn Dyed (Pickle), Essex Classic Wovens (Chambray)

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Bottom right – Kona Sea Glass, Essex Classic Wovens (Natural), Architextures (White), Essex Homespun (Chambray)

Babson Quilt Swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

In the end, I like the cohesion of the whole thing, and then I also like noticing the differences of the sections once you start looking closer. It was entertaining to sew, because each section presented new colors and possibilities.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The next version started with this Melon Kona charm pack. I’m not normally a pink person, but the mix of oranges and peaches pack a nice punch, and I was totally enamored.

Melon Babson swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

Instead of making the larger throw size as before, I wanted to make a wall hanging, which is basically just a 1/4 of what’s required for the throw. After much debate, my additions to the Melon charm pack for this version were 2 pieces from Polk (AFR-17841-380, AFR-17841-14), plus Kona Orangeade and Kona Lingerie.

Melon Babson swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

These additions add brightness, texture and little bit of print.

Melon Babson swatches . Carolyn Friedlander

The blocks in this design are super versatile, and I tried to push them in a different direction than in the first version. Here I gathered all of the same-direction shapes at the top, and the other-direction shapes at the bottom. As much as possible, I used the orangey-brights to create the L’s, but then shifted it a bit as you get to the bottom.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Now that I’ve made two, I still have ideas for a few more. Plus, I have some other charm packs lying around that I think will be fun.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

That’s Babson! I can’t wait to see what you make. You can ask about it at your local quilt store, or you can also find the digital version available here.

Babson Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Comments: 2 | Leave a comment


Meet Polk, my newest fabric collection.

Meet Polk, my newest fabric collection.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Polk is an 8-piece collection printed on Robert Kaufman’s Essex Yarn Dyed Homespun–a substrate that I’ve loved ever since they first released it. Homespun, like their regular Essex, is a cotton/linen blend, but what I really like about it is the woven grid created by how the light and dark yarns are woven to create it. It’s really lovely!

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

It’s also a super useful fabric. Like regular Essex, Homespun is a dream to work with–for quilts, clothes, accessories. It can stand up to a massive number of tasks and desired sewing projects. The utility coupled with the rich texture and look made it a no brainer that I wanted to pitch some design ideas for a collection using it.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn FriedlanderPolk is just that. The designs themselves take some of the ideas from Gleaned a step further. I found that I wasn’t quite done playing with those shapes, plus I like the idea of there being a continuation since one of my favorite things to do with linen collections is to mix them with printed cotton collections–it’s so much fun and the results can be beautiful.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Another neat thing about this collection is that I was able to create some new base colors for the Homespun range. Previously, they offered some great neutrals, and so it was no question that I wanted to add an exciting orange (thanks Orangeade!), a vibrant blue (Paris Blue) and a beautiful brown (Roasted Pecan). These three additions, mixed with some of the great existing neutral shades make up the base fabrics for this collection.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Polk Petal Pouch

Polk West Water Tunic

Polk Adeline Dress

The artwork on top is printed in an array of colors to complement and add interest to the base color. The deep blue print has a really interesting effect that comes across kind of like a starry night sky. While I keep looking at that one in new ways depending on the project, all of them have a little something different to offer as well. It’s been fun figuring out projects and fabric combinations to explore those different things.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Of course, I have some new projects coming down the pipeline…and I’m ready to share a couple peeks of 2 of them here, plus an old favorite revisited.

First up is Davie, a new house project with a fun twist on how to use your fabrics. It’s fat-quarter friendly, and I was especially drawn to creating a design where you can get progressive with your fabric choices and the way they transition. Plus, houses are really fun.

Polk Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Next up is Lusk–the first of a new group of mini quilt patterns. I cannot get enough of making minis.

Polk Lust Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

Each one take shapes and motifs from some of my previous patterns or new ones, and reimagined them in new ways, at new sizes and in new relationships on a smaller scale. Minis can be the perfect way to explore ideas, they make great gifts and they are also some of my favorite things to dress up a wall.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Third is a Park quilt in Polk. (And kind of a tongue twister!)

This one actually started out as a new set of pillow shams (like what is shown on the pattern cover), but before too long, I found myself with too many block pairings that I wanted to try, and so a larger quilt was born!

Polk Park Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

(By the way, my Park pattern is newly available in PDF form on my site. You can grab a copy here.)

And then I was also eager to sew up some other things too. (Of course!) Like I mentioned, this collection is well suited for all types of projects–not just quilts.

Polk Fabric Projects . Carolyn Friedlander

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

I’ll be sharing more about all of the projects above in upcoming posts, but for now some of the patterns/tutorials include (from top left): West Water Tunic by Squam, Portside Dopp Kit by Grainline, Petal Pouch by Noodlehead, Pencil Pouch Tutorial by Noodlehead, Adeline Dress by Style Arc.

Polk Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Comments: 28 | Leave a comment


Site by Spunmonkey.