Designer Tidbits: Carolyn Friedlander - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Designer Tidbits: Carolyn Friedlander

Hi everyone! Carolyn Friedlander is back on the Jolly Jabber with her new collection for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, Doe! We just adore Carolyn, and her background in architecture has helped her develop her own modern and clean aesthetic for which we’ve come to know her. The Doe collection is an accumulation of her favorite colors and prints over the past few years of her quilting career. Read on to learn more! 

Q: Tell us about the Doe collection. What were you inspired by? 
Carolyn: Doe is my third collection with Robert Kaufman, and I had so much fun putting it together! My favorite thing about the collection is that it’s a bit of a mash up. Mixing prints and textures is one of my favorite things to do, as well as finding beauty in things that may not be perfect, and so this collection sets out to capture that. The designs are inspired by a mix of things that have worked their way into my life and mind over the last couple of years, including (but not limited to) my quilt pattern wok, my new (old) house that I’ve been fixing up, and my forever love of grids, clean lines, and structure against the reality of what is hand drawn. 

Q: How do you describe your style and how has it evolved over the years? 
Carolyn: I would say that my style still sticks to utility as well as a connection to the human hand. I think that I’m always finding inspiration in my surroundings, but I’ve noticed over the years that how I interpret them changes as I explore and get comfortable with new tools and different techniques. 

In terms of color, I definitely have favorites that I will always want to use and can’t get away from, but it’s also been fun to fall into different color moods over time where certain shades are all that I can think about. Recently, I’ve been drawn to browns, caramels, and creams. 

Q: What is the best part about being a designer? 
Carolyn: I’m so grateful to be able to design, and I absolutely love doing it! There are so many things that I love about it – from creating initial concepts, to sewing with it for the first time. But one of my favorite parts is seeing what other people do with my designs. I always think of my designs as tools that folks can use to make the things that they want to make and that will express who they are. Seeing how they use my fabrics and patterns to create work that they are most inspired to make is something that I really look forward to. 

Outhouse Quilt

Q: What is your favorite project you’ve made with the Doe collection? 
Carolyn: It’s always so much fun sewing with a new collection! I find that I learn the most about the collection by actually using it. All of my new patterns (Outhouse, the Nest Egg Tote, and Catenary) were fun ways that I explored the collection. Catenary was especially fun for finding ways to mix and match many of the prints.

Nest Egg Tote

Most recently, I’ve had fun mixing Doe with my other collections – Architextures and Botanics. I just finished a Nest Egg tote that uses all of my collections, and I even worked in an appliqué block from one of my other patterns, Alturas

Catenary Quilt

Q: If you could marry a technology, what would it be?
Carolyn: Marry a technology… that’s a tough one! While I love technology, I also love getting away from it and doing stuff that just feels real, which is why I like to sew so much. I know that we all spend big chunks of time in front of screens, and so any break from that is something that I really appreciate. 

I do love that technology affords us such great opportunities to share what we are working on. Without instagram and blogs, I wouldn’t be able to see all the great things that folks are making, and for that, I am grateful.