Tag Archives | weekend projects

My First Jumpsuit

It’s finished! My Rory Jumpsuit–and my first jumpsuit ever–is finished! I learned some new things about making jumpsuits and about my own physical proportions that aren’t as obvious when just sewing separates. It was fun!

Rory Jumpsuit in Brussels Washer linen

Making My First Jumpsuit

As I mentioned last month, the Rory Jumpsuit by True Bias looked like fun. It seemed like the kind of project that could give me some new things to think about. Naturally, I started by browsing around the internet to see what others had done with their own versions. There are loads of them on IG just looking at the Rory and Yari hashtags. (The pattern name changed at some point.) That gave me a great place to start.

When it came to cutting and sewing, working with full-body-length pieces was a new feeling. The pieces are just so long!

Rory Jumpsuit in Brussels Washer linen with snaps

Modifications (to start)

I made some modifications off the bat as well as a few more after the first try-on. If I were to make this jumpsuit again, I’d make some further changes too.

Rory Jumpsuit

Off the bat, I shortened the torso 1″. The pattern is written for someone who is 5’5″, and I’m maybe 5’4″ on a good day. Normally you might decide to take the excess out of the bodice and leg more evenly, but I already knew that I’m high waisted. Plus I wanted to be able to cuff the pant.

For any future versions, I’d definitely take a bit more length out of the bodice. The waist of the garment still falls a bit low on me, which restricts movement a bit and means the pockets are lower than I’d like for them to be. The Brussels Washer fabric that I used might also be exaggerating some of this as it’s drapey and has a good weight to it. This all makes it pull down a bit more than a different fabric choice. It’s still very comfortable and wearable.

I also adjusted the neckline a smidge by rounding it and cutting it higher. This was a personal preference, but in the end I’m really glad that I did because of how low the neckline falls on me even having done that. Making it again, I’d raise the neckline just a bit more–I’m realizing that this part of my torso is short too. Although I’m very pleased with where it ended up!

When cutting the garment, I also cut the leg a bit wider than the original pattern. (Here’s a tutorial if you are interested.) I knew I’d be able to take width out, and so I wanted to have some room to work with.

Rory Jumpsuit in Brussels Washer linen

Modifications (after a try on)

After the first try-on, I decided to take a significant amount out from the width in the bodice. Although this style can look great belted, I wasn’t wanting to do that, so I worked for a closer fit. I ended up taking at least 5″ total from the width. This design has princess seams, and therefore many places to take things in–a great bonus of this particular style. Since I’d already topstitched the front and back princess seams, I took this out of the sides and center back.

The final modification had to do with the closure. After asking around and doing a smidge of research, I opted for a sewn-in snap closure. I like the clean look of this–although buttons can look great too. I’m also eager to see how this choice affects the ease of wearing it, and mainly–ahem–going to the bathroom.

Rory Jumpsuit in Brussels Washer linen with sew-in snaps

The Fabric

The fabric is Brussels Washer Yarn Dyed by Robert Kaufman, a linen/rayon blend in the Chestnut color. This fabric is SO dreamy for a project like this. It’s comfortable, super drapey, and resists and embraces wrinkles in the right amount. As I already mentioned, the weight and drape can make it fall quite a bit differently from other fabrics, so I’m curious to see how this would fit with a different fabric choice.

Rory Jumpsuit in Brussels Washer linen

Next Jumpsuit?

This was really fun, and I’m enjoying wearing my new jumpsuit. The fabric is very comfortable, and I love the effortlessness of a single-piece outfit. Plus, sewing a jumpsuit is still new territory to me, so I am eager to make more. I can’t wait to dial in on my proportions better with the next version and try out different fabrics and styles.

I’d be more than happy to make another Rory, but instead I think I’ll try the jumpsuit suggested in Sonya Philip’s new book The Act of Sewing*. It’s not a super-formal pattern, but instead she walks you through using basic pieces provided in the book (pants + top) to make a jumpsuit. I’m think I’m ready for that adventure.

(*affiliate link)

Project Details

Rory Jumpsuit

Pattern: Rory Jumpsuit by True Bias

Fabric: Brussels Washer Yarn Dyed by Robert Kaufman in Chestnut

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Me Made May 2021

Me Made May 2021 is here! (General info about Me Made May and Me Made May 2021.) Each year the challenge can feel a bit different, especially with it going on for so many years now. Last year the pandemic was so new that for me it was a nice way to connect with others while also showing how I was finding comfort in my wardrobe.

