Today, I’m finally able to tell you about my newest collection with Robert Kaufman, meet Friedlander fabric.
Yes, that’s right. I got super creative with the name, but maybe not exactly in the way you’re thinking.
But really, this is a special collection that’s feeling pretty personal in many ways. To be fair, all of my collections have felt personal, so personal that there has not been one release that I haven’t been on edge going into it. Not a huge distinction, but worth saying.
Ok, let’s take a few steps back, because there were many steps that got me to Friedlander.
First thing is that I have this thing with trees. In fact, I’m kind of a tree hoarder…if that’s possible. Since getting my house almost 3 years ago, I’ve planted at least 50 trees on the property.
I know, sounds a little extreme. (Maybe it is?) We could also blame my sister who is a landscape architect…
Her opinions aside, I don’t think it’s too extreme, because I think the property really needs them, and I’ve spent the last 3 years dreaming about what these trees will look like as they get older and bigger. In doing that, it means I’ve been paying waaay more attention to trees in general. I’ve been scoping out their various shapes, types, levels of upkeep…or non-upkeep. It’s been fun admiring something that I’ve always admired but with a newfound reason.
In my constant tree gazing, I’ve noticed many things. One of my favorite things is the way different things can shape them–be it us, animals, the environment–it all plays in to not only the trees, but to how they look and what they can do.
The huge oaks in all of the pastures around me are just one of my (many) tree obsessions. After many years, they can get huge and full of incredible character. They can be perfect, yes, but they can also have these crazy-twisting trunks and low, forever-reaching limbs. Their presence shapes the landscape in a way that feels both grand and comforting.
Around here many oaks are covered in Spanish moss, which softens the look of them and the way the light comes through. It can also make their details more of a mystery, which is why seeing oaks in places without the moss seems dramatically different.
So there’s that, but there’s also this really cool thing that happens to oak trees (and most any other tree) in the pasture. The cows graze their leaves, resulting in an almost perfectly horizontal band of nothing green from the ground to cow-mouth-height, which averages out to a very even line. From afar, this line is pretty striking, and what’s even better is how clearly you can see the limbs and trunks below that line in their twisted, crazy-shaped glory. It’s the perfect contrast in opposites.
In admiring this, my interest is in the natural being at odds with the interference, and ultimately, it had me thinking about the impact we have on everything around us. How the cows can impact the look of the landscape, how I’m impacting the landscape in my immediate yard…it goes on.
I never knew my paternal grandfather, but he’s the one responsible for the cattle ranch and citrus groves that I grew up around. He started all of it, and I’ve often thought of what I know about him through the world he shaped, through the world I’ve always seen.
The trees that I’ve planted are tiny, they’re growing, but they were so tiny when I planted them. It may be 50 years before any of them grow into the character that I’ve dreamed for them, and who’s to say where I’ll be when that happens. Yes, I could certainly be here, in the same place and enjoying the trees and their shade, or there could be someone else in my place, and (I hope) they’d be enjoying them. I can only hope that their legacy impacts someone else in the way that the landscape of my grandfather has impacted me.
So really, this line is in many ways a tribute to him. Friedlander is a name, it’s his name. It’s my name too. But this collection isn’t just about him or me. It’s about the marks we all make.
In choosing to be makers, we’re all making our own marks, which I think is pretty great. It’s inspiring in fact.
That’s what this collection is about. It’s about all of us shaping the world around us and leaving our own marks in whatever way that may be.
I always say that I can’t wait to see what you make, and I mean it. With each thing I release, I feel like I’m just passing the baton. I’m waiting to see how you continue the story.
Happy mark making and world shaping, because that’s what this is all about.
Ok, now we’ll switch to the practical details, here we go.
+ First, there are 25 pieces on quilting cotton. Yay! Color, line, and texture inspired by mark making and world shaping. Always a fan of less guidance of the specifics, I’ll leave it at that and wait to hear what you think each of them is and means…
+ Second, I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce 12 pieces on cotton lawn! Are you familiar with the Robert Kaufman lawn? It’s ridiculously amazing and perfect not only for garments (think the makings of your favorite blouse), but for quilts too. You’ll want to swaddle yourself in some lawn ASAP. Trust me.
