Friday, November 20, 2015

QuiltCon Making in Spare Moments

loose free-motion quilting in red on modern printed minimal quilt | Lovely and Enough

In the spare moments between class and collaborations, I have been working my way towards my first submission to Quilt Con. I'm pretty pumped. It is a scale up of a Lenten Twelve (below) from this spring combined with some of the quilt printing I have been experimenting with, such as Lenten Twelve II and Evening Star.

modern minimalist neutral mini quilt | by Lovely and Enough

I wanted higher impact, so I scaled up to 3' x 3.' It's funny because piecing it took just as much time as the little one, but voila: more bang for your buck! I say that now, but I know that it will take me longer to quilt it...

minimalist modern wall quilt in grey and white | Lovely and Enough

Then I printed it with my iconic hydrangea print and blocked out the white bars from being printed. (Iconic is my way of saying that I have used that hydrangea print for so many projects now that...well...I am looking forward to designing new patterns.) I bit the bullet and loosely free-motion quilted around all of the printed hydrangeas, and now the past two evenings have been spent staring at the quilt trying to decide how to proceed with the quilting.

loose free-motion quilting in red on modern printed minimal quilt | Lovely and Enough

I have two questions for you:

1. Is there a specific way that you must tie off your quilting on the back for an exhibition? Must we bury our threads on the back? Can we reverse a little? Is it personal preference?

2. How big is too big of an area to have un-quilted on a quilt?

I hope your QuiltCon making is going smoothly and wrapping up! Or that you are enjoying watching everyone else sweat while you stay above the scramble.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

DIY Professional Quilt Labels

If you've been wanting to make professional quilt labels from the comfort of your home, this is for you. In a matter of an hour, you will have color-fast printed labels to stitch onto backings or into bindings! My favorite part about this version is that I don't have to rely on my hand-writing; I can design my labels with real fonts, which lends a crisp and professional look to the labels.


  • freezer paper
  • fabric
  • computer + inkjet printer with black ink
  • rotary cutter + cutting board

Step One: Design and Test Print
Design your labels and test print them on a piece of printer paper. Test printing is a good idea so that you catch mistakes before it is on your fabric! The design must be in black for it to be wash-fast.

You have options here: I like to fold my labels in half and sew them into the binding, so I leave a large portion blank below each label for the back. I also like to print cut lines, so that is is easy to trim the labels to the correct size. You can also print something on this side if you want! Or you can print labels that will remain flat and are stitched onto the backing. The sky is the limit.

Step Two: Cut
Cut freezer paper to 8.5" x 11"

Step Three: Iron
Iron your freezer paper to the back of the fabric you would like to print your labels onto. Give yourself a small margin of fabric around the edge of the paper. You want a warm dry iron (around the wool setting).

Step Four: Trim
Trim the fabric to the edge of the freezer paper. If you iron on the freezer paper before trimming, it minimizes fraying of the fabric which could jam up your printer.

Step Five: Print!
Run your freezer-paper-fabric combo through you inkjet printer just like a normal sheet of paper. Make sure you are printing on the fabric side!

Step Six: Peel and Heat-set
Peel the freezer paper off the back of your fabric and heat-set the black ink for washfastness. Simply press with a hot dry iron for ~30 seconds.

Step Seven: Cut
Cut out your labels!

Step Eight: Fold (optional)
This step is optional depending on whether you are folding your labels or not, but I press mine in half.

Step Nine: Fray Check
Fray check the edge of your labels to avoid nasty fringes and fraying through the lifetime of the label.

And voila! You have made professional quilt labels from the comfort of your home for a fraction of the cost of ordering them from a company!


DIY Quilt Labels | Make Your Own Professional Labels with Just a Printer and Freezer Paper

Special thanks to my mom who took all the photos for me and has made me my quilt labels the past two years. She is truly amazing.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Whole Cloth Quilt Collaboration with Salty Oat

Last Spring while trolling Instagram, I stumbled upon Caitlin Topham: the quilter and curator behind Salty Oat. Miracle of all miracles, she actually lived near me in North Carolina! Inspired by her gorgeous quilting and crisp modern embroidery, I reached out to her and we met up for coffee. If you mostly live with quilter's only via Instagram and the web, I cannot emphasize enough how amazing it is to spend time with quilty friends in person. We sipped lattes and chatted about fabric design and quilting. Both of us geeked out a bit, and nobody was bored or thought the other was odd!

Caitlin shared with me her current exploration of whole cloth quilts and then asked if I would be interested in designing a quilt for her. Of course, I said yes! And here is the result many months later. To read more about the design process and to check out the other curated whole cloth quilts in her series, head on over to the Salty Oat blog.

Backed in Carolyn Friedlander goodness and machine-bound to perfection, this modern gender-neutral baby quilt is the perfect gift for those modern expecting parents in your life.

Find it in her shop!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Say "Hello" to the Quilter's Planner

Say Hello to the answer to creative and real-life scheduling disasters. Sometimes it feels like I have to carry around a book of lists to keep track of my projects, a sketchbook for spur of the moment inspiration, and a planner for the rest of my life, but Stephanie of LateNightQuilter has solved just that problem with the Quilter Planner.

I have had the honor to work with Stephanie on this project, consulting and creating the logo as well as artwork to be interspersed throughout the planner. Her hard work and thoughtful considerations shine through in the gorgeous final product she has produced.

