Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fresh Starts II

screen printed modern quilt in citron, mint, and grey | by Lovely and Enough

How does one name a quilt? I was brainstorming (the collective I that includes Brent [boyfriend], Taylor [sister], and other text-support [Mom]) and came up with some I really loved, but suddenly, out of nowhere, the name game became a thought-provoking dilemma.

I love "the Tate" and "the James" as if I am naming the pattern. Then anything after it could be "the Tate II" and "the Tate IV" or "the James VI." But those means nothing to anyone but me. Tate is my new roommate's last name. James is the name of the library on campus I inhabit. See?

I also like "Summer Sails" or "Fresh Starts." These have more immediate narrative when you hear them. They are names you might post in a gallery. Also a tad more whimsical, these names shift the focus from pure design to story.

Gahh I'm so indecisive; I should just give it a number: minutes worked on it plus date finished, 125610152014.

I realized mid-dilemma that this one is easy. It is called Fresh Starts II. Its first incarnation was already christened, making my decision simple. And the quilt is drenched in fresh starts, moving to Raleigh, beginning grad school, a new relationship, and an exciting business venture. Fresh Starts II it is.

But how do you name your quilts? Your projects? Your products? Your art?
What's in a name? I'm all ears.

screen printed modern quilt in citron, mint, and grey | by Lovely and Enough

screen printed modern quilt in citron, mint, and grey | by Lovely and Enough

screen printed modern quilt in citron, mint, and grey | by Lovely and Enough
Yep, it's sideways. But what's really the top anyways?

My photo-snatching partner-in-crime and I peering through the Contemporary Art Museum window around front. 

And I'm linking up to next week's Finish it up Friday because I couldn't be my lazy bum to post before last week's. Better late than never! Check out the flimsy finish and quilted progress too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Post in Progress

If you know anything about me, you know that I'm indecisive, so when Brent suggested the most perfect place to take my next set of blog photos, I was faced with a new dilemma: too much of a good thing. I loaded up the pictures and saw the import number rise to a whopping 239! And now I have to sort them down to around 20!! This could take me a day or two, what with being a student and having to go to class and all, so this work-in-progress Wednesday isn't about a quilt but about a post. The finished quilt post is in progress. I'm slowly cutting ties to one photo at a time to be deleted forever from my hard drive (dramatic but that is how it feels sometimes, anyone agree?). Sorting through good photos for spectacular ones is a tricky beast, and in the meantime you can enjoy these OneHourPhotos that Brent took of me during the shoot. Happy Wednesday.




Linked to my Work-in-Progress Wednesday support group at Freshly Pieced.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chuck Bass and the Matchstick Quilting

Can I just say how beautiful today is? It's a crisp 66 with clear skies and autumn sun. The air practically smells like spiced apple cider, and my toes can snuggle into slippers while I sit and quilt. So lovely. I settled myself by my Bernina for some matchstick quilting and propped an old friend next to me on the iPad: GossipGirl. Together Blair, Chuck, Nate, and I cruised the wonderful afternoon away, and oh my word, I have two things to say.

partially quilted hovering birds wall quilt overprinted with hydrangeas


seam ripper and the beginnings of grey matchstick quilting

One, somewhere along the way I became a fan of Chuck Bass. I can actually pin point it back to a fateful week in January working on my senior show. What has become of me? He's just so romantic under it all...

And two, matchstick quilting takes a heck of a long time, but oh, does it look so pretty when it's done! The quilt has a newfound texture. I might not love snuggling under it, but it sure looks spiffy up on the wall. Printed way back in May and quilted some in July, this quilt has been a long time coming. Ah well, experimenting runs on its own schedule, I guess. Good to remember as I embark upon a PhD!

folded and matchstick quilted quilt with mug and ice cream dish

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. Check out the other projects!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Life happened, and it was good.

While Brent was visiting he asked me about my Etsy shop...my ever-exciting and just-out-of-reach Etsy endeavor... Well, let's see. I had planned for it to open by the beginning of August. I intended to have my full line of fabric printed before I left my big printing board behind. I wanted to have ten quilts to list in two color schemes. Guess, what? Life happens.

And life is a good thing to have happen, even when it disrupts your plans. Gorgeous city. Wonderful roommate. Lively farmer's market. Exciting cooking adventures. Breezy sailing on Lake Wheeler. Breathtaking ballet. Scrumptious local restaurants. These are the snapshots that build a life that is lovely and a life that I can be more than content with, a life that is enough.

two printed modern quilts taped to the wall

The shop will open near the end of October, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Five quilts for the first opening of the shop will be absolutely peachy. With quilts three and four underway, I am plugging along full steam. The grand beginning is in sight! If you could choose one quilt from my senior show for me to reimagine in the new fabric collection and colors, which would it be?

printed and quilted wall quilt with screen printing on yellow wall

two modern quilts in hand-printed fabric with screen-printing over top

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced for some fresh inspiration and lively camaraderie.
Head on over if that sounds good to you too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Plus for a Finish

Finished Modern Plus Quilt
Mission three into the James Hunt Library was a success. Laden down with newly finished quilt and iron, I confidently climbed to the fifth floor. Brent was such a gentleman to let me disrupt our weekend for a library photo shoot. He even engineered an invisible tape method to hang the heavy quilt. What a guy.

