Now that my Instead fabric collection is shipping to stores, I thought I’d take a little time to share more with you about my Arlo quilt pattern. This project was hard to keep under wraps at the time, because I was so delighted at each stage to see it come together.
I’d been wanting to play around with the classic hexagon for awhile, and this project is the result of that.
I always say this, but it’s so true–my favorite patterns are the ones where you can do a million things with them. Rather than having a design that only works in a few ways, I love it when a design lends itself to changes in fabric, color, block orientation, and/or the quilting. It’s always amazing and exciting to me when you can totally change up the look, although this gets me into trouble because I end up making multiple versions of many of my projects. I can’t help it!
Arlo is definitely a design that can take on some different looks. In this first version, I used all of my newest Instead fabrics and the coordinating solids. The coordinating solids are a super-textured mix of Essex linen, yarn-dyed linen and even a metallic linen. I thought this rich mix of texture compliments the dark palette of the collection in a really good way.
The pattern works well with fat quarters, which is what I used here. First, I organized my stack of fabrics in to a pleasing order. I knew I wanted some color organization to this project, and to start it off with some clarity would help me achieve those results. Then I cut the shapes from each of the fabrics and stacked them up. (PS, I discovered that this shoe bin from Target holds the cut shapes nicely!)
After everything was cut, I started sewing the shapes together by pulling from the stack. Again, I knew that working this way would help me achieve some of the color order that I wanted. I also knew that once I had my hexagons sewn together it would be easy at that stage to nail down the layout.
The layout was SO much fun! (Does anyone else look forward to laying out the blocks for the first time? I think it’s such a treat.) I used all of the different block options but oriented them to slant in a similar way across the quilt. I think that the repetition of the colors through different shapes plays in an interesting way across the quilt.
After getting a layout that worked for me, I finished sewing the top together, and then I used big stitch hand quilting to finish it off. I like how the texture of the quilting threads and of the hand quilting give it a really nice feel.
I like seeing the colors of the threads pop, and I like the contrast in the fabrics. The printed pieces from the collection next to the textured linens keep it interesting. I always think about how the quilt will lay on your lap, and this one especially gives you many different things to notice and see each time you settle in with it.
This pattern can be sewn together in several ways depending on your preference. For this one, I chose to machine piece the top and then to hand quilt it. You could also hand piece the blocks OR English paper piece (EPP) them as well. Instructions for each option are outlined in the pattern, and there’s a printable EPP page so you can work from your preferred template papers.
All templates for the blocks are included in the pattern, but I also have 2 acrylic template sets to offer as well. One set includes a 1/4″ seam allowance and the other set includes a 3/8″ seam allowance. Choose your preference based on what you’re most comfortable with. Since I was machine sewing mine, I used the 1/4″ seam allowance, but maybe you like hand piecing and you’re comfortable with 3/8″–you can use that too.
Each template is made from sturdy acrylic and features printed lines and drilled holes so you can cut and mark from them at the same time. (Stay tuned for another post that I have planned on how I like to use the templates.)
There we have it–my new Arlo Quilt pattern.
I’ve mentioned the possibility of doing an Arlo Quilt Along, but I’m curious–what do you think? I was hoping I’d be able to squeeze it in this August/September, but I’m going to have to push it back a little farther. Would you be game? What would you like to see during this quilt along? Leave any feedback in a comment below or in an email to me – info(at)carolynfriedlander(dot)com. I always appreciate hearing from you!
Pattern: Arlo Quilt Pattern
Fabrics: Instead and Instead coordinating solids (Note: I’ve been seeing many stores receiving these fabrics recently. If you’re looking for some options, I find google to be the easiest way to do that. Here’s a google search that I did. I hope that’s helpful!)