+ Next, as far as patterns go, I have four newbies releasing this fall–3 of which are previewed with the fabric release (and visually referenced here…more specifics later), and 1 that will stay a surprise until Quilt Market next month. I’m really excited about all of the new stuff.
Oh, and there is more that I’ve been working on, but you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out.
Dawn Voegeli says
So beautiful! Cannot wait to get my hands on it!
Kim Johnson says
So excited for the new line, patterns and hanging out with you next week!!
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new line!! And especially love knowing what inspires you….I can think about that when using the fabric to make a quilt, etc.
Emily C. says
My husband and I planted an oak tree at our old house. It was a tiny lot, so it was a tight fit! Every time I drive by I always check to see if the tree is still there. It’s amazing to see how big it’s gotten!
Our current yard is bigger but already has three huge shade trees (luckily one is an oak!). So unfortunately we don’t have space to plant something else, but at least we get to enjoy the trees we have.
Love your new line, and am looking forward to sewing with it!
I do that too with our old house! It even got me pretty upset when the new owners removed all vegetation from the front yard so that they could park their cars. Of course it is their business, and I probably shouldn’t feel sad, but I did. Suddenly it also didn’t feel as much like ‘that was our home once’ anymore :).
Elizabeth Illing says
Completely understand how you feel Anne. So much creative thought goes into gardens, even with tree and shrub arrangement. This happened to me as well. Not only did they remove the plants, they removed and sold the river rock ( one ton which I hauled and placed myself). They also left the landscape cloth in place which is so stunning with weeds growing through.
We just have to let it go and focus on our new gardens designs. Enjoy yours.
I just love your fabrics! The colors so awesome! You are one of my favorite fabric designers! I even have a Carolyn Friedlander stash in my stash :). Can’t wait to add some of the new line to it.
Oh goodness, this looks so lush and beautiful. I am currently working with some beautiful Euclid and was just thinking nothing could beat it and then you publish another collection! With lawn! I cannot wait…!
Any idea when this collection will be in shops?!
This collection is completely beautiful Carolyn (I would go so far as to say best yet!), and I loved reading about the story behind it. You are really leaving a mark with your work (and your trees!)
I’m so stoked about Friedlander, Carolyn! (Get ready for your surname to be *everywhere*.) Thanks for the constant inspiration!
You might need a cow for all those trees before too long. 😉
The fabrics are gorgeous!
Nicole Shepherd says
Totally freaking out over here about the addition of apparel fabrics. Take all my money!
Love everything about your new line– So inspiring!! Can’t wait for the new year already!
Emily Hedrick says
Just lovely!! Thanks for all the great design! Can’t wait.
Patti A. says
I have always had a thing for big old trees. When my saint of a Mother-in-law passed my husband’s boss gave us a tree to plant in our front yard as a tribute to her. Over the years it has been so wonderful to watch it grow and change with the seasons. Enjoyed your background. Thanks for the wonderful line.
Love the colors, the sketching, the quilts. So happy to have these fabrics in lawn. As always, you have suck a unique and inspiring style.
When we bought our property 30 years ago we bought a field. We began buying 5 cent trees from the ministry of the Environment and planted 1500 trees thinking many would succumb to animal nibblings and the vagaries of weather. Lo and behold all these years later most of those trees survived. They’re reseeding themselves and we actually chop some down to open up views and supply us with a Christmas tree or firewood. We find it hard to believe we could see the road from the house all those years ago. We were recently having chimney work done and my husband climbed the scaffolding to take an Ariel view of the property as he had done 27 years ago when we built our home. All he could see was tree tops. All this to say your plantings will be large before you know it and you’re so right they alter the landscape in wonderful and marvellous ways. Oh, and I looove this new line as I’ve love each of your offerings. Thank you.
Peggy Beaman says
They are beautiful and I can’t wait to meet them in person! I’m hanging onto (aka hoarding) some Doe and Botanics. I’ve designed a few quilts in my head with some out of print Botanics (AFR-14262-4_) so I’m hoping some of these new prints will substitute well.