We snapped over seventy photos that gorgeous Sunday morning, and I had to FaceTime my mom just now to decide between them all. Here are our four favorites. The quilt was designed for my living room wall and hangs comfortably above the couch. It fills the room with a balance of softness and presence, and if it wasn't for the complete lack of natural light in here, I would show you just how classy and homey it feels.

The quilt is also brimming with imperfections. Wobbly seams, batting peeking out at the edges, binding stitches that went through, and plusses that don't align. That's what shows it's handmade. Some of my favorite vintage quilts have worn-through holes and faded patches, missed corners and uneven quilting. The imperfections bring it above factory-grade quilts; they make it perfect. I've been thinking of starting a linkup for Perfect Imperfections, the happy accidents, the frustrating mistakes. What do you think? Would enjoy linking up to that?

finished quilt on table

modern plus quilt with citron pop

modern plus quilt with citron pop, lovely and enough

modern plus quilt with fun citron pop in binding, lovely and enough

Mission one and the early stages of this quilt can be found here, pre-binding. And I'm so excited to link up to Finish-it-up-Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts and Show Off Saturday at SewCanShe. (Links forthcoming when those days arrive.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Crisp Slices and Fresh Starts

Rolling the rotary cutter across new hand-printed fabric gives me such a rush. Seeing the crisp slices through white pistachios and citron fences is akin to smelling the first breath of spring. New projects, new combinations, new quilts. It's all so fun!

Brainstorming for the new collection, I sketched during my afternoon grad seminar. Lone stars. Ohio stars. Swoon blocks. Corn and beans. Then once home, I pulled stack after stack of fabric and left them piled on every flat surface in my room to simmer. Thursday morning I woke up and saw the stack at the foot of my bed and thought: Fresh Starts. It was the last quilt I pieced for my senior show, a large cut glass block, printed in one corner and stitched in straight and diagonal lines. After this, I promise I will branch out to new patterns, but what pattern is better to start my PhD program with than "Fresh Starts"? And what better place to photograph the flimsy finish than my new library?






Check out other breaths of spring air at WIP Wednesday on FreshlyPieced.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Skipping Around the World

Tag is such a fun game. Any stretch of space can become game territory, and the only thing required are legs and lungs. A normal afternoon becomes an adventure of pursuit and capture. My mind is taking me back to those sweaty thrilling childhood afternoons as I type this.

So, when Christina of Wips and Tuts asked if she could tag me in the Around the World Blog Hop, my answer was a resounding, "Yes!" Cristina is a lovely "wholesome midwestern girl," as she likes to describe herself. Down to earth and brimming with sweet encouragement, she is a friend anyone would love to have. Her perseverance in quilting and willingness to try new things are evident across the many welcoming pages of her blog, and coupled with big process pictures, it's definitely a spot you'll want to check out.

beautiful, paper-pieced bee block by Cristina of Wips and Tuts
Christina of Wips and Tuts

Running barefoot across the blogosphere in this game of tag, I hope you will pause on my patch of lawn before jetting off to the next stops.

What am I working on?
I am in the process of opening up shop! It is exciting and scary and sometimes feels like I'm jumping off a cliff. More often than not, though, the cliff is above an azure sea somewhere in the sunny Caribbean, and I'm just running straight toward the edge anticipating the fun. My newest collection of hand-printed fabrics and hand-printed quilts will be available there, and I can't wait to see where they will travel!


bright and modern printed pistachio fabric | Lovely and Enough


Why do I create?
It makes my heart happy. Pure and simple. The soft slip of fabric through my fingers, the crisp edge of a pressed seam, the bubbling smile of a quilt recipient. If I didn't need to pay rent, I would do it all day long.

How does my creative process work?
I love to sit with pencil and sketchbook, peruse my favorite blogs, and dream up the next quilt. This is my ritual: brew tea, light a candle, clear my work space, pull out something inspiring, turn phone to "do not disturb, and relax.

modern lone star quilt in process

As the game of tag goes, it's my turn to chase down and love on some women I really admire.

First, Erica at CB Handmade. She is awe-inspiring. Elegant, understated, and modern, her classic designs are heirlooms for future generations. Her monthly posts never fail to blow me away, and I've spent many a Saturday afternoon seeking inspiration in the annals of her blog.

beautiful HST color play quilt by Erica of CB Handmade
Erica of CB Handmade

Second, my mom, Jennifer, at Fibermusing. She is an inspiration to me: computer engineer PhD by day and amazing quilter and fabric printer by night. Her most recent series of quilts, drawn from a collection of sermons on wisdom, are beautiful with breath-taking attention to detail from tiny scribbles of bright stitching to water-color penciled gradations. I wish I could devote an entire post to her because this only scratches the surface of her fount of creativity and originality.

beautiful collection of art quilts based on a sermon series titled "Wisdom" by Jennifer of Fibermusing
Jennifer of Fibermusing

So, there you go: "Tag! You're it!" Thanks for stopping by. Now it's your turn to tumble down the hill after these ladies in this fun winding game and explore their gorgeous arbors and meadows of the blogosphere. Enjoy!
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