Quilter & Designer Carolyn Friedlander Stops By . . . Giveaway Today!

Screen shot 2014-01-26 at 2.31.49 PM
Projects made with the Botanics line of fabric.

1-Giveaway IconDo you notice that there are often underlying connections to the “things” that catch our eyes? By “things” I mean anything that makes an impression on us—images, people, events, the whole gamut. As a kid those relationships always surprised me, and now, I embrace and enjoy them. Thus, today, revelation is my theme, and here’s the spin:

Lately, I’ve been mesmerized by fabrics with very simple pattern designs that are almost Japanese-like. (I featured Yoko Saito a few months ago—her prints are a good example of this style.) The first tantalizer showed up in the last year or so in a line of quasi-architectural fabrics. There was a crosshatched white-on-white print that I invested in heavily and deployed in virtually every recent quilt I’ve made that called for whites. The other fabrics in the line were just as wonderful, but the white was/is my go-to.

Fabric-J:  Carolyn Friedlander's fabrics
Botanics fabric line with samples of Architextures as well.

Book-J:  Modern Baby featuring Carolyn Friedlander's tree quilt

Then, there was a baby quilt featured in a That Patchwork Place/Martingale & Company catalog that caught my eye. It featured a forest of spindly white trees set in fresh-green prints and solids—a unique, modern, and supremely cool take on baby bedding.

Pattern-J:  Carolyn Friedlander
“Tiny Textured Trees” quilt pattern from the “Modern Baby” compilation, That Patchwork Place.

In the post-holiday lull, I found more minimalist fabric at my local quilt shop. This time, it was multi-tonal stripes + subtle prints that lured me. I’m a total sucker for neutral striped prints with tight, hand-drawn lines, and that’s exactly the print I found. Better yet, this one also had a subtle touch of color. Oh yeah, the next print had renderings of bare trees in a quiet, neutral palette. So delicious!

Last clue:  I repeatedly picked up the quilt patterns of one particular new designer displayed at my local quilt shops. Hmm, there was something about her style that kept ringing my bell.

Quilt-J: Focal quilt by Carolyn Friedlander
Focal quilt pattern by Carolyn Friedlander.

What a hoot when I realized that all these discoveries had one designer in common:  Carolyn Friedlander, a young, hip, and energizing new light in our quilting universe. Carolyn visits us today and shares a bit about her quilting life AND she’s sponsoring a giveaway! (Details at the end of the post.)

Quilter-J:  Carolyn Friedlander

A Fresh & New Perspective

Wow Carolyn, you just started quilting in 2009, and here you are, five years later, a triple threat:  you’ve created prize-winning quilts; designed and sold fabric lines with the Robert Kaufman company; and you’re expanding into patterns and notions like quilt stamps. What was it about making quilts that struck such a chord with you?

I’ve always loved making things and being creative. I grew up on a farm around creative folks including plenty of women who made things (Mom made my clothes growing up) and a family business. I never imagined starting my own business, but I always knew I wanted to live a creative and productive life. I was enticed by quilting after finishing college, because I saw my mom doing free motion quilting, and I finally had some free time on my hands without having school to worry about. To me the quilting looked like drawing with a sewing machine, which was awesome. I could instantly see how quilting could merge my love of making, creative stuff, and my design background. I was hooked instantly.

Do you come from quilters and crafters or are you the cuckoo in the family nest?

Oh yeah, so the people in my family are creative in all types of ways. Like I mentioned, my mom has sewn her whole life, and many of the women on both sides of my family have roots in various forms of making. My dad is a rancher and citrus grower, which I think requires plenty of creativity, and my brother and sister are both very artistic as well.

With your first fabric line, Architextures, you used your “sweet spot,” your architectural training, as a starting point and the renderings are so spot-on.  Where do you think inspiration will take you next?

I can only hope to continue to be inspired by the things around me and to be able to convey who I am through my work so that others can do the same.

Dates & Places-J:  Carolyn Friedlander's booth
A peek at Carolyn’s market booth featuring her new quilt pattern, “Focal” on the left.

What’s important to you as a quilter/designer?

My goal as a designer is to stay engaged and connected to the quilting itself. I love being connected to the making as well as being challenged by it. I also like creating work that is personal and still very usable for others. It is always a compliment to see others using my work as tools for expressing themselves.

Will you be attending quilting events across the country this year?

I am scheduling more and more travel this year and even into 2015. Recent and upcoming highlights include more travels to new shops in Florida, Salt Lake City earlier this month, and I’m really excited about teaching at the SewDown in Nashville this spring. It is shaping up to be a fun and very full year!

Dates & Places-J:  Carolyn Friedlander's booth
Detail view of Carolyn’s designs displayed at her market booth.

What’s coming up for you?  Where would you like to see your quilting business in two to five years?

I’m really excited about my very first book that will be released this summer published by Lucky Spool Media.

Giveaway Details

Carolyn is sharing a copy of her new quilt pattern “Focal” and a mini charm pack of her “Botanics” line with one of our readers! There’s nothing like the chance to win FABRIC to stir a bit of excitement at SHWS–we love our fabric!

To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment answering this question:  What’s better:  crisp new fabric or chocolate? That’s a toughie depending on day of week/state of mind . . . leave a comment by Thursday, January 30 and I will announce the winner in my Friday post on the 31st.

Thank you Carolyn!  Keep on dazzling us with your beautiful fabrics and patterns!



82 thoughts on “Quilter & Designer Carolyn Friedlander Stops By . . . Giveaway Today!

  1. That is a toss up, maybe flip a coin. But I would have to leave the chocolate for the fabric as I would not want to get it on the beautiful crisp fabric.