The Challenge This Year

This year, I want to use Me Made May to get my head into some new projects. Over the last year I’ve re-discovered how much my handmade wardrobe gives me strength and comfort in challenging times not just in terms of wearing but making too! My plan is to share some of what I’m wearing, but also make a couple of items that I’m in the mood for.

To be honest, there hasn’t been much of a need or desire to make clothes in the last year until recently. I made a Linden sweatshirt, and I also got around to making a matching pair of sweatpants. Fun, huh?!

linden sweatshirt and hudson sweatpant

I also added a label after buying some KATM labels from The Craft Table. They’ve always called out to me, and I’m happy to have them to add to my projects. I’m especially liking the 2021 labels, because I never know when I’ve made which garments. This is a great way to change that.

hudson sweatpant

The main thing I’m wanting to make is a jumpsuit. I have no idea why this is speaking to me, but it is. A single-piece outfit with pockets sounds pretty good. I haven’t made (or worn) a jumpsuit before, and the challenge of sewing something new is exciting. I love that in addition to being new to me, it’s also somewhat involved. Simple sews can be great, but there’s also a time and place to get deep in a project with many steps and different things to consider. I’m ready for that! The pattern I’m going to try is the Rory Jumpsuit by True Bias (formerly called Yari). As for fabric, I’m not totally sure what I’ll use. I’ll pop into my stash first, and see what I have available. Without looking, I’m thinking a linen or denim could work well.

Rory Jumpsuit . by True Bias
(photo by True Bias)

Step 1: I’ve already bought the pattern. Now I need to print out my pattern pieces and take a look at my fabric options.

The jumpsuit is the main plan for the month, but I’m marking these leather house shoes (from Seamwork) for the future. Neat, huh?!

Leather House Shoes . Seamwork Magazine
(photo by Seamwork Magazine)

I’m also pretty excited about the Casual Summer Tee Knit Along with Fancy Tiger. Their newsletter came out, and I jumped right on board. I’ve been knitting a bit here and there, and I’m nearing the finish line on a sweater (inspired by @elisabew). I’ll finish up my Sew Faded sweater (pattern by Drea Renee), and then I have a summery (or more like Spring/Fall/Winter for us in FL) knit on deck to follow.

Speaking of, here’s the sweater I’m working on! It’s been my go-to project in the evenings when I’m ready to unwind. The plan was to use up some yarn that I have in my stash, but of course I couldn’t help but add in a couple new colors as I’ve gone along. (All yarn is from my LYS, Four Purls.) It’s been really fun! I have the left sleeve to go, and then I need to pick up and knit the neck.

so faded sweater . carolyn friedlander

I’ll also plan to share more garment-related projects and resources on the blog and in my newsletter (sign up here), so stay tuned.

What are your thoughts about Me Made May 2021?

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Sun Hats in Kept

Have you sewn a hat yet? They are really satisfying to make! Hats are one of those projects that might seem out of reach, but when you actually do it they aren’t too bad at all. Just take it one step at a time. Plus I always love making something that I can actually use! Here’s a look at two sun hats in Kept.

Sun Hats in Kept fabrics

Serpentine Hat

Serpentine Sun Hat in Kept fabrics

The Serpentine Hat (pattern by Elbe Textiles) has a wider-brim, and I used two blue prints from my Kept collection. I like that the the more-patterned print peeks out from the inside, but it’s definitely reversible and you can wear it either way.

Serpentine Sun Hat in Kept fabrics
Serpentine Sun Hat in Kept fabrics

Both fabrics are quilting-cotton weight. I used woven fusible interfacing on the darker blue fabric to give it a bit more body. I think the flop factor is just right.

Serpentine Sun Hat in Kept fabrics

It’s fun to think of wearing this with other things I’ve made in ways not too different than putting fabrics together in a quilt. Blue is an easy color for me to mix into my wardrobe.

Serpentine Sun Hat in Kept fabrics

Sorrento Hat

Sorrento Sun Hat in Kept fabrics

The Sorrento Hat (pattern by Elbe Textiles) is more the classic bucket style hat. I hope to get some wear out of this one this summer.

Sorrento Sun Hat in Kept fabrics

The black and charcoal print from Kept makes a statement that still feels put together and easy to pair with an outfit. On the other side is Essex yarn-dyed linen in Graphite. Incorporating the Essex gives it a bit more texture and body. In addition, I used woven, fusible interfacing on the Kept fabric.

sewn Sorrento Sun Hat in Kept fabrics

Both of these sun hats in Kept go together more easily than you’d think. Again, take it one step at a time. I really enjoyed sewing them, and I can’t wait to put them to use this summer.

