WainwrightAL #1: The Pattern and The Plan.

WainwrightAL #1: The Pattern and The Plan.

To kick things off, I thought it would be appropriate to talk a bit more about the pattern, and then my plan for moving forward with my own project as well as in general. Plans are good, being excited about them might be better.

First, the pattern. Wainwright was inspired by and named after the Wainwright building in St Louis. If you’ve seen it or other Louis Sullivan buildings, you know that the ornamentation is incredible. There are so many beautiful motifs, and it was easy to become very inspired.

Wainwright Building . St Louis, Missouri

As a quilt, I love appliqué patterns that offer a lot of design possibilities, are fun to sew (because you’ll be getting right in there with it), and can be easy to travel with. With this one, I went for all of that by taking one basic motif and breaking it up in a way that could be mixed and matched among the blocks and with few or many fabrics.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Appliqué projects are always great for finding new color and fabric combinations, because once you cut out the shapes and layer them on a background, you can actually see what it’s basically going to look like. How cool is that? If you aren’t liking it, you can easily make a change by swapping out the background or by changing the appliqué (the top layer, or the shape). This is probably why I always have SO many appliqué projects cut out–because it’s way too tempting to cut them out to see what an idea will look like.

With this first version, I was most excited about using my new Gleaned collection and its coordinates. I used pieces from all of it.

gleaned fabric collection . Carolyn Friedlander

gleaned fabric architextures coordinates . Carolyn Friedlander

Appliqué projects can be great for fussy cutting motifs and making use of special stuff–like the special selvage treatment in some of my newest prints from Gleaned. You can see snippets of this stuff in many of my blocks.

gleaned fabric collection . Carolyn Friedlander

If you’re planning to take advantage of this, just make sure to position any special motifs where you want them in the squares that you’ll be cutting out. Both the background and appliqué pieces are cut from regular squares, so you can use the shape and size of the square to get your fabric positioned how you want it. Just keep in mind your 1/4″ seam allowances for sewing the blocks together and the 1/8″ seam allowances for appliqué (which yes, is plenty of seam allowance).

Back to the project.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

There are two block sizes to this project–small and big. This first version uses only small blocks.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The small blocks are nice for a few reasons. First, you will need more of them, which means you can incorporate more fabric combinations and pairings. Second, smaller-sized blocks are pretty easy to handle and relatively speedier than larger ones.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The pattern also includes a larger-block option, which is what I incorporated into the second version that I made.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

In this version, you can see how the sizes compare, because I used them together. I sized the blocks specifically to work this way, but of course, you can use them however you’d like! Just how my first version uses all small blocks, you can totally make a version with all big blocks. Or, you can mix them up. The possibilities are yours.

Big blocks are great because fewer of them make a larger project. They can also be a better format if you’re working with a larger print, and expanded shapes mean everything is extruded and therefore slightly easier technically if you’re just getting into the technique. If you’re curious, try one of each, and see what you think.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

You’ll also notice that in this version I took a totally different route with the fabric. Instead of using tons of different fabrics, I used only two–this from Gleaned and this coordinate. The cool thing about this approach is that it really emphasizes the variety of shapes and sizes in the design.

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

The main thing that you can keep in mind with regard to either option is that the pieces cut from 1 appliqué square can be used for 2 blocks. Split them up and mix them about as you wish!

Wainwright Quilt . Carolyn Friedlander

Now that you’ve seen my two versions, I hope that you’re excited to start mapping out your own! As for me, I’m planning to use small blocks in my next version–I love this size. To be totally upfront, I’m not entirely sure what final size (or even project type) that I am going for. I might make a pair of pillow shams…or I might do a wall hanging…I don’t know. I’m leaving that decision for later since I know I can adjust things as I go. I do have some fabrics pulled, but I think I’ll save that for next week.

Finally, I don’t want anyone stressing over this project. Handwork is usually my way to relax, and so I want this WainwrightAL to foster that same mood for you. Personally, I really liked the idea of using this QAL as a way to have an enjoyable something to work on in the background of my own life, and I hope that you find it fitting nicely into your life as well. Let’s use this time together to have fun, to enjoy each other and to enjoy playing with our fabric.

If you still need a copy of the pattern, you can find one here or checking with your local shop or favorite online retailer.

Wainwright quilt in Gleaned Fabrics . Carolyn Friedlander


+ The project layout pages can totally be used as coloring pages. Either make copies as needed, OR use tracing paper over the top of them (since the layouts are already shaded) to explore your color/fabric ideas!

