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cf Mini QAL #5: Gradation.

cf Mini QAL #5: Gradation.

How was last week?

Here’s what I made.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This week, my focus was on Davie. With last week’s challenge being about all colors, I tried not to over think my fabric and color choices, which is easy to do when anything is an option. Instead I went with my gut as I started looking through fabric. I pulled several different things, and laid them out loosely focusing on groupings of 4 since the Davie blocks require that many fabrics for each of the block sections.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Even though my goal was to make 4 blocks, I didn’t pick all 4 groupings at the beginning–although you totally could. Instead, I made the first block with the first 4 fabrics that I liked, which was the bright yellow house with a brown roof in the middle. My subsequent block selections grew from there based on how I was seeing each block shape up.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Also, I’ve been wanting to play a bit with mixing up the background sections in this block, and so I inserted a little accent of something here and there in pretty much all of the blocks. I think it’s kind of fun!

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This was a really fun week, and I’m actually looking to build from it in moving forward with the next challenge.

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Our next challenge focuses on Gradation. Gradations can be lots of fun to put together and incredibly impactful. Here are some examples to consider.

Savor Each Stitch_Aerial Grove_Carolyn Friedlander

The Aerial Grove project from my book is a good one for employing a gradation. I love projects with little bits of a lot of different things, and this one captures that idea and uses gradation to organize those colors for maximum impact. Above is the version in the book, and below is a version using only Kona solids.

Aerial Grove quilt_1_Carolyn Friedlander

I’ve made so many versions of this project mostly because I love picking out the colors and figuring out how to arrange them.

Ebb is similar in that it also is a great way to show many different colors and how they can transition in fun ways.

ebb quilt pattern . carolyn friedlander

This recent version of Sessoms also creates a gradation from all of the fabrics in Gleaned.

Sessoms Throw Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

And here’s a new one that you haven’t seen yet. How about this Lusk mini that I also made in Gleaned?

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

I had a mini-charm pack of Gleaned that I decided to turn it into a mini. I paired the fabrics in the collection with Olive Essex Yarn Dyed. To make the gradation, I simply worked the blocks in order from the mini-charm pack. That’s a tip–if you have trouble arranging your fabrics, try working from a precut, because they’re usually arranged in a pleasing gradation of some sort.

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

Creating a gradation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create a rainbow from red to purple. You can also think of a gradation as a way to tell a story, from light to dark, from blue to yellow–from anything you want! Here’s one more example that I crowdsourced from @bastingbeauty. It’s just too pretty not to share. I love the creativity of not only the design but of also the fabric use and way it transitions! It also gives you a bit of a transparency effect too.

@bastingbeauty

This week, have fun figuring out a gradation–in whatever way you’d like!

Gleaned Lusk . Carolyn Friedlander

Tips:

+ Not good with creating a gradation? Buy a precut and use it in order. OR, stalk a precut that you find attractive and take notes on which colors are being used and which order they are being used in. You can do it.

+ Gradations do not have to be a full spectrum and in rainbow order. If the standard isn’t speaking to you, come up with your own color story and define your own limits.

+ On a technical note, I’m sure you’ve noticed that these little seams can be get a little bulky. This is why I usually try pressing them flat in order to even out the bulk as much as possible. While first working on Davie, I realized that using a seam roller to open out the seam first, made it much easier to iron open and achieve a good press. I’m glad to see some of you noticing this handy trick too!

Davie Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

cf mini quilt along . carolyn friedlander

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Polk Clothes.

Polk Fabric Clothes . Carolyn Friedlander

Polk starts shipping this month–yay! With that, I thought I’d share some Polk clothes that I’ve made.

Willow Tank . Carolyn FriedlanderFirst up is the Willow Tank–a personal favorite. The pattern is by Grainline, and it’s one of those patterns that never lets me down. Because I know the fit is great and it’s super speedy to make, I made this one while packing for Quilt Market. I couldn’t help but make one more thing to wear at the show.

Willow Tank . Carolyn Friedlander

I really like the weight of this fabric with this particular pattern. They go quite well together.

Pattern: Willow Tank by Grainline

Fabric(s): Polk, bias trim in Gleaned.

Polk Uniform . Carolyn Friedlander

Also by Grainline is a tunic from the new Uniform book that was recently released with Madder.

Polk Uniform . Carolyn Friedlander

I love the versatility of the design. There are two neck, two sleeve and two hem options that are all interchangeable, which means there are lots of possible results. Of course, I wanted to include the pockets in my first version. I also went with the round neck and sleeveless option.

The pockets are pretty fantastic, and I’m generally on board with how everything turned out. With the next version, I’ll make adjustments to the darts and length, as I found the as-designed result to need some tweaking on me. But overall, I think there is a lot of potential with this one.

Polk Uniform . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Uniform by Grainline and Madder

Fabric: Polk

Lexi Top . Carolyn Friedlander

The Lexi A-Line Top by Named is a pattern that I’ve been eyeing for a few years now. I finally made it, and I’m so glad that I did–it’s a new favorite! Their version is cropped, and I wanted mine to be full length, so I lengthened mine by about 4″. It turned out perfect.

I was kind of worried about the sleeves being a tad too much in a more structured fabric, but they’re just right. I will definitely be making this one again.

Lexi Top . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Lexi A-Line Top by Named

Fabric: Polk

The Adeline dress by Style Arc is a neat pattern, and I like how it came together. I’m not super wild about the hemline, and if I were to make it again, I’d make some adjustments there. Otherwise, the pockets are great, and I think this could also be nice in either a knit or some drapey woven.

Adeline Dress . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Adeline Dress by Style Arc

Fabric: Polk

West Water Tunic . Carolyn Friedlander

The West Water Tunic by Squam was enjoyable to sew, but if we’re being honest, I’m not sure that I’ll make one again without some adjustments. It’s a lovely tunic, and there are many online versions that look great, but the final result on me felt a little maternity-ish. Maybe on someone taller or with a different shape, it would look right? I do love the collar and the pockets.

West Water Tunic . Carolyn Friedlander

Plus, I like how these glass buttons that I’d picked up at a show look with the fabric.

West Water Tunic . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: West Water Tunic by Squam

Fabric: Polk

Polk Moji Pants . Carolyn Friedlander

Finally, I want to end on a favorite–the Moji pants by Seamwork. I’ve made so many of these guys starting with this pair in Euclid. I love them so much!

Polk Moji Pants . Carolyn Friedlander

They’re cozy, comfortable and look pretty stylish. Any pants with a drawstring feels like cheating, and how could you not love these big, handy pockets? These pants check all of my favorite boxes.

Polk Moji Pants . Carolyn Friedlander

Pattern: Moji by Seamwork

Fabric: Polk

Polk Fabric Clothes . Carolyn Friedlander

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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

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