When Rita from Fabric Please contacted me last month about doing a project for a giveaway, I jumped at the chance to do something with Carolyn Friedlander’s new fabric line, Carkai. Let’s be up front here: Carolyn Friedlander is the bomb. She’s hit it out of the park with Carkai, following on the raging success of her previous lines Doe, Architextures, and Botanics. They’re all printed on Robert Kaufman substrate, so they’re of fabulous quality, and her lines are interrelated, incorporating the same bold color story and playing on the boundary between organic and industrial.
Where Botanics incorporated flowers and Architextures ledgers and grids, Carkai is inspired by bones: their abstract, weird-looking shapes. Once again, her prints mix organic, free-flowing shapes (the bones) with more graphic and geometrical elements. With this in mind, I wanted to design a project that would involve both the more free-flowing and natural elements of improv and the more technical/mechanical aspects of quilting. Here’s what I came up with:
To make the pillow, first I improv pieced the center panel that goes inside the circle. I used teeny tiny strips of the orange (from the Architextures line) to highlight each of the seams between the different prints. Once I had a few wonky rectangles sewn together in a grid-like rectangle, I slashed it diagonally and inserted the larger print. The slight imperfections made it fit right in with the surface design on the fabric.
But then I needed the precision of classic geometry. I did a “six minute circle” technique using freezer paper, a glue stick, and my zipper foot. (Check out the link if you haven’t made one yet. It’s actually really straightforward and deceptively easy!) I loved the contrast of the whites, blues, and oranges on the cream and black of the background.
Once I pieced the circle, I added a square of batting and quilted the front of the pillow. There was already a lot going on what with the inset seams and the wonkiness and the fabric design and the circle, so I opted not to quilt the center of the circle at all. I used black thread on the background, extending some of the lines and motifs from the circle’s center designs. It’s hard to see unless you’re right up close, but I think that’s okay. Then I added some more of the orange for the back, and voila! A super modern 18″ pillow.
But do you want to know what’s even BETTER? In addition to this post, Fabric Please is sponsoring a custom Carkai bundle giveaway: five fat quarters, all for you! These are all the babies I used in my pillow design. Want to enter to win? Here are the rules:
- One winner will receive a bundle of five Carkai prints (shown below).
- One entry per person, please. Entries will be counted from Thursday, February 11 through 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, February 15. To enter, simply leave a comment below stating what you might do with the fabric. The winner will be chosen at random and informed by email within 24 hours of the closing date and must respond within 24 hours to claim their prize.
- The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This is a giveaway by Fabric Please. The giveaway is open to US/Canadian residents aged 18 or over. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary.
This post is brought to you by Fabric Please! In exchange for this blog post, Fabric Please compensated me and provided me with fabric for my project.
P. S. If you liked this post, you'll love the Wordcraft + Right Sides Together newsletter. Get weekly blog posts and craft writing tips delivered right to your inbox! Sign up here.