Congratulations Carolyn on another fabulous fabric line! I appreciate you sharing the story and inspiration behind the designs. Can’t wait to get my hands on your newest collection.
ah! you’re killing me! It’s amazing. Love your story so much! I worked at an apple orchard for a few years during college and I agree, so much inspiration. 🙂
Looks fantastic old friend. Thrilled for you.
Daryl Aitken says
thoughtful and beautiful, I’m excited to see the whole thing in person and to see what you do with it. Congratulations.
Daryl Aitken says
I meant to also say that we have a little place by a lake and the trees are all always trimmed to deer height, the level of branch they can reach while feeding from the ice when the lake freezes in winter. They’re excellent arborists – very consistent.
carolyn friedlander says
I love that!
Debbie Gill says
Omg amazing!!!!love this – waiting until January is going to be so hard!!! Love the name and why you chose it. Well Done!!
ana conceicao says
I love that you mention making marks!!!! That is so important, and a huge part of being a maker. This collection already has a place in my studio, can’t wait until its arrival. I have always viewed fabric as a tool in my making, and since you first collection your designs are my go to fabrics, over and over again. Thank you for making your marks, and sharing them with us.
Suzy Williams says
What a fantastic collection! I kept try to zoom into the photos on my cell phone, but instead I just dropped it on my head twice! Haha! Can’t wait to quilt with these 🙂
Daniela @ blockMquilts says
Carolyn, you have once again designed a beautiful fabric line! I’m an architect myself and absolutely love all your fabrics!
I’m catching up on several weeks’ worth of your posts, and am inspired to comment (rather inarticulately), ‘wow.’ Whether fabric design, quilt design, quilt and sewing execution, hand-work or machine-work, the quality, complexity and quietness of your art are exquisite.
Alexou Q says
I can’t wait to make a quilt with this beautiful collection! And curios about your other surprise;-) “Savor each stitch vol.2” would be wonderful Carolyn!
Ida Lawson says
Beautiful fabric as always! I’m so excited about this new collection and the new patterns!
Anja @ Anja Quilts says
Can’t wait to get my hands on some of this. Thanks for sharing the story of how you decided on the name. Congratulations.
It’s beautiful – you have such a gift, Carolyn. Thanks for using it to design fabric for the rest of us!
I couldn’t agree more about the trees. Your Grandfather would be proud to know that you see his vision. What would he say if he could see his trees today?
Inspiring? Definitely! I love the structure and texture in your quilts and fabrics. Love the organic shapes in this line, too!
Rachel at Stitched in Color says
Congratulations! What a special way to honor your grandfather. The new line looks fabulous – especially those greens! I will look forward to working with it!!
I’m SUCH a huge fan of your designs. Not exaggerating, yours is the only fabric I’ve ever felt moved to buy in yards “just in case” (rather than holding off on buying until I have a specific purpose in mind) because it is so beautiful. I can’t wait to see more of the new stuff. Fantastic work.
50 trees?! I better get on my game. It’s springtime here and we just got about 10 in the ground. Let’s hear it for tree inspiration! Beautiful collection, as always, congratulations.
What a nice way to honor your name! We have about 20 trees on our property so far…
I am familiar with RK lawns and this line will bring me closer to them! I can’t wait to feel all up on it soon!
Elizabeth Illing says
I finally found your collection shown here at a shop in Hamilton, Ontario. Thought it was Japanese bc of the small details. It is so unique and I love your choice to honour your grandfather and heritage with these designs. Purchased two fabrics from this collection, including the mint green. The shop did not have the deeper green to coordinate. Will use the greens to make a long summer dress with an invert pleat. Hope to find the deeper green and the red sketches online. If I find the reds, I will make a duvet cover and shams. Thank you so much.
Your new collection is gorgeous! Since I ‘found’ you, I’ve been in awe of your collections..they are an inspiration! On an ecological note, we’ve planted 27 trees here, since we moved from ‘paradise’… Florida! I think my husband thought I’d overdone it on greenery down there. I’ll just plant where I am. (PS.Love Bok Tower!) -Jean