Kept Hat from the side

Pattern(s): Serpentine Hat by Elbe Textiles, Sorrento Hat by Elbe Textiles. (If you are wanting to make a kid’s hat, the Oliver + S Reversible Bucket Hat pattern is excellent. I’ve made it many times.)

Fabric(s): Kept and Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen in Graphite

Sorrento Sun Hat back in Kept fabrics

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Hunt QAL #14 ALL DONE!

Hunt QAL #14. ALL DONE! My Hunt Quilt Along quilt is done, photographed and on my bed–a quilty miracle for sure.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Binding

With the binding, I was unsure of which direction to go for pretty much the entire time. After much auditioning, here is what I came up with.

hunt quilt along binding . carolyn friedlander

An easy rule of thumb when you can’t decide on one binding is to go with all of them! This meant three fabrics in my case. I love that this satisfies all urges, and I think a scrappy binding suits many quilts nicely, especially this one. These choices are from Collection CF, Jetty and a Robert Kaufman gingham that might look black in the photo but is actually dark green. I love any gingham or grid in a binding, and the metallic adds just the right amount of sparkle.

scrappy binding in collection CF, Jetty and gingham

Hand Quilting

I don’t know what my favorite part about this quilt is, but the hand quilting is definitely up there. For a bed quilt it is massively cozy, and from a design standpoint I like how the high contrast thread stands out when you look at it.

big stitch hand quilting

The overall rows of straight lines in different directions is a pleasing contrast to the circular motifs.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Scrappy Backing

The backing is super scrappy, which you can see better in this post. Just like choosing multiple fabrics for the binding, scrappy backings are just as appealing. The snippet below is another Robert Kaufman gingham. It’s really soft, which is a great backing quality.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

I’ve always considered this a two-sided quilt. I should get some shots of the other side too, but I’ll leave that for another day.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

The fabrics for the blocks are scrappy, but the quilting thread is consistent throughout. I think this ties things together nicely.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

The hand quilting makes it soft and cozy, and I’m really happy to have it finished.

Quilt Label!

Oh, one more thing! There’s a label! I’ve been way better lately at making and attaching labels to my quilts. I make a label (this one is definitely fancier than the usual ones I make) when making or attaching the binding. This way it’s ready to add after hand-stitching the binding. My labels include my name, the project name, project dates, contact info (if the quilt will be traveling), and the type of batting used. I’ve been all over the place with batting lately, and this helps me keep track.

hunt quilt along quilt label . carolyn friedlander

Finished and in use!

I actually slept under it for the first time last night, and it was all kinds of special.

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

Pattern: Hunt Quilt (templates here, here and here)

Fabrics: Mostly mine from many collections including Jetty, Collection CF, Botanics, Instead, Gleaned, Friedlander

Quilting Thread: Sashiko thread from Upcycle Stitches

hunt quilt along quilt . carolyn friedlander

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Project Ideas for a Long Weekend

With it being labor day here in the US, I thought I’d share some project ideas for a long weekend. Although I’m not sure what a long weekend actually means in the times of COVID. Aren’t the weeks and ends blurring together? Oh well. I’m going with it!

Appliqué Projects

Sewing is relaxing, and there’s nothing more relaxing to me than an appliqué project be it big or small. In fact, having a variety of appliqué projects at the ready is always my goal. To start the list, here’s something I cut out recently. It is two new blocks for my Scrappy Everglade Quilt (from my Everglade pattern). My rule has been to go one block at a time, but I got carried away and prepped two. I can’t help it. My fabric approach is to use some of my fabrics (Collection CF here) + Liberty of London.

scrappy everglade quilt blocks . carolyn friedlander

If your weekend energy is best suited for a relaxing project that you can settle in with and not fuss over too much–this is it. After picking your appliqué and background fabrics, you’re good to go.

For an appliqué project with more in terms of composing colors and shapes, Clay is a good option. Sometimes I want to feel like I’m painting with fabric, and this one is like that. I love simmering over the composition of a project for a few days, which is easy to do here.

clay mini quilt . carolyn friedlander

You could go small or big with this one, it all depends on what kind of a dive you’re ready to do.

clay throw quilt . carolyn friedlander

Pieced Projects

When you’re more in the mood to sit down at the machine, here are a couple of projects to consider.

