Tag Archives | quick

Meet Lusk.

Meet Lusk, a new pattern for some (mini) quilts.

Lusk Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

I love mini quilts. There’s so much you can do with them! They make great gifts, are perfect for swaps and I’m not sure there’s any easier way to decorate your space. Plus, I love how the smaller format allows you to get really creative without too much commitment and pressure–OR it can help you get more comfortable with a technique. Don’t get me wrong, big projects can be great too, but there’s something special about a project that can get your creative juices flowing, make you feel good about a finish and leave you inspired for whatever comes next.

Polk Lust Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

I find that I come up with new ideas all the time while I’m sewing. In this way, making minis is such a creative kickstarter for me. Because of this, I’ve been wanting to make some mini quilt patterns for a while now, and Lusk is just the beginning. With this one, I’ve been thinking about how some of my existing designs can be reconsidered on a smaller scale, and how it might be fun to reimagine sets of shapes mixed and matched up in new ways.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

You might recognize some familiar bits from some of my other patterns. Lusk takes ideas from Sessoms and Tangelo, plays with the scale of both and adapts them in ways that they can work together. I love this because even though they are two different designs, bringing them together means there are many new ideas to play with.

I outline 3 specific versions in the pattern, but the units work really well together, and if you wanted to come up with more, you totally could! The first (A, above) is a mix of all blocks included in the pattern. The second (B, below) uses just the third block option in the pattern.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The third version (C, below) uses just the first 2 blocks in the pattern. Depending on what you’re going for, you can dress these guys up in all kinds of ways.

Polk Lust Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

These minis were a great place for me to start when I first got my hands on my newest fabric collection, Polk. Working on a smaller scale allowed me to see how certain fabrics might work together, and it definitely inspired many of the fabric combinations in my subsequent projects.

Lusk Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

Lusk means you can explore a lot in a small amount of time and with not too many supplies. I’ve since whipped up a few more, and I’ll be sharing them in the coming weeks.

Lusk Quilts . Carolyn Friedlander

You can ask for Lusk at your local quilt store, or you can also find the digital version available here.

Lusk Quilt Pattern . Carolyn Friedlander

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Quick Thread Catcher Tutorial.

quick thread catcher tutorial . carolyn friedlander

Yesterday I mentioned that I liked traveling with a little thread catcher, and so today I’m posting a quick thread catcher tutorial. This is based on one given to me by the sweet owners of the Janie Lou quilt shop in St Louis, Missouri. What I really like about it is that it folds up nice and flat, which makes it easy to bring with me anywhere. Plus, it’s silly how quick and easy it is to put together. I’ll be making many more of these for my sewing buds…

Materials:

+ Exterior Fabric – cut to 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″

+ Lining Fabric – cut to 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″

+ (optional) Interfacing – cut to 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ applied to Exterior.

Fabric/Interfacing Note: Neither of the thread catchers shown in this tutorial are interfaced. The one that I was given (above) has a sturdier canvas on the exterior. It’s nice. The one (outlined below) in this tutorial is made from un-interfaced quilting cotton for both the exterior and lining. I was mostly curious to see how it would turn out, and it’s surprisingly structured! I’m very pleased with it and will totally do it this way again. But of course, if you like interfacing, you can always incorporate it into your project.

All seam allowances are 1/4″. While I’m using my serger in this tutorial, you can just as well use your sewing machine. All raw edges will be enclosed, except where noted below.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Fold in half (RIGHT sides TOGETHER) so that short edges are aligned. In the photo below, my short sides are at the top, and the fold is on the bottom. Do this and the following for both the exterior and lining panels.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Pin (if desired) and stitch along the sides.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Create a boxed corner by pinching side seam to bottom fold on each side.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Mark a line 1 3/4″ from pointed edge. Stitch along this line.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Turn exterior (RIGHT side OUT).

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Place lining inside exterior, aligning side seams. Pin in place (if desired). Tip: Alternate the direction of the side seams when you match them up. This will make things less-bulky.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Stitch along top edge. A serger will finish this edge as you stitch, but if you’re using a sewing machine, you can use a zigzag stitch to finish it. Or, if you want to bind it, you can totally do that too, but since the top is folded, it isn’t super critical.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Fold the top down a couple of times, and you’re good to go!

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

I hope you enjoy yours as much as I’ve enjoyed mine!

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

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Fabric napkins for the win.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabric napkins for the win. Are you a cloth-napkin user? I am and have been since college. In fact, I’ve been using the same cloth napkins since college, which means my cloth napkins are quite old. So old, that every time I find myself folding and putting them away I’m thinking–I should really make some new napkins… It’s always been one of those “some day” tasks, but finally, I’ve made myself some new fabric napkins, and it basically took no time at all.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

This is hardly even a weekend project. For me it was a I-need-a-break/distraction-to-feel-productive-for-maybe-an-hour kind of project. And boy are they.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Even though the colors look curated, they are the result of pulling fabric in order off my shelf, which I guess is curated…and in color order, but still. It was an easy effort. I grabbed and cut fabrics until I felt done grabbing and cutting, which apparently was 9 pieces.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

To back up a bit, the idea came after seeing these from Purl. For anyone wanting to follow a tutorial, you can totally follow that one, it’s good. On mine, I simplified the steps a bit and changed the overall size.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

I first made a snip at 19″ with scissors and then ripped the full width of fabric, which means that my fabric was 19″ x width-of-fabric (44″ish in this case). Ripping the fabric ensures you’re following the grain of the fabric, which does make a difference when you’re planning for frayed edges. (Plus, ripping fabric is a surprisingly fun task.)

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

I then threw those 19″ strips (ripped on 1 side) into the washing machine and dryer before ripping them into 18″ squares, by making a snip at 18″ and ripping each side, basing all subsequent sides on the first ripped side.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

After getting all of the squares made, I frayed the edges, but unlike the tutorial, I didn’t do an overall stitch around the sides. I figure the fraying will be fine. After you fray some edges, you start to see how unlikely more of it will be from becoming more un-frayed. Or, if it does become crazy in the future, I can always add some stitching. No prob.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Of course, some stitching could be a lovely decorative element if using a contrasting thread or interesting stitch. It all depends on the look you’re going for! In my case, it was a no-muss, no-fuss situation. I like the looseness.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

I know that some people have some concerns with fabric napkins. First, to address the wrinkle issue, these napkins haven’t been ironed at all. I took them straight from the dryer, ripped to size and then just hand smoothed them before this photo shoot. Not bad, huh?

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

And this was just the first wash, they’ll get softer and softer with each wash. If you’re into ironing or have some guests to impress, you could certainly give them a good press before setting them out. Otherwise, I find them to be totally acceptable straight from the dryer.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Another question about fabric napkins has to do with stains. This is a good question since you will be using them around food. There are a few ways you could look at it. First, if you’re really concerned about stains, you could just pick out really dark and/or busy fabrics that could easily camo some stains. Second, I haven’t noticed too many stains that really stick in my experience with cloth napkins, and I’ve been a cloth napkin user for almost 15 years. Third, if you do happen to get a pesky and unrelenting stain, just make a new one! This is a low-commitment project that only gets better and more exciting with new fabric.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabrics included are from my collections, friedlander, architextures and doe.

Yay for fabric napkins!

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