Friday, December 12, 2014

Scattered Wheat

Tis the season of projects we can't share on our blogs. The afghan is out of the bag, but there are two more endeavors in the making. I'm really excited about them and how they are coming together, but enough of hints! I still remember my best friend Haley looking me in the eye my senior year during jewelry class and saying, "There's something I can't tell you." Gah! Well then don't. Because now I REALLY REALLY want to know!!

minimalist modern buckwheat quilt | Lovely and Enough

This project is not a secret, though! It began a couple summers ago as I forayed into modern twists on traditional blocks. I even quilted it back then. The binding just took another year and a half coming. Ha! Can anyone relate?

Now that it's done, it's hanging right in front of my desk at school. It is the first piece of artwork up, and the zen feel helps me keep going when my literature searches feel fruitless. That and calls to my PhD mom. (Thanks, Mom.)

I've been drooling over a couple new quilters lately. Tara's gorgeous style, hipster beanies, and classic quilts over at Rad and Happy have got me dreaming up new projects. And Lindsay Stead's impeccable taste and reserve in modern and heirloom quilt design make me want to throw out all my prints and work purely with solid duos. With them in mind, I've returned to some of my more minimalist projects, and that's where I'm heading next.

Do you have any secret holiday projects? I promise if you tell me, I can keep a secret. The lucky person receiving your gift isn't likely to read the comments on my blog either! This is a safe place. Get it off your chest.

minimalist modern buckwheat quilt | Lovely and Enough

minimalist modern buckwheat quilt | Lovely and Enough

minimalist modern buckwheat quilt | Lovely and Enough

minimalist modern buckwheat quilt | Lovely and Enough

minimalist modern buckwheat quilt | Lovely and Enough

minimalist modern buckwheat quilt | Lovely and Enough

If you're looking for finished project inspiration to keep you sewing as Christmas rapidly approaches, you can find more with Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

An Afghan for a Graduation


Climbing into leggings and my favorite sweatshirt, I brewed hot chocolate in my red mug and tucked toes into cozy slippers. It's been a go go go kind of week, (and it's not going to slow down any time soon) but I had such a meditative Sabbath weekend that I feel as if I can tackle any mountain of papers, presentations, and take home finals.

classic dark grey knitted hourglass throw | by Lovely and Enough

The temperature dropped this weekend, and out of no where I felt like knitting. Now, I knew that I didn't knit in the summer and that I was more productive on the hat-and-blanket scale when days turned cold, but I didn't realize it was such a gut feeling. All of the sudden, I longed to snuggle into a chair and while away hours with Netlfix and bamboo needles. Good news for me: there was a project awaiting the return of my intrepid fingers that had been stranded the other side of summer. My sister's long-awaited afghan. I say long-awaited because I began working on it five months before her high school graduation, and she is now a sophomore in college. Better late than never, it arrived in her open arms over Thanksgiving.

classic dark grey knitted hourglass throw | by Lovely and Enough

classic dark grey knitted hourglass throw | by Lovely and Enough

I worked from Brooklyn Tweed's Hourglass Throw pattern, and I am thrilled with the results. In soft dark grey heathered yarn, it is a timeless pattern and style that will be an heirloom for future generations. Now if only I had the patience and time to make another for myself!

Have you pulled out any knitting projects as holidays loom?

classic dark grey knitted hourglass throw | by Lovely and Enough

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Experiment One: Paper-piecing

This is the first of my mini quilt experiments. With the shop open, I feel some freedom to try out new styles and techniques, to branch out and play around, so I'm embarking on a set of little trials.

Number one: Paper piecing.

bright and modern paper-pieced gem | by Lovely and Enough


Now, paper-piecing is partly for the perfectionist and partly not at all. Crisp lines: yes. Efficient use of fabric: no. Cutting wonky oversized scraps is not for the Dutch or the stingy at heart, but the results are glorious! Straight lines, matching corners, lovely shapes and geometries. My heart is happy with the quilty results. And Sarah Rose's pattern was such a fun one to begin my adventure with.

Have you tried paper piecing before? What are your favorite modern paper-pieced blocks? 

bright and modern paper-pieced gem | by Lovely and Enough

bright and modern paper-pieced gem | by Lovely and Enough

bright and modern paper-pieced gem | by Lovely and Enough

bright and modern paper-pieced gem | by Lovely and Enough

Linking up to WIP Wednesday with Lee over at Freshly Pieced.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Community and a Coral Quilt

I know it's only November, but I think I know my New Year's Resolution for 2015:

go to Modern Quilt Guild meetings

This past week I was invited to sew with some ladies from church. Now, I've never sewn with people before, so I didn't know what to expect. Usually it's just me and the characters of my favorite TV show with Mom and boyfriend on call for design advice. But with phone dead and a warm house on the north side of Raleigh beckoning me, I decided to try it, community sewing.

Guys, it was amazing. I had so much fun chatting as we worked, seeing their projects, and stitching side by side. We had Hallmark Christmas movies on the telly and chips and guac on the counter. In wool socks, leggings, and a comfy sweater, I felt so welcomed and at home. I knocked out cutting, design decisions, and piecing in one night, and I'm really looking forward to going back!