  2. Hmm, this is a tough choice given I love both. Fabric is calorie free, but chocolate is equally addictive. I agree with LaVerne, we should have both! 🙂


  3. well isn’t it funny you ask that?! yesterday while sewing a white dress shirt for hubby I ate a chocolate mini and got a smudge on the collar of the shirt. I just laughed and thought ok.. no chocolate while sewing. esp whites! too funny!!!

    love reading about newer quilters. such fresh new ideas! thanks for the giveaway!! ❤


    1. oops forgot to answer your question. i have to say fabric over chocolate until I can eat the chocolate without putting it on my fabric! LOL


  4. The fabric, for sure! While the chocolate may taste good, it’ll be gone and forgotten in seconds. The fabric will be caressable forever!


  5. Beautiful crisp fabric would be my first choice, then I would pet and caress the fabric and dream of things to make while having a piece of dark chocolate with a glass of wine. Oh, I can have both if I choose ! Thanks for the chance. Much success for many years to come.


  6. I am a serious chocoholic, but fabric lasts longer and it’s easier on the waistline, so I have to say fabric. I love Carol’s collection. Thanks for the chance to win!


  7. I loved Carolyn’s first line but found it too late and didn’t order enough of it when I did. Sigh. Anywho, thanks for the opportunity of a giveaway crisp new fabric over chocolate for so many reasons!


  8. While I’d never pass up a good piece of dark chocolate, I’d have to say crisp fabric! …especially in a multitude of bright colors…and the feel of the texture! It just fills up a soul for hours!


  9. What a hard choice!! But I think I’ll go with the crisp fabric as I can spend days touching, staring and just enjoying it. The chocolate I’ll just devour :-).


    1. Hello LaVerne, Of course you can have both–I just needed a question to get the comments flying. We should never have to choose, but it looks like “crisp” new fabric wins out over chocolate. Absolutely, we’d give up the calories for more pretty fabric! Love all the comments–our SHWS readers are wonderful! You rule!


  10. I love lemon better than chocolate any day. And yellow, lemon, gold are my favorite fabrics — crisp, of course. The fabrics are beautiful and I’m entranced with Carolyn’s designs.


  11. I’d have to say “Crisp fabric”!! The look, touch, feel sensations last a lot longer than any piece of chocolate. Thank you for the interview with Carolyn. I love the colors featured in her fabrics and the simple line drawings.


  12. Definitely crisp new fabric but it doesn’t add pounds to my body but sends magic ideas to my mind. Of course a small piece of very dark chocolate is great while quilting!


  13. I thought I’d be more of an outlier in choosing fabric, but I guess not! I love the “Architextures” line and I’m delighted to know more about the designer – what a talent!


  14. What a choice! I will go with fabric but only because I went wild with the chocolate at Christmas. Plus there are no calories in fabric. In fact, I think you actually burn calories with fabric (lugging it to the cutting table, stashing it away in the sewing room).


  15. today i would say a crisp new fabric is better than chocolate (gasp!) but that’s because i just came back from road to california and was on eye candy overload. thnx SO much for the giveaway.


  16. I would love to say the fabric, but I’m too addicted to chocolate. However, I love Carolyn’s colorful and simple, fresh designs. I hope they show up in a shop close to home.


  17. Crisp new fabric. You can wear it anywhere, not just on your hips. I get a lasting charge from new fabric. What I really like is the dense geometric quilting I’m seeing in Carolyn’s work. Next to crisp new fabric I like texture that quilting creates.


  18. Crisp, new fabric makes it for me, though chocolate (very dark!) is a close second. I LOVE Carolyn Friedlander’s style, and yesterday I received a charm pack and some yardage of her Botanics line – it is even better in person than I’d expected – WOW. I hope I win, as I am crazy about all things Friedlander!


  19. The deliciousness of chocolate only lasts for a minute or two, but crisp fabrice can last for such a long time, and give such pleasure and enjoyment.


  20. No contest…it would be fabric. It can be fondled and cuddled for a long time whereas chocolate lasts a few seconds. Thanks for hosting this giveaway.


  21. That’s like asking which came first the chicken or the egg! The fabric would win out, but even better together. You can make so many great things with either.


  22. Oh, fabric wins, without a doubt!!
    (Its delights last SO much longer, too!)
    Speaking of delights, thank you, Jennifer, for introducing Carolyn Friedlander!! I love what I’m seeing of her work, and am looking forward to her new book!
    in Michigan


  23. Yumm. Dark chocolate with sea salt, chocolate with raisins, chocolate with hot spice, Dutch chocolate, Swiss chocolate, chocolate covered nuts, the list is endless. I love it all but once it’s gone in my tummy it’s gone. Fabric is there forever, to be touched and caressed : ) , to be admired in its simplicity or in a special creation. Side by side I would pick fabric although my chose would be difficult because I love them both.

    I am sorry missed Carolyns’ trunk show in Salt Lake City by days. It would have been lovely to have seen her work in person.


  24. Wow! Crisp new fabric seems to dominate the posts. It’s permanent and not fleeting like chocolate. I recently took a chocolate tasting tour and was disappointed to discover that for me once I tasted very dark chocolate it clouded my palate making it difficult to taste the subtle nuiances of further tastings. So fabric wins! It’s life is longer and more enjoyable.


  25. Crisp, new fabric tops chocolate any day or time! Plus there are no ill effects from fabric. Fabric wins every time. I am also in love with Carolyn Friedlander’s fabrics and quilt patterns. I will look forward to what comes out of her creative mind!


  26. Ha ha! Crisp fabric any day of the week or any mood! So loved reading about Jennifer’s interconnections and the introduction to Carolyn Friedlander. I love that young folks are able to make a career out of the many facets of quilting. I wish you continued success, Carolyn!


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