Monday, March 30, 2015

Lenten Twelves : Five

I never thought I'd be one to love a quilt of mine so imperfect as this, but I do. Several of the corners don't quite match up and in an attempt to beat them into aligned submission, I ended up not catching the edge of the fabric. Of course my favorite closeup below displays the slip. Ah well, c'est la vie. On a whim, I decided to finish the edge by folding it over a quarter inch and stitching along the edge. Mostly successful. Very wobbly. I may have whipstitched a stray inch or two that I missed catching there as well. Nobody look too closely. We're all human, right?

modern minimalist mini quilt | by Lovely and Enough

I am, however, pretty excited about the composition. I'm loving the grey on grey pistachios look that I started with last week's lenten quilt, and my all time favorite bit is the quilting. I didn't want an all over quilt pattern so I sat and stared and squinted for quite some time until Brent suggested the matchstick quilting. I love it. Can't wait to see where this series takes me next!

modern minimalist mini quilt | by Lovely and Enough

modern minimalist mini quilt | by Lovely and Enough

If you missed the Lenten Twelves Intro Post, follow the link and read it now for background on the challenge my mum and I took up this Lent. If you'd like to join us or just follow along you can find us on instagram with #LentenTwelves or just check out her blog Fibermusing and her Lenten Twelves. Find my Lenten Twelve OneLenten Twelve Two, Lenten Twelve Three, and Lenten Twelve Four.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lenten Twelves : Four

I can't express just how lovely this week was. Slow quiet mornings, productive solitary days, church-filled evenings. Wednesday night was sewing with the church ladies night, and it was absolutely wonderful. I passed up Village Draft House with my grad student friends to go, but I would make the same decision again in a heartbeat. Digging in to a homemade dinner, seeing everyone's projects, and chatting the evening away is just the kind of perfect night I love. This week I sketched out five or six new low-volume blocks to piece and print and dove into the first one.

As you can see...I didn't print it. I went back and forth quite a bit, as per usual. I called my Mom. I talked out the design with Brent. I debated with friend Alyssa. The final decision was to leave this zen quilt to stand alone--and then make it exactly the same in the next weeks and print it. Gotta love indecisiveness. I do like the calm simple aesthetic, although I think it could look striking printed as well.

What color would you over print it? I can't get red out of my head.
(If you don't understand what I mean by overprinting, check out Lenten Twelves : Two)

I experimented with a couple other things as well this week from glue basting to interfacing. Ironing interfacing to the back of my quilt top for added stiffness proved interesting. On one hand, I had no pulling or shifting as I quilted. Hooray! On the other hand, the quilting does not bump up as much. Hmm. Bummer of all bummers it didn't stay bonded to the quilt top, so the edges were still flimsy. Hrumph. I shall try a lighter-weight interfacing next week and Stitch Witchery it to the edges for added adhesion. (Yep, that's a verb.)

On a different note, photographing this morning was a bit of an adventure. I chuckled as they loaded into Lightroom and thought I'd share a bit of the process. I call it Anatomy of a Blog Photo.

1. Shoot, forgot the self-timer  2. Too zoomed in  3. Lying on my back on the floor and use full palm in last ditch attempt to get the quilt to cover my piece of tape, but I'm not fast enough and my arms are just not that long  4. Misjudged entirely  5. Too low  6. Caught my face  7. Too low again; bummer that one could've been cute  8. Just not quite short enough sitting down...even when I duck...  9. Person walks between me and the camera right as it goes off; nice lunch...  (numbered left to right, then top to bottom)
Can anyone relate? What are your blog photo blooper stories?

If you missed the Lenten Twelves Intro Post, follow the link and read it now for background on the challenge my mum and I took up this Lent. If you'd like to join us or just follow along you can find us on instagram with #LentenTwelves or just check out her blog Fibermusing and her Lenten Twelves. Find my Lenten Twelve One, Lenten Twelve Two, and Lenten Twelve Three.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Lenten Twelves : Sabbath

Sabbath. It's such a foreign concept in our go-go-go culture. However, some of my best semesters and seasons have been those in which I've dedicatedly kept a Sabbath, the busy craziness punctuated by afternoons of slow and mornings of quiet. Sometimes it has been journalling over solitary breakfasts. Other times it has been recast as post-church sewing in a tiny music-filled sunny apartment. The jury is still out on whether sewing is actually allowed on my Sabbath these days, but "can't-stop-won't-stop" seems like an appropriate phrase to insert here.

This week I explored Sabbath in quilt form: six colorful days to run about and chase after life and deadlines and then a pause. For resting and leaning into life and remembering the many things we are so thankful for.

Although I may not be entirely happy with this quilt's final result, I am excited to move on to weeks four and five of the Lenten Quilt series. Feasting into creativity with mum this Lent has been such a good practice, and the weekly goal has put pleasant pressure on me to sew and push boundaries and experiment. Experiments, of course, do not always end up as we expect (otherwise they would be called demonstrations, science fair 101). I prefer to think positively, though. This week I did not fail, instead I found something I will not be spending more time pursuing in the future. What important lessons those are to learn as well.

Have you spent time fleshing out your style and direction? When was the last time you pushed the boundaries of your quilting far enough to find an edge? Maybe it's time to try.

Join my mum over at Fibermusing and I as we feast into creativity this Lent
or simply follow along through our blogs or on Instagram with #LentenTwelves.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lenten Twelves : Two

Do you ever get a quilt pattern or color palette stuck in your head? Two summers ago it was triangle quilts. Last winter it was coral and navy. Then it was plus quilts. Now it's Ohio Stars.