This leads me to my New Year's resolution. I've been meaning to go to a MQG meeting for so long. My hometown MQG even meets at my favorite local quilt shop, Pink Castle. I guess it just took an extra little push from God and my church family. Well, hooray, push received! I even looked up the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild and got excited to meet some of the ladies, such as Daisy at Ants to Sugar and Nicole at Mama Love Quilts. Eek! So excited!! TMQG here I come!

modern mint and coral aztec quilt top | by Lovely and Enough

modern mint and coral aztec quilt top | by Lovely and Enough

modern mint and coral aztec quilt top taped to wall | by Lovely and Enough

folded modern mint and coral aztec quilt top | by Lovely and Enough

edges of pieced modern mint and coral aztec quilt top | by Lovely and Enough

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Settling and Sitting | rice pack time

As I've settle into life as a graduate student, I've done just that: settled. No more dancing for a couple hours in the evening or walking to and from classes, hiking to the dining hall for meals or going on evening strolls with my friends. I just sit. I sit and read papers. I sit and summarize them. I sit and listen in class. I sit and review the lecture after class. I sit and prepare for group presentations. I sit and hear other people give them. Don't get me wrong; I'm loving grad school. It's just my back that isn't so much. Apparently it doesn't like sitting as much as me.

Well, it came to a head a couple weeks ago when I could barely sit still through our women's Bible study with the twingeing pain, so I arrived home and set to work. It was rice pack time. I followed SewBon's Hot and Cold Pack Tutorial and simply switched out the handles for ties. Now in just one minute and forty-five seconds standing by the microwave, I can have a cozy heating pad to tie around my lower back. And I get to enjoy my fabric every time I pull it out!

citron hot-cold rice pack over chari back with white ties by Lovely and Enough

citron hot-cold rice pack with white ties by Lovely and Enough

citron hot-cold rice pack with white ties by Lovely and Enough

citron hot-cold rice pack with white ties by Lovely and Enough

citron hot-cold rice pack with white ties by Lovely and Enough

Tutorial Review:

The tutorial has lovely photos to follow, all the perfect measurements, and is quite simple to complete! I struggled a little filling each compartment with rice as I went. The rice kept slipping into the line of sewing and making my lines jagged and ugly. I pulled it out once or twice and decided to sew the lines and fill later (since there are little gaps at either end). This worked, but I spent quite a bit of time shaking rice through little cracks and mostly ended up with it weighted at either end of the pack. As I use it, this becomes more emphasized. I would suggest filling each section a little less full as you go and sewing almost all the way, leaving perhaps a centimeter at both ends. Even with these little difficulties, I've been seriously considering whipping up another one that I can leave in my office at school. The rice pack really does work like a charm!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Welcome to the Lovely and Enough Etsy Shop

It began with a fresh apple cinnamon donut and a latte downtown Chicago. Working at a big wooden table with light flooding across my notes and the cute terrarium beside me, I started to build what I'd been laying the foundation for all summer long. And then, all of the sudden, it was there, published, online. It was almost anti-climactic.


That's when I realized the shop didn't begin on a Saturday morning in November. It was sunny fall afternoons working on farmer's wife quilt blocks. My 20th birthday road-tripping to all the best fabric stores with my Mom. Chilly winter mornings with the front door thrown wide for better-lit blog photos. Hot long days painting hydrangea patterns at the Fuji Studio in Florence. Sunny football Saturdays test printing in Adams Hall. Late night after late night quilting like a maniac and listening to my sister’s “Jams” playlist to prepare for my senior show. Bright summer days reading business books and sipping inspirational Arnold Palmers. Then finally a Saturday at the Coffee Studio in northern Chicago. And now, a cozy moment in my research office before class.

This isn’t a one-and-done project, a checkmark on a list. It’s my biggest work-in-progress of the past two years, an endeavor I didn’t even realize was beginning when it did. As Etsy reminded me in their handbook for beginners, a business is all about trial and error, just like life. I am thrilled to embrace this next giant step in a series of so many. I still don’t know exactly what I’ve gotten myself into or where it will take me, but messy adventures are the best kind, and you can’t map them out (like I often attempt). You just have to live them.

Welcome to the newest unfolding organic undertaking of my creative exploits:









Check out some other more tangible works-in-progress at WIP Wednesday hosted by Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Variations on a Bouquet of Hydrangeas

Do you ever fall back in love with a project? It can be a work-in-progress that you pull out again or a finished project that resurfaces several months later. It happens to me a lot. Nostalgia and sentimentality come easily to me, the little rising feeling in your chest when you see a picture of a lovely vacation moment or a finished quilt in its new home or a small adorable grey kitten. (Yeah, I've been kind of wanting one of those lately. It could tiptoe across my keyboard while I blogged and curl up its soft little body in my lap. I'm getting that feeling now just thinking about it. I digress.)

printed mint and citron hydrangea fabric by Lovely and Enough

I realized, as I finish up quilts and prep to open my shop, that I never shared a finished quilt from this summer. And then when I was looking at the photos, I got all nostalgic over it. It is the third incarnation of my Variations on a Bouquet of Tulips quilt. Seeing the progression of colors and quilting from one to the next is so fun, so I am going to share it with you!

buckwheat farmer's wife quilt block in light grey and citron by Lovely and Enough

First came the six-inch buckwheat block for my Farmer's Wife Quilt. Next my senior show quilt, Variations on a Bouquet of Tulips. Third, the duplicate senior show sale but with light grey on the side triangles instead of low volume white, Variations on Variations on a Bouquet of Tulips. (Yeah, if you read my post about naming quilts last weekend, that one's a bit of a mouthful.) And lastly, all new colors and some new quilting, Variations on a Bouquet of Hydrangeas.

classic and modern quilt in citron, dark grey, and mint by Lovely and Enough

I have received many bouquets of hydrangeas in the past year, each one with its own special giver and expression of love. Hydrangeas encompass the network of people spread across the country that come together to love and support me; my sister and Mom, my friend Susie, my boyfriend Brent. From designing fabrics to my farmer's wife quilt and blog beginnings to opening my shop in the coming weeks, I couldn't do it without you. Thank you all dearly. This post and quilt go out to you!

hydrangeas in black and white

Linking up to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.
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