Lenten Twelves 2018

Every Lenten season, I take a break from my current quilting projects to feast into creativity. The first year, this meant a 12"x 12" mini quilt every week (hence the original name "Lenten Twelves"). The next year was a series of baby quilts. Last year was a series of printed quilts. This Lenten season, I am exploring double wedding ring quilt blocks and the stations of the cross.

Lenten Twelve double wedding ring quilt block in black and white

The double wedding ring block carries double meaning for me. For one, it has significance as I plan my wedding and prepare for marriage. However, it also feels like an apt block to explore during Lent as we contemplate Jesus coming to the world to take the church as his bride.

While visiting the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC last fall, I came across Barnett Newman's Stations of the Cross. Minimal in black and white, the room was incredibly meditative, and I have mulling over their simple power ever since gallery. With Barnett as inspiration, I am spending this Lent working in shades of black and white and loosely exploring the stations of the cross. The 14 stations of the cross are intended to be meditations that center around the day of Jesus crucifixion, following the story from when he is condemned to die to when he is placed in his tomb. 

Barnett Newman's Station's of the Cross (4 of 15)

 

My first block is titled: Prayers in Gethsemane.

 

At this moment in the story, Jesus has finished the Last Supper with his friends, and the full weight of what awaits him next is sinking in. Since he is God, he knows that he needs to die in order to atone for the sins of the world, but he is also human and is overwhelmed at the thought of being crucified. Together with his friends, he goes to the Garden of Gethsemane and asks them to stay awake with him as he contemplates his impending death.

"Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray.' He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.'
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.' Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. 'Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?' he asked Peter . . .
He went away a second time and prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.' When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy." - Matthew 26: 36–40, 42–43

When Jesus needs his friends' support, they fall asleep. This block depicts the twelve sleeping disciples in grey with Jesus awake at the center. Dark printed foliage covers the entire piece, obscuring the disciples and blending into the night sky.

Lenten Twelve double wedding ring quilt block screen printed with black foliage

Black and White Deconstructed Quilt Finished

Quilt: Lenten Twelves Three

Watching: Season Two of Blue Bloods

Favorite Part of Quilt: diagonal straight-line quilting in just the grey areas

Place for Improvement: experimenting with the connective quilting after rearranging

black and white modern deconstructed quilt rearranged
 
deconstructed and printed black and white modern quilt
 
rearrangeabledeconstructed and printed black and white modern quilt
 
deconstructed and printed black and white modern quilt with DIY professional label
 
deconstructed and printed black and white modern quilt
deconstructed and printed black and white modern quilt
 
deconstructed and printed black and white modern quilt

To read more about this Lenten Twelves series, follow the links below:

Introduction to Lenten Twelves

Printing Stripes on Quilts

Fresh Deconstructed Quilt Finish

Quilt: Lenten Twelves Two (2017)

Listening to While Quilting: Invisibilia (Season Three)

Favorite Part of Quilt: I love this quilt so much, it can't be just one.

Place for Improvement:

  • turning corners with serger and tucking in the loose ends
  • hiding white batting edges
printed and deconstructed modern wall quilt in fresh spring colors
 
printed and deconstructed modern wall quilt rearranged from grid to line
 

To read more about this Lenten Twelves series, follow the links below:

Introduction to Lenten Twelves

Lenten Twelves Two Progress (beginning)

Citrus Printing onto Lenten Twelve Two

Mustard Stripes Wall Quilt Completed

Quilt: Lenten Twelves One (2017)

Listening to While Quilting: Despacito (Remix Audio) ft. Justin Bieber on repeat

Favorite Part of Quilt: my first experiment with stripes printed on quilts

Place for Improvement: printing stripes with thinner ink for more even printing

mustard Lenten Twelves One printed, quilted, and faced

I have to write a lot for grad school. (One year from my PhD if anyone else is counting!) Because of that, writing on the blog does not bring me joy right now. However, formulas do, so in true scientist fashion, I am going to follow this formula of indexing my quilts with: the music/tv/podcast I was listening to while working on it, my favorite part of the quilt, and something I want to improve upon. Thanks for sticking with me.

mustard Lenten Twelves One modern quilt printed with stripes, quilted and faced
 
mustard Lenten Twelves One modern quilt quilted and faced
 
mustard Lenten Twelves One modern quilt printed with stripes, quilted and faced
 
mustard Lenten Twelves One modern quilt printed with stripes, quilted and faced

To read more about this Lenten Twelves series, follow the links below:

Introduction to Lenten Twelves

Lenten Twelves One Progress (beginning)

Printing Stripes on Quilts

Citrus Printing onto Lenten Twelve Two

New screen!!! I designed a new citrus pattern and made a screen of the one-color version to print on quilts. I love it!! I am so thankful that I have the resources at the College of Textiles to put patterns on acetate and then burn them onto screens. 

printed and quilted summery LentenTwelve modern quilt close-up | LovelyandEnough
 
new acetate for a citrus screen
 
making screens in the dark room | LovelyandEnough

With new screen in hand, I printed a translucent white onto my springy mini quilt.

a new citrus screen for printing quilts | LovelyandEnough
 

Then I free-motion quilted around a trailing path of fruits and leaves and finished off the background with scattered aqua straight-line quilting. I love how it is turning out! I will definitely be trying more of these this summer. Next up is chopping this quilt into teeny minis and then finishing them with my serger!

printed and quilt fresh modern mini quilt by LovelyandEnough

To read more about this Lenten Twelves series, follow the links below:

Introduction to Lenten Twelves

Lenten Twelves One Progress (beginning)

Lenten Twelves Two Progress (beginning)

Printing Stripes on Quilts

Printing Stripes on Quilts

I have a new screen! It's a 12" x 12" square of graphic lines, and I love it! I masked out the bottom so that it would line up perfectly with two seams in my mustard Lenten Twelves One. Although I think my printing ink should've been a bit thinner to get in the crevices better, I like the overall effect, and I am excited to try it on more quilts!

