Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wiksten Tank and a Broken Pedal

It has been exactly fifty-one weeks, since I purchased this fabric and pattern from Sew to Speak on my roadtrip down to Raleigh, and it is finished at last! After whipping up a muslin to test the pattern about a month ago, I was pretty happy with the fit and pumped to do the real thing. With my boyfriend in town for a couple weeks, sewing progress slowed significantly, but I pulled him along to sewing night with me, and I knocked out the cutting, pockets, and French seams while he pieced three blocks for a charity quilt. That's my man :) 

Poised to stitch in the bias tape binding, I realized just how much my machine needs a little TLC. The foot has been going out for awhile, but it had reached the point where there was no slow and no medium speed. Just FAST. Imagine: push your foot down no motion, push your foot down no motion, just a little further no motion, then WHOOSH, OFF WE GO. The delicate striped fabric couldn't really handle such yanks, so I decided last Friday that it was finally time to bring the old Bernina into the shop.

The friendly man informed me that it might not be my foot but my machine, and that I would have to leave the whole kit and kaboodle there. I was heartbroken.

Well, heartbroken might be a slight exaggeration, but when he told me I needed to leave my machine and not just the foot (I have another foot, so I assumed I'd be able to keep sewing even with the one foot in the shop), my distressed response was emotive enough to turn heads in the shop. He wheeled my Bernina into the back room, and when I asked for the fourth or fifth time, if I had to leave the machine as well as the foot, he asked me why I didn't want to leave it. Simple, right? I wanted to sew that weekend!

Lights dancing in his eyes, he chuckled a little and said that I could simply borrow a machine from the shop. Free of charge. !!! He sent me home with a Bernina 350, the new new improved version of my machine! Trading up for the weekend. It was like butter sewing the bias tape binding. I followed Grainline Studio's tutorial for getting flat bias tape necklines, and of course forgot a step on the neckline that I remembered for the arm holes, but I don't care. It is finished.

All stories aside, I think it's important to remember, that no matter how polished someone's blog looks, everyone forgets steps, messes up, procrastinates fixing things, accidentally draws stares in the fabric store, and gets a bit of a grainy photo here and there. You're in good company.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wiksten Muslin amidst Summer Adventures

My my, it's been much too long since I've been here. Life can get away from you like that sometimes, can't it? Well, I haven't been busy sewing, but since the summer quilting break was for enjoying life, I think I can consider it a successful July. 

I finished the muslin for my Wiksten tank with Olivia Pope and company battling away beside me. Our government may be a little more corrupt than I gave it credit for, but the tank fits better than I expected! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the TV show Scandal. And yes, I know it's fiction, but it does make you lose a little faith in humanity and the President.) The Wiksten is pleasantly long and has a good neckline and strap width. I only thought it needed two alterations:

1. I took it in about a half inch at the natural waist on both sides.
2. I look forward to a more draped fit with the double gauze.
3. Okay, it might need to be taken in slightly at the back of the neck, but the double gauze could solve that as well.

I've already started sewing it up with the real fabric, and holy cow. Sewing with good quality fabric is dreamy. I have informed my boyfriend that we will be stopping at Sew to Speak on our roadtrip through Ohio to see if they have more lovely light-weight cottons to stitch up. I can't promise that I will be back here sooner than this last gap, but I will have a finished Wiksten Tank and some sand in between my toes. Back soon!

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Lotta Napkins and Yogurt Pops

Every time I go into Joann for velcro or canvases or cheap fabric for pattern testing, I'm drawn to the Lotta Jansdotter and Cloud 9 fabrics there. Problem is: these days I just don't really sew with prints, and if I do, they're my own designs. This has been an unimaginably good way to stop me from buying fabric.

That said, I've also been wanting cloth napkins for quite some time. Bonnie teaches cloth napkins to the new sewists in our Wednesday night sewing group, and I've been itching to try. Up until now, quilting projects abounded, but what better time than a quilting hiatus to whip some up. And what better time to buy some Lotta fabric than with a 60% off coupon and a very specific project! Hello, no better time than the present, is what I'm sayin.'

I waited in the dreadful cutting table line (are all Joann's somewhat poorly managed?) and waited some more in that since-you-have-to-stand-here-look-at-some-crappy-things-that-only-cost-a-dollar line and at last, the Lotta was mine. Two hours of pressing seam allowances, marking out mitered corners, greek yogurt pops, and way to much chatting and giggling to make quick headway later (don't you love the good problems to have), here I have them: four cloth napkins!

And where better to sneak pictures than the cute old Ford truck bed parked outside my apartment?

Gosh I love projects that you can finish in one sitting.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Stone + Bloom : New Mini Quilt Collection

The new quilt collection is finally in the shop! These mini quilts are the perfect gift in all their crisp geometric organic goodness. Each quilt has been hand-printed with a bold and crisp design before being carefully free-motion and straight-line quilted. The quilt is bound with mitered facing and affixed to a 10"x10" stretched canvas with velcro. The canvas allows for simple hanging as well as a flattering shadow to highlight the piece. A shadow box can also be used to give the quilt added emphasis and dimension. Although the shadow box does not come with the quilt, it can be easily purchased from IKEA or your local frame shop.

These quilts are the perfect size to grace an office or a small wall in the home or at work. They make lovely gifts for that special teacher at the end of the year or to show a family member or friend how much they mean to you. From Mother's Day to weddings to house warming gifts, this modern and handmade treasure will brighten any room and express your love and appreciation.

