I have found my go-to baby quilt pattern. This Spring, my Mom made a modern baby quilt that highlighted one of hand-printed fabrics, and just like that, she started an addiction. This is the third one I have made now. For the center of this modern courthouse baby quilt, I printed a panel of navy and white pistachios to pair with the bold Lotta Jansdotter stripe and solids I had chosen. The panel was a tad subtler than I intended, but I forged ahead. I am so happy with how bold and modern this one is turning out!
Inspired by the Black and White Twelve Quilts exhibition in New York this past weekend, I decided to make my own. You don't get to be included among the quilter's you admire by sitting on your hands, right? This is the first stage of piecing completed. (Although after taking pictures, I did realize that the outside two black stripes might not quite be in the right spots...)
I am planning to print it, but instead of masking out sections like I did for Stone + Bloom, I decided to try a partial piecing method. Then I can flip sections out of the way to get continuous printing that skips a strip or two. If that doesn't quite make sense to you, stop back in a couple weeks. I am hoping to do a time lapse video of the printing process as I print and flip and print.
Straight-line quilting on the modern eggplant-printed quilt is complete! I whipped out the second half last Wednesday at sewing night while watching the Philadelphia auditions for American Idol. My current idol favorite is Jenn Blosil. She is hilarious and unique and such a hoot but so great to listen to as well. Have you been keeping up with the auditions? They make for good sewing tv, except that as soon as someone starts singing, I feel like I should stop adding the chug chug of my machine to the mix.
Brent was a doll and held up my quilt for me this weekend since I am out of masking tape. I guess it's time to swing by Target! (Alert: danger zone. Target also has a quilted men's sweatshirt I'm kind of dying to have but since Brent already owns it...I'm not sure if I'm allowed to buy it as well...) The next step is tying all of those threads to the back. Then it will be free-motion quilting time. I decided to try lines first this time to achieve a flatter quilt with less chances of puckers. So far so good.
I've been wanting to get back into posting progress photos, but if I post them on their own, then the finished post doesn't have any progress photos...dilemma. What do you think?
Finals, term papers, and visits from the boyfriend have made sewing a little scarce. Plus, a mini break was in order after turning in the thirty-page paper to grab coffee with friends and read a book for fun. However, projects are afoot! I'm piecing some Ohio Stars to print, like I did for the Lenten Twelves Two quilt.
I also started some circles like I used in Lenten Twelves: Sabbath. I know I said I would never do appliqué circles again, but something came over me last week, and I ironed 16 freezer paper circles to some neutrals. I don't know what I was thinking! All hope is not lost; there is still time to bail. I guess, we'll see what I decide. Don't they look so cute, though, in the sketches?
My first Ohio Star went together like a breeze, but these are proving a tad more difficult to match corners. I don't know what I did differently this time, but I thought perhaps pressing my seams open might help. Do you know any tricks for Ohio Stars?
My last final is tomorrow, and then summer begins! No homework, more time to focus on sewing! I'm excited for these to come together and print them. Actually, truth be told, I'm not super excited. I'm mostly unmotivated, which is why I'm sitting at sewing night blogging instead of sewing. Hopefully being done with finals will reignite my fire for quilting. It'll come back...right?
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:
Hill and Valley &
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.
With Christmas celebrations over, I snuggled into the couch with a steaming mug of tea and a present that I had been looking forward to for months: Savor Each Stitch by Carolyn Friedlander. Carolyn is so inspiring. Originally an architect, Carolyn made the decision several years ago to switch to quilting and fabric design, and it seems she hasn't glanced back. From pattern writing to fabric design, she excels. Authorship was no different. Each page of Savor Each Stitch is full of bright and beautiful photos with thoughtful prose and design lessons alongside.
My goal this spring is to exercise each of the design elements she explores as I sketch projects and patterns. Pictured here is her project Arches, which considers Line. An adventure in needle turn appliqué, I reveled in the methodical and relaxing pace of the hand sewing. This year of 2015 is already brimming with new ideas and thrilling prospects, and I can't think of a better book to kick it off.