First up is a mini quilt. They are creatively satisfying and not a huge commitment. Still a favorite is this Envelopes quilt from several years ago (here’s the blog post). The envelope liners are all fussy cut, which made for a satisfying deep dive into my stash. (Heads up on that, if you’re like me, you’ll make a huge mess in the process, but it’s really worth it!)

Fussy Cut Envelopes quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

For a larger project at the sewing machine, one that I’ve been thinking about lately is my Spools pattern. Since my friend Lee (of May Chappell) started this BIG Spools quilt, I’ve been wanting to make a bigger version myself. There is definitely a pile of 5″ squares in my studio reserved for this, which includes a charm pack of Rashida Coleman Hale’s Speckled prints. I know that I always say this, but there’s nothing better than sewing through a big stack of colors.

spools quilt . carolyn friedlander

Gift Sewing and No-Sew Projects

For anyone not in the mood for making a quilt, there are many other options. Lately I’m especially excited about projects that spruce up my surroundings or can be good to give to a friend. Here are a couple of projects that fall in these categories.

Cloth napkins are very easy, and they are something I use daily. If you’re looking to refresh something you use in your daily life or you want to put something together for a friend to spruce up their daily life, here’s an idea.

Friedlander Fabric Napkins . Carolyn Friedlander

Another favorite for me in the sewing-for-home department is custom dishtowels. You can get creative with embroidery and other embellishments, or you could just use a special fabric. Either option would be well utilized in a project like this.

euclid dishtowels . carolyn friedlander

Other projects on my mind by some of my favorite designers are a new bag (maybe this one by Noodlehead), some pouches (these or these by Aneela Hoey), and maybe even this handy wallet (by Megan Callahan) for the MQG.

How’s that? Does this give you some project ideas for a long weekend? Or is it overwhelming (since at least I just reminded myself of many things that I want to make)? Let me know, and I’d love to know some of your favorites too!

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05/04/20 What I’ve been making

05/04/20 – With so much going on, I appreciate being able to jump between projects depending on my mood. Here’s a look at what I’ve been making lately.

MeMadeMay2020

blake knit tshirt . carolyn friedlander

It’s MeMadeMay, which means it’s also a great time to scope out some good garments that people have been sewing up. (So inspiring!) For me, I’ll be making an effort to share some of my handmade wearables, and here’s one of them. This t-shirt is a new favorite. It started as something else long ago that didn’t work out and has sat in my sewing room ever since. I finally dusted it off and re-cut it into a t-shirt. Pattern is the Jeanne T-Shirt by Ready To Sew. I’m such a fan of this pattern. There are no modifications except that I left off the pocket, and the fabric is from my Blake collection.

TP

#FreshlyQuiltedTP

Yes, that is toilet paper. If you haven’t heard, @elisabew and I have been hosting a TP quilt along using Java House Quilt’s We’re On a Bigger Roll pattern (deadline is extended to 5/15/20). This has been a low-stress, fun project that has sparked plenty of creativity for me. That’s what a challenge can do sometimes! It can help you think outside of your own box.

Some of my fabric TP is up there, and a bit of my background is below. I’m going a little wild in my background by doing a mashup of some of my own designs–many of which have reminded me of bathroom tiles. This seemed like the perfect way to use them.

patterned background . carolyn friedlander

I’m pretty sure I’ll continue with this theme in some more sewing projects to come…

Everglade

Finally, my scrappy Everglade project (using my Everglade pattern) continues to grow!

scrappy everglade quilt blocks . carolyn friedlander

More blocks are being added to the party. The color, fabrics and slowness of this are ticking all of the boxes for me.

scrappy everglade quilt . carolyn friedlander

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Jetty Crescent Tote

Jetty Crescent Tote

Noodlehead’s Crescent Tote has been on my list since I first saw it in an issue of Making magazine. Like all of Anna’s designs, I loved the sophisticated shape and thoughtful details. Plus, it looked like something I would enjoy using. It’s not too big, but it’s big enough to hold a few things when you need to. A Jetty Crescent Tote was just what I wanted.

To start, I wanted to use one of the special prints in Jetty. These designs feature one color running along one side of the fabric and another color running along the other side. I love these prints, because they’re like a two-for-one. You have so many options on how you can use them.

jetty fabric . carolyn friedlander

Any of the colors could work great, and I decided to go with the green. I’ve been in such a green mood lately! I used the dark green side of the print for most of the exterior, and then the lighter side for the lining. (1-1/2 yards of the print is all you need.)