What do you think? Where would you put it? Who would you give one to?

framed modern red printed quilt, crisp and gorgeous | by Lovely and Enough

modern red printed quilt with free motion and straight line quilting, crisp and gorgeous | by Lovely and Enough

modern mint printed ohio star quilt: crisp, subtle, and gorgeous | by Lovely and Enough

modern mint printed quilt with free motion and straight line quilting: crisp, subtle, and gorgeous | by Lovely and Enough

modern evergreen printed ohio star quilt: crisp and gorgeous | by Lovely and Enough

modern evergreen printed ohio star quilt with trellis and free motion quilting: crisp and gorgeous | by Lovely and Enough

modern cornflower printed ohio star quilt : crisp and gorgeous | by Lovely and Enough

modern cornflower printed ohio star quilt with straight line and free motion quilting : crisp and gorgeous | by Lovely and Enough

Follow the process here; from the first idea to the piecing to the printing.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Wiksten Begins

preparations for beginning the wiksten tank with grey double gauze | Lovely and Enough

As the first project to kick off my quilting recess, I'm finally going to start the Wiksten Tank! I picked up the pattern from the lovely little shop Sew to Speak in Ohio on my roadtrip down to North Carolina last August along with some lovely double gauze. Unfortunately quilting has been stopping me from starting. No longer!

I can't wait to begin, and I imagine I might be wearing the top quite a bit with this hot summer we're having! Any tips for a sewist who hasn't tackled clothes in quite some time?

the popular wiksten tank pattern | Lovely and Enough

lovely neutral double gauze for a sewing project | Lovely and Enough

the popular wiksten tank pattern | Lovely and Enough

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Art Prints: Chemistry + Flamingos

Last summer I was messing around with my flamingo screen from my very first screen-printed fabric design, and I ended up with some art prints. I took one with me and left three more at home, and when I came home for Christmas, one was framed in my room, one was hung in my sister's room, and one was pinned up in the studio!

That's when I started brainstorming. What if I exercised some of my pattern designing muscles toward art prints? I'm about halfway to a striking bison print that I'm pretty chuffed about, but I'm only halfway because... (well, honestly bc just like the rest of you, the lure of a new project tends to beat finishing an old one, but who's counting)...

I started working on a chemistry art print! In fact, I was in the middle of showing my grad school friends the bison and explaining what "vectorizing" means when I showed them some periodic element icons from an old project. Their faces lit up, and they exclaimed to me how they would love to see a chemistry poster. Then a couple weeks later with the preliminary design in hand, they called for t-shirts as well! So here it is.

The poster is a collection of thirty comic depictions of elements, and it is a fun puzzle for all. When brought to seminar, peers and professors alike crowded around to puzzle out the element that each icon represented, giggling at the sneaky ones and indignantly flustered with the obscure.

So, if you've been looking for a minimalist conversation starter for your office; a nerdy yet classy t-shirt to hang out in this summer; an engaging puzzle for the children in your classroom; or a gift for your Dad, brother, granddaughter, or friend, then look no further. Well-designed and mentally engaging, these prints and tees will make a smart and graphic statement on you and on your wall. I'm running a Kickstarter campaign for the month of June as a simple way to collect orders and gauge interest, so...

Check out the campaign. Watch the video. And if you know someone who might find it fun, pass it along!

I know this it outside the scope of my typical quilting and fabric design, but I guess my nerd is just showing. How could I not share my biggest most recent project with you all? Thanks for sticking it out to the end!! I promise there will be more sewing this weekend. Pinky promise.

PS I have since reprinted the flamingos art print, and I have about five more. Would there be any interest in having those up in my shop?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hopewell Inspired Diagonal Quilt

I had a pretty horrible morning at work today, incredibly frustrating and not productive at all. Luckily, I'd already bribed myself into working on Saturday by packing my camera and a quilt that I've been meaning to photograph for many months now in the car this morning. When an appropriate lunch break hit, I set an experiment in motion and then scampered through the gorgeous 92ยบ weather over to the even more beautiful Hunt library.

modern light blue, citron, and grey quilt | by Lovely and Enough

My mom and I collaborated on this quilt last summer. It was inspired by the Hopewell Workshop East-West quilts. All of their quilts were so gorgeous and contemporary in their simplicity, and this design does not fail to please.

It is a fantastically simple quilt to make, and taking photos of it has got me thinking about new color schemes and versions. Plus, you get two quilts in one go! Striking and modern, the quilt doesn't require any complicated piecing. In fact, it may just be the perfect way to whip up two charity quilts in one fell swoop. You can see my mom's half of the quilt over on her blog Fibermusing.

striking modern navy, citron, and grey quilt | by Lovely and Enough

striking modern navy, citron, and grey quilt | by Lovely and Enough

Yes, as the quilt label says, I did actually finish this quilt in late 2014. I cannot believe how long it took me to photograph it. Initially, I kept waiting for family to be in town, so that I could have someone hold it up. Then I saw Yvonne's post about how she hangs her quilts for photos (even large ones), and I realized that I could do it by myself.

striking modern navy, citron, and grey quilt | by Lovely and Enough

I hope this inspires you to pull together a fast quilt for charity this summer. It is a great way to make use of fabrics you're not in love with anymore to clear space for new exciting ones! I guess today wasn't such a bummer of a day after all. Happy summer Saturday.

striking modern navy, citron, and grey quilt | by Lovely and Enough

a simple yet elegant and striking modern quilt that's a cinch to whip up, inspired by Hopewell Workshop | Lovely and Enough

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