I try so hard to resist (not quite sure why honestly, probably just my stubborn nature), but I've come to the conclusion that it's best to have out with it, the better to move on (or at least the better to make use of the single-minded concentration.) This week I had an evening star completely sketched and calculated out when Printing marched into my creative mind quickly followed by Ohio Star. I went with it. What better way to play with ideas than a weekly twelve inch quilt?

hand-printed modern quilt in red on low volume Ohio Star | by Lovely and Enough

Feasting into creativity with my mum this Lent has been really lovely so far. We keep each other accountable and check-in with one another. Last night she provided the pep talk I needed to get off my butt and actually sew. She really is great. I'm so very thankful for her.

And speaking of sewing last night, I tried free-motion quilting on my Bernina for the first time, and it was like butter! I didn't realize how difficult my Brother had been until just last night. I will definitely be practicing my free-motion quilting more in the coming weeks through these quilts, and I feel much less reluctant to try now! Hurrah!

What sewing mental blocks or fixations have you been experiencing lately?
Any you might tease out in a quilt this Lenten season?

hand-printed modern quilt in red on low volume Ohio Star | by Lovely and Enough

hand-printed modern quilt in red on low volume Ohio Star | by Lovely and Enough

hand-printed modern quilt in red on low volume Ohio Star | by Lovely and Enough

If you missed the LentenTwelves Intro Post, go follow the link and read it now for background on the challenge my mum and I took up this Lent. If you'd like to join or just follow along, you can find us on instagram with #lententwelves or just check out her blog Fibermusing and her Lenten Twelves.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rotating Cutting Mats

I'm sharing my first official new tip of the week for Tip and Tutorials Tuesdays over at Late Night Quilter. I don't really do tips or tutorials much, but as Kitty at Night Quilter said it's the "perfect kick in the pants motivator to get me sharing." Here goes.

My favorite Farmer's Wife Quilt companion is my mini rotating cutting mat. Although it may seem like a frivolous addition to your already brimming crafty cabinet, it's really worth it if you're considering tackling a Farmer's Wife Quilt.  It makes it so easy not only to trim blocks once they're completed but also to cut the little pieces for each block. You can just place your fabric scrap down on the mat with the template on top, then cut one edge, rotate, repeat. Presto! No awkward shimmying of fabric pieces and templates or knocking notions and mugs of tea off the edge of the table when you try to rotate your larger cutting mat. (I may or may not have done that more than once...) Plus, being mini and flat, you can cram it in a edge where you thought nothing else could possible fit. Full closet problem solved!

Do you have favorite tips and tricks?
Go add yours and check out the other tips and tutorials over at the LinkUp!
And don't forget to vote for your favorite!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lenten Twelves : the start

Every year for Lent I chose to do something (or to not do something), a habit to form, a priority to adjust, a rhythm in which to settle. New Year's resolutions come and go for me, but Lent is forty days of commitment. When I choose to do something, I do it. This year I wasn't quite sure what I was feeling called to. I'd already given up Netflix for February (right? is there anything to even give up after that?).

That's when my mom called me with a challenge: one twelve inch quilt per week. Instead of fasting from something we're feasting into creativity. I love it. Plus, we're doing it together. Here's the first.

I've never pieced a curve before and it very much intimidated me, but Kim over at Leland Ave Studio encouraged me to finally take the plunge. I figured a twelve-inch quilt was the perfect place to give it a go. Guys, it was actually so easy. I used SheCanQuilt's little video and Noodlehead's Sunny Side Up quilt pattern and it was a breeze! For real! When I finished the first block, I literally yelled "I DID IT!" right in the middle of facetiming my boyfriend. Then I promptly hung up on him to call my mom. Yep, I was that pumped. I may not have gotten the curves lined up perfectly with one another but one step at a time.

As you also might have noticed, I switched my tune part way through and traded the citron out for coral. Looking at the pictures, I'm not entirely sure that was the right choice, but it's okay. That's exactly what experiments are about!

Are you doing anything for Lent? If you'd like to join my mom and I or just follow along, you can find us on instagram with #lententwelves or just check out her blog Fibermusing and her first Lenten Twelve quilt.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Farmer's Wife Quilt Revisited

It's been a while since I've worked on my Farmer's Wife Quilt. In fact, I have languished with 76 blocks to go for probably six months. Now, you know when you're running a marathon and you pause to drink that little cup of water they offer you and you're just not sure if you can start running again let alone finish the race? That's what it feels like. (Or at least, I imagine it to feel exactly like that, never having run a marathon or even a 5k myself. Don't you think that water cup moment would feel just like being a quarter of the way done with your farmer's wife quilt?)

I was feeling all but worn out when I received a little chalkboard in the mail, the Traveling Farmer's Wife Quilt chalkboard. Sent around by Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter, it's a little burst of encouragement to photograph with your blocks as you complete them, and it was just what I needed. I promptly sat down to pull fabrics for my next six blocks and then stitched up three at sewing night with the church ladies.

This week's blocks:
Buzzard's Roost
Hill and Valley
Friendship Star

I'm still feeling a little worn out with the tedious process of this quilt. Where once I enjoyed the meticulous relaxing pace, I've begun to just feel frustrated and impatient. The angel on my right shoulder (also known as Mom) is encouraging me to make three more blocks, increase the sashing from one to two inches, and finish it as a throw quilt. The...angel...on my left shoulder (also known as significant other) thinks I should just set it aside for a bit and wait till I feel moved by the Spirit to enjoy the process again. I don't know anymore. What do you think?


I'm linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced with the longest work-in-progress of my quilting career. Head over to see other beautiful and exciting projects that are heading towards the Promised Land of Finished-dom or still wandering in the desert like mine.
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