+ If you’re stalling out over fabric/color ideas, I always just go with my gut. Pulling fabric for a new project is massively exciting, but it can easily get out of control and lead to project paralysis. Instead of getting overwhelmed, take a step back and think about what’s most exciting to you. Start there, you can always make changes and adapt as you move along.

+ If you’re new to appliqué, not to worry! It’s fun and shouldn’t be intimidating. Everything gets easier with practice, especially this. This project is also perfect for anyone just getting started. I won’t be going over the exact technique since it’s outlined in the pattern, but I do have some classes on Creative Bug that fully walk you through the process. Here’s a link to my classes on Creative Bug.

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16 Responses to WainwrightAL #1: The Pattern and The Plan.

  1. Lori February 15, 2018 at 11:16 pm #

    Thank you for the great pictures & fun quilt. I’m finding the points on one of the pieces is causing me grief. Any hints? Thank you

    • carolyn friedlander February 16, 2018 at 9:13 am #

      Hi, Lori! Great question! The inner points can be tricky for sure, but they really will get better and easier with practice, I promise. Probably the best resource I can share with you would be to check out my Appliqué Quilt Top class on Creative Bug (link here). There are tons of inner points in that project, which means you can really see how to work them. Hang in there, they will get easier!

  2. Angelina February 16, 2018 at 12:19 am #

    Very excited for this QAL, it will be my first!

    • carolyn friedlander February 16, 2018 at 9:14 am #

      Yay, I’m so glad you’ll be joining us!

  3. Tara February 16, 2018 at 3:37 am #

    My first along of anything, really excited!

    • carolyn friedlander February 16, 2018 at 9:14 am #

      Great! I’m so glad you’ll be joining in! 🙂

  4. Andrea February 16, 2018 at 10:14 am #

    Thank you for telling something about your inspiration for the pattern! I immediately fell in love with the big version of the quilt and would love making an exact copy, but I fear it would become a never ending project… So I will size it down to a pillow sham or a wall hanging quilt. As for the colors, I will concentrate on the blues, yellows, whites and black and maybe mix in a little green – like in the detail picture shown above.

    • carolyn friedlander February 16, 2018 at 6:11 pm #

      That sounds like a great plan! Can’t wait to see . 🙂

  5. Becca February 16, 2018 at 5:03 pm #

    I’m so excited to start this! It’s such a cool pattern and it seems like there are tons of options. I really love your two-fabric version. Thank you for your tips on fabric selection. I’ve got a few fabric ideas and I’m going to try to make some decisions this weekend. I have never done needle-turn applique but I think it’ll be fun!

    • carolyn friedlander February 16, 2018 at 6:11 pm #

      Awesome! You’ll do great! Like anything, it gets better and easier with practice. 🙂

  6. Kristen February 17, 2018 at 1:41 pm #

    I’m in! A beautiful, versatile pattern. I having been scouring my rather large?😲 fabric supply, but I kept coming back to your version with the new line. So, any reason is a good reason to order more fabric, so of course, that’s what I did. I just order fat quarter bundles of gleaned and the new architextures, but now I am wondering if I shouldn’t just throw in some of the coordinating solids while I am at it? While I absolutely love quilts with just a few fabrics, when I am the maker of the quilt, I tend to gravitate toward scrappy. I just love color and texture so much!

    • carolyn friedlander February 17, 2018 at 9:46 pm #

      Ooo, that’ll be lovely! I’m totally flattered that you liked my mix so much, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  7. Elly February 20, 2018 at 11:36 am #

    Hi Carolyn I am in as well. My fatquarter bundle of Gleaned has arrived and I have decided to add one light one of the Architure. Just one question…what is your preference about washing or not washing your fabric. I usually do not wash my fabric but not sure it if will help the appliqué. Looking forward to the QAL!

    • carolyn friedlander February 21, 2018 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Elly, great question! I generally do not prewash quilting cotton. Although I will usually prewash linens and other types of fabrics, as well as anything that might want to fray. Although I do not usually have problems with fraying, I find that pre-washing can help if that is ever the case. Hope that helps, and I’m glad you’re joining in!

  8. Linda February 27, 2018 at 7:42 pm #

    Wondering if you have considered asking Daylight
    Co for a discount coupon for your readers… 🙂

    • carolyn friedlander March 2, 2018 at 9:00 am #

      Thanks for the suggestion, Linda!

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