What exciting books are you exploring this new year?
This past week I was invited to sew with some ladies from church. Now, I've never sewn with people before, so I didn't know what to expect. Usually it's just me and the characters of my favorite TV show with Mom and boyfriend on call for design advice. But with phone dead and a warm house on the north side of Raleigh beckoning me, I decided to try it, community sewing.
Guys, it was amazing. I had so much fun chatting as we worked, seeing their projects, and stitching side by side. We had Hallmark Christmas movies on the telly and chips and guac on the counter. In wool socks, leggings, and a comfy sweater, I felt so welcomed and at home. I knocked out cutting, design decisions, and piecing in one night, and I'm really looking forward to going back!
This leads me to my New Year's resolution. I've been meaning to go to a MQG meeting for so long. My hometown MQG even meets at my favorite local quilt shop, Pink Castle. I guess it just took an extra little push from God and my church family. Well, hooray, push received! I even looked up the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild and got excited to meet some of the ladies, such as Daisy at Ants to Sugar and Nicole at Mama Love Quilts. Eek! So excited!! TMQG here I come!
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!
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.
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?
The moment I walked into my new apartment, I was taken aback by how large it is, a huge cavern from dining room wall all the way to living room edge. If the couch feels a tad small, the frames on the walls look like postage stamps. No matter, I can quilt. (Imagine me with hands on my hips, chin held high, wonder woman.) Because this quilt isn't for the shop or a show, I was allowed to delve into my non-handprinted fabrics. (Now imagine me as a kid in a candy shop.) It was a fun way to jump back into quilting after so long working on fabric designs, and tonight is the night to bind it!
What do you like to do as you bind a quilt?
So excited to have a quilt to link up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. Head on over to check out what a talented group of sewers are whipping up!
Any great book suggestions to listen to on CD as I go?
Yesterday I finished my Lone Star to the tune of Gossip Girl. I may or may not have finished six episodes of season two as well. Watching the series for the second time lends new hilarious insights. Serena asks to meet with GossipGirl in the season finale and he (or she...) actually shows up but you don't realize it...ha! I digress.
I think I need to tell myself that again. Mistakes mean you're learning.
In the warm winds and blossoming sun of summer, I received my very own squeegee in the mail. The postman simply rang the bell and left the package by the door, but upon hearing it, I flew threw the house, threw open the door, saw it, and ran partway down the driveway to shout a barefoot "thank you" after him. What a wonderful Tuesday treat.
Wednesday I was blessed with a final surge of motivation to finish my business plan after many weeks reading books, mapping ideas, and dreaming. I am excited to announce that the quilt and fabric shop should open near the beginning of August. So exciting!
Thursday, prompted by my list of to-dos, I pieced and printed several quilt tops. (It's amazing how much more I accomplish when I write myself lists.) This one is a peppy poppy version of my previous cut-glass quilt, Little Pieces. Although it's missing some mid-tones, my favorite local fabric shop Pink Castle was more than willing to help me flesh out that area of my new palette. Such a friendly place.
And lastly, sewing machine hunting! I had the crazy experience of stumbling upon a Bernina 830 at a local resale shop last Christmas. I brought it home for $15 in it's pretty red case full of accessories. Unfortunately, it had been dropped on its head at some point and wasn't fit for fixing or function, said the sewing machine repair man. Since then, I've been keeping a keen eye out for another one, and I may have found it last night. Cross your fingers this little Bernina dream comes true!
What was lovely for you this past week?
|7. Birds in the Air|
|21. Contrary Wife|
|14. Butterfly at the Crossroads|
|52. Hovering Hawks|
I'm pretty excited to see the show finished and hung and be able to share it with everyone. I hope you guys are too.
It's the home stretch, and the end is within reach! However, since I'm not to the final stitches of any individual quilt or the show in its entirety, I get share it with my comrades at FreshlyPieced for WIP Wednesday. Gotta love solidarity.