As a bonus detail, I cut the exterior pocket pieces with a bit of the lining side included and in the opposite direction. The direction of the grid is rotated, and you get that fun, grey band in the center. This adds a nice detail with hardly any extra effort.

Since this is quilting-weight cotton fabric, I used a little extra interfacing than was recommended. In addition to the fusible fleece on the exterior pieces, I also interfaced them with SF 101 before adhering the fleece. I interfaced everything else as suggested in the pattern, and I think it worked out great. The bag stands up nicely and holds its own.

The pockets on this bag are just what you need. There’s a smaller zipper pocket inside and another zipper pocket on the outside. If you like to carry your bag on your left shoulder, I’d recommend reversing the exterior pocket. After a shoulder injury on my right side earlier this year, I’ve been trying to do more with my left, including how I carry bags. I made this bag as designed, and so the next time I make it, I’ll probably swap the front pocket to the other side.

Pattern: Crescent Tote by Noodlehead

Fabric: Jetty (1-1/2 yards of this print is all you need for the exterior and lining)

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Arlo A quilt in Collection CF.

Here’s my Arlo A quilt in Collection CF.

Arlo A Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

To follow along with the pattern, it’s the Wall size and uses just the A templates. As for fabric, I used just 2 fabrics in blue from Collection CF. It’s always so hard to pick only 2, but the results can be great.

Arlo A Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

One thing that keeps me coming back to this project is how many different ways you can go with it. Not only can you change the templates that you use, but you can change their orientation and how many fabrics so that it looks like a totally different project.

Arlo A Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Knowing that I was only going to use 2 fabrics and 1 set of the templates, I started by having a major cutting session. Then I sewed the blocks together (by machine).

Arlo A Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I find a stack of sewn blocks to be satisfying, and the huge dork in me delighted over the fact that these fit so nicely (in terms of shape and color!) in this treasure tray that I made last year in Harriot. (I actually stored the cut pieces in the tray before sewing them together as well, which I found to be handy.)

Arlo A Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

This project is quilted with some straight-ish lines in the lighter sections that echo some of the different directions in the design. I like that it’s a simple approach that is varied enough to make it not so boring to do, and that it gives the project an overall texture that is pleasing and not super uniform.

Arlo A Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

I used the darker binding to tie in the accented sections and to frame it out a bit.

Arlo A Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

There we go. I love what this version does with the geometry of the design, and it’s definitely had me thinking about other variations still to try…

Arlo A Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

pattern: Arlo quilt pattern, with 1/4″ acrylic template set

fabric: Collection CF

Arlo A Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

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Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot.

The Noodlehead Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray pattern was screaming out to me to get made up in Harriot, and I finally got around to doing it a little while back.

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

I’ve been wanting to make some of these adorable baskets ever since Anna first made the batch in Euclid. It’s a beautiful shape with some serious fabric (and functional) possibilities.

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

I wouldn’t say that I was scared to make them, but I did underestimate how easy they are to make. Maybe it’s worrying about having the right notions and interfacing, but it always seemed like a little bit more of a chore than it actually ended up being. When I finally got around to doing it, I wondered what had taken me so long. (Which might be obvious in how I made 5 of them all in one go…)

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

There are many things I love about this project. First, it’s a very functional make. Who doesn’t have a need for some cute baskets? There are two sizes that can be handy for many different things. They can be useful for you or for someone else if you need to round up a gift.

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Second, it’s such a perfect platform for showing off some fabric! Check out the Harriot Scallop in use in this one.

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Third, and maybe why I was hesitant, is that this project does require you to incorporate rivets and handles of some type. Prior to these projects, I hadn’t done rivets, and I’ll admit I was a little scared. When I went to add them, I was extremely surprised by how easy they were to install. (I used Anna’s tutorial, which helped a lot. I also tested a rivet on a scrap first.)

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

As for the straps, I could have planned a little better in this department, but it ended up working out well. I had enough leather and leather-like options for all of them, except for the Scallop basket above. I ended up sewing together some fabric handles, which did the trick! It’s nice to know that that works too.

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

The fact that I made 5 of them in an afternoon should say something about how easy (and addictive) they are, which I really like.

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Since making these, I’ve thrown all kinds of things into the baskets. They’re very handy!

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

There we have it. My Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot.

fabric: Harriot

pattern: Tiny Treasures Basket And Tray (free!) by Noodlehead

Tiny Treasures Basket and Tray in Harriot Fabric . Carolyn Friedlander

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Hunt Quilt Along: Let’s Get Started.

Hunt Quilt Along: Let’s Get Started.

