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

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 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.
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