What's Inside:
  • Monthly calendars
  • Weekly calendars
  • Project planning pages
  • Swatch saver
  • Graph paper
  • Free motion quilting practice pages
  • Goal-setting prompts
  • 8 full quilt patterns from amazing designers (Cheryl Brickey (Meadowmist Designs), Yvonne Fuchs (Quilting Jetgirl), Amy Garro (13 Spools), Lee Heinrich (Freshly Pieced), Mandy Leins (Mandalei Quilts), Pat Sloan (Pat Sloan), Kitty Wilkin (Night Quilter) and Stephanie).
  • 52 original quilt block designs from awesome quilt bloggers
  • Gorgeous artwork pull-outs by me!
  • Reference section for quilting calculations and common construction techniques

The planner is minimal in design with modern touches of color, allowing you to stamp, highlight, doodle, and hand-letter your life into perfect organization.

Plus, it has helpful references in the back for those things you are always googling!

How to Order:

By now, you're probably wondering how you can get your hands on this planner. Well, here's how! Just head on over to Indiegogo and put in your order.

Because sharing is caring and one of the best ways to get this project off the ground, Stephanie is offering prizes to those of you who share the project the most using the Indiegogo sharing options. And you have so many options! From embedding in a blog post to sharing on facebook and more.

Check out Stephanie's blog post to read more about the Quilter Planner, the story behind it, and the project details! Or follow the link below to see the Indiegogo campaign!

A Personal Side Note and Apology:

My my, how blogging has been left by the wayside. Life and projects (such as the Quilter Planner!) however have soldiered on! I am sorry for this lapse, and I am committed and excited to get back to posting every week from now until Christmas. Work has been demanding a fair amount of writing from me lately, which tends to discourage me from doing it in my free-time or breaks (e.g. for blogging). The next couple months will likely be photo heavy and text light. Better a visual post than not one at all, though, right? Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Waist Stays and Weddings

Two weeks ago, I had the great fun of traveling up to Chicago to see one of my close friends get married! Her elegant and classic taste had me scrambling for the perfect dress to wear to the occasion. Good news: the dress was already in my closet. Bad news: it was strapless...and I can't keep up strapless dresses. I blame it on my long waist.

As the day approached, I found myself web searching for the best method of making a strapless stay put. I hear tape. I heard rubber glue. I heard (in my own head) the sigh of frustration as I hiked my taped and glued dress up for the umpteenth time. And then I heard waist stay and extended boning.

Don't get me wrong; I am a supporter of bandaids. But when it comes to an option that might suffice or one that will ultimately solve the problem, I vote problem solver! By extending the boning and adding a waist stay (a loop of ribbon that hooks around the narrowest part of your waist and is sewn to the bottom of the boning), I could allow the dress to sit on my waist, simultaneously eliminating slippage and taking strain off of the zipper. I followed Jenna's tutorial and voilĂ ! The dress could withstanding jumping and dancing and raising of arms! Even raising my arms above my head while I jumped and danced!! Problem solved.

I did make three edits to the tutorial:

1. Minimize the Hand Sewing:
Instead of hand-sewing my hooks and eyes, I opted for a bra mending kit that provided me with two size options and no hand-sewing.

2. Flatten that boning.
Following Tasia's instruction on Sewaholic, I soaked my boning in boiling water for ten minutes to allow the plastic to relax from its curled state and then pressed the pieces under a book for another ten minutes to ensure flatness.

3. Keep the anti-slip from slipping.
Somehow the boning I purchased had "anti-slip" cords wrapped around the plastic boning. When I removed the boning from the fabric casing, I had trouble getting the cords to not slip and unravel. Worse, as I fed the boning into the channels of my gown, the cords would bunch up.  My simplest solution was to dab a little elmer's glue on the ends to hold it in place, and that worked like a charm.

It's that easy. (And bear in mind that I am not a clothes sewist.) If you have a structured dress you absolutely love that simply doesn't stay up, I would encourage you to try this! It took me one Saturday morning, and now I have a go-to favorite dress that I feel comfortable wearing to swish away the night. Absolute win.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Beginner Quilting Class Next Week

A short week from today, I will be teaching my first quilting class at the lovely gift shop and co-working space Gather downtown Cary, NC. If you have a yen to quilt but feel intimidated by the many steps, this is the class for you!

Dive into modern quilting, and join us for a fun evening of sewing. A beginner class, we will specifically explore flying geese—the building block of many a quilt pattern—as we piece a mini wall quilt or potholder from starting design to final binding stitch. This hands-on experience is sure to introduce you to every step of the quilting process and prepare you to embark on quilting adventures of your own.

If you're interested in signing up, register on the Gather website. I can't wait to meet you!

I've spent quite some time prepping for the class. From brainstorming project ideas to trying some out on my boyfriend to gauge class length time with a true beginner ;) it has been a blast. This past week was spent building a removable "Learn to Sew Flying Geese with No Waste" poster board that I'm pretty pumped about. I even consulted with my boyfriend's mother about what is the icing on the cake for a quilting class. The answer? Background music, snacks, and potentially some take home kits to practice again for yourself. I am a teensy bit nervous but mostly just unbelievably excited to get to share this skill with new quilter converts.

How many of you have taken a quilting or sewing class in person? What were parts that still remember today—the good and the bad? What is the icing on your porverbial quilting class cake?

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.

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