Hunt Quilt Along . Carolyn Friedlander

Are you ready for another Quilt Along? I am.

The format of this Quilt Along will be a little different from some of the Quilt Alongs I’ve hosted before. I’m always a fan of finding the right solution for the task at hand, and with Hunt, I thought I’d shape things a little bit differently. Instead of a weekly adventure for a set number of weeks, I’m breaking this Quilt Along down in to 2 parts. First will be a 4-week series that’ll highlight the project in a few different ways. After that, we’ll adventure on to the second part which will be a series of monthly check-ins over the next year.

I know, speaking of the next year sounds a little crazy, but I’m thinking this timeframe can be really good. I’m sure you have many other things on your plate, and rather than feel like we’re adding one big thing to it, I want this to feel like something fun and low-pressure that will carry you through and make you feel good. Taking things one month at a time feels like a good pace to me, whether you’re striving for a big project at the end or something much smaller. This schedule will help support that adjustability, while also giving us something to stay inspired with and excited about. In this first 4 weeks I’ll talk about different ways to break up your project and how to set monthly goals. I even have a special planner to help you get there…because I’m a nerd and like that kind of stuff.

Sound good?

Let me know what you think!

Next week, we’ll dive a bit deeper into the project. In the meantime you can read up about some of my Hunt projects here, here and here, as well as grab a copy of the pattern (here or at your favorite quilt shop) and the templates (if you’d like).

Thanks for reading along, and I’m excited to have you join in!

Hunt Tangerine Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

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Sunrise Pillow Shams

I made some Sunrise Pillow shams for some friends.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

Something keeps me coming back to the mini blocks of this project. There are 2 different mini sizes included with the pattern, and I love making both of them. In this project, I used the smallest of them (or block C in the pattern).

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

One nice thing about mini blocks is that they are extremely scrap friendly. I like putting scraps to use–it feels efficient and also productive, like you’re cleaning too by getting rid of a pile. Plus it’s always magical when surprising fabric combinations find their way to each other, which I feel happens more often when you’re working from a pile of scraps.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

These shams were a gift for some friends that were getting married. I liked the symbolism of new beginnings with the block, and I liked incorporating many of my fabrics as well as little bits of Liberty fabrics since one of the recipients loves Liberty too. As for the color palette, I wanted something neutral but also with some life. When I make a gift for someone, I try to hone in on colors that the recipient loves, as well make something that is somewhat versatile. A neutral palette can be great for that.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

After piecing the blocks, I sewed them together and added a border to create the right size for the shams that I was going for. I believe these are on 18″ pillow forms.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

Then I did some straight-line quilting, added some piping, and finished them with an envelope-style back for slipping the shams on and off.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

Usually when I’m working on something scrappy, I’ll wait until all of my blocks are pieced before deciding on a border. Here a print from Polk was just what I wanted to finish them off, and a print from Friedlander worked well on the back.

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

There we have it–a set of shams for some friends!

Sunrise Pillow Shams . Carolyn Friedlander

Fabric(s): Mostly mine from many collections and some Liberty of London too

Pattern: Sunrise Quilt (I used the bonus Mini block C.)

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Mercer Tunic in Harriot.

Now that the weather is warming back up, I am very excited to make use of my new Mercer Tunic in Harriot. It is sooooo comfortable.

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

The Mercer Tunic by Whitney Deal and I go back several years and many versions. It’s such a great top that I wear often!

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

This yellow yarn-dyed woven was crying out to me to be a Mercer from the very beginning. This fabric is really soft and has a nice drape. (PS, if you aren’t a newsletter subscriber, here’s a link to last week’s mailing that includes a bit more about the different fabric weights in Harriot.)

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

I make this pattern mostly as-is, but I’ve shortened the length just a bit. In previous versions, I’ve explored different lengths but this one seems to be my favorite.

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

I always like picking a different fabric to use on the yoke lining as well as any bias tape facing for the neck and armholes. (Here’s how I generally do it.)  Using this method for the hem is also great, not only for the visual contrast, but also in any case where you’re ever tight on length. I wasn’t tight in the case of this top, but at other times when I might be pushing the boundaries of what I have, this hemming method is my go-to. Instead of multiple turns under, you only need the width of your seam allowance to attach the binding, before it all gets turned under.

Mercer Tunic in Harriot . Carolyn Friedlander

There we go, a new top!

Pattern: Mercer Tunic by Whitney Deal (and Moji Pants by Seamwork)

Fabric: Harriot (and Euclid for the pants)

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