While at SewDown Nashville, I had the pleasure of a class with Carolyn Friedlander where she took us through a few blocks of her Aerial Quilt.


I like quilt block tutorials, but none of the few finished quilts I’ve made have come from purchased patterns. This will be the first, and I already have another Aerial Quilt planned. After that, I’ll probably make a few more. I LOVE THIS PATTERN.



It’s perfect for a jelly roll. Or leftover strip scraps. Or bigger pieces. Super convenient.

It’s paper piecing at it’s easiest. Long straight lines. Edge-to-edge. No tricky “will-this-fabric-end up-fitting?” moments. No complicated piecing order. The only thing you have to be careful of is not going so fast that you accidentally sew your next piece of fabric with the wrong side facing your work.

And despite the simplicity of the construction, at the end, you have a stunning design that’s really visually compelling (in my opinion). I think the design is fabric-friendly – I haven’t seen an Aerial block that I didn’t like, and people are using all kinds of fabrics: solids, florals, geometric, low volume, high volume. I dare you to try to pick something that looks bad. I used Carolyn’s Botanics line with some coordinating Robert Kaufman Kona strips – both from jelly rolls.

I’m not sure how I’ll quilt this yet. Carolyn had beautiful samples; one had large spirals or circles, one had straight line quilting. I think another had swirls and pebbles, but I can’t remember. Since I have at least two planned, I may try some swirls as well as some straight lines. We’ll see!


Also, I thought I’d mention that I’ve been struggling with hanging unfinished blocks and tops from my system because the bottom corners often insist on curling under. I like my hanging system and want to keep using it, but I don’t want to starch everything just to hang for a photo. Today I was desperate, and I just placed some batting (no pins, no adhesive) to the back of the offending corner. The batting served two purposes: it provided a little weight which made the whole piece hanging better and it kept the fabric from curling under on the corner. Yay!

I lifted a corner to try to show you what I did. (There’s also a little peek at Carolyn’s paper-piecing pattern.)

I’m trying to link up more often, so I’m going a little link-crazy this week.  Linking with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story Show and Tell Tuesday at i have to say, and the Paper Piecing Party at Quiiet Play


  1. Marly

    Beautifully striking pattern, especially in your limited range of colours. As you say you don’t usually follow patterns, now you’ve made this one, would you follow the pattern exactly next time, or would you go your own way?

    1. Daisy

      That’s a great question, Marly! I’ll follow each block exactly. But, the arrangement of the blocks into the final quilt top allows for some customization, and I enjoy that aspect of the pattern. You can also do your own thing with the sashing though I followed the pattern exactly with this. The next one I’m making is a gift for an engineer, so I plan to use some of the more colorful Botanics out of the same jelly roll, and mix in some of the Architextures from my stash that feel mathy or topographical.

  2. Vera

    That is really good looking. I see this pattern for the very first time and I really like it. Neat! I like your color choice.

  3. Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs

    I was going to say just tape a little weight to each corner, Daisy, but it looks like your super quick batting idea is perfect! I’m always a little jealous of that hanging system you have for shoots – so clean and modern and way fewer stray threads than my design wall : P I’m interested to see the variations you create with the block!

  4. Pingback: Finished: Aerial Quilt | Smiles Too Loudly

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