Graphic white stripes screen-printed onto a mustard quilt | by Kelsey Boes
 
graphic white stripes screen-printed onto a mustard quilt | by Kelsey Boes
 
Graphic white stripes screen-printed onto a mustard quilt | by Kelsey Boes

Right after printing Lenten Twelve One, I ironed this grey guy flat onto the printing board and printed him too! It is so fun to add movement with such a graphic statement atop a quilt. 

Lenten Twelve quilt sketch #3 with modern minimal black lines over-printed | Lovely and Enough
 
Lenten Twelve quilt sketch #3 with modern minimal black lines over-printed, still on the printing board | Lovely and Enough
 
modern evening star quilt still on the printing board, printed with modern black lines | Lovely and Enough

I didn't really mean for the second set of lines to perfectly align with the center of the quilt, but oh well! When you're sketching, sometimes your pencil lines don't quite go where you meant. When you're quilt sketching, I think the same is true.

Lenten Twelve quilt sketch #3 with modern minimal black lines over-printed | Lovely and Enough
 
Lenten Twelve quilt sketch #3 with modern minimal black lines over-printed | Lovely and Enough

Seeing my collection of Lenten Twelves grow this year has been fun. I feel like I am stretching my creative boundaries with these quilt sketches, and I am having a last in the process!

Lenten Twelve over-printed quilt sketches: #1, #2, and #3 | by Lovely and Enough

To read more about this Lenten Twelves series, follow the links below:

Introduction to Lenten Twelves

Lenten Twelves One Progress (beginning)

Lenten Twelves Two Progress (beginning)

Lenten Twelves One Finished

Lenten Twelves Begins Again

In 2014, my mom challenged me to feast into creativity during the season of Lent instead of fasting from something. We both set out to create a 12"x12" min quilt sketch each week to stretch our creative muscles and boundaries. These we named our "Lenten Twelves." That first year, I tried new piecing methods, explored ideas for printing on quilts, and most of all, had such a creative blast that I decided to repeat the ritual every year. You can check out her Lenten Twelves quilts on her blog, Fibermusing, as well as mine using the links below.

Lovely and Enough | Lenten Twelves 2015

Fibermusing | Lenten Twelves 2015

Lenten Twelve #1 by Jennifer Boes (my mom)

Lenten Twelve #1 by Jennifer Boes (my mom)

Lenten Twelve I by Kelsey Boes

Lenten Twelve I by Kelsey Boes

Last year, our Lenten explorations took on new sizes. My mom went from 12" squares to 15" squares, and I decided to play around with baby quilts. Since they weren't 12"x12," we decided to call our series Forms of Lent. My sister and boyfriend also participated, She stepped out of her architecture comfort zone and took a black and white photo each week. He explored a new material, walnut plywood, and designed and built a bench.

Lovely and Enough | Modern Courthouse Baby 2016

Fibermusing | Forms of Lent 2016

Forms of Lent #6 by Jennifer Boes (my mom)

Forms of Lent #6 by Jennifer Boes (my mom)

Modern Courthouse Baby Quilt 2 by Kelsey Boes

Modern Courthouse Baby Quilt 2 by Kelsey Boes

This year I am setting out to create mini quilt sketches again. Each quilt will be printed with a 12"x12" grid. Although I haven't completed a quilt a week yet, the creative juices are beginning to flow! I have sketched, designed, and cut the pieces for my first Lenten Twelve of 2017.

Let the Lenten Twelves begin!

Lenten Twelves : Easter

Seven weeks ago my mom challenged me to feast into creativity this Lent by creating one twelve-inch quilt per week. Thus began Lenten Twelves. Finishing up quilt six and the final week, I consider it a success. My creative dam has broken. From exploring new techniques to pushing personal boundaries, these last weeks have been fun adventures in quilting with the wonderful gentle pressure (of texts from my mom with her finished weekly quilts) to just keep sewing. Thanks, Mom!

This week's quilt was a mix of experiments. First up: curved piecing. I went for minimal this time, cutting the pieces on a whim at Wednesday sewing night and whipping it up just as the evening came to a close. It still blows my mind that I hadn't ever tried curved piecing before Lenten Twelves One ! Curves are almost easier than half-square triangles!! Second on the quilt docket: printing. This week, I opted for my childhood favorite, periwinkle, and I love it. Thanks for the suggestion, Yvonne! Experiment three: free-motion quilting. I'm rather rusty and inexperienced, but the pattern came together better than I was expecting! I'm not sure I love it with the printed design. (It reminds me a tad of wheat rather than foliage.) However, I realized that I also shouldn't be overly intimidated by it! And that is enough to make it a success.

This series has truly been about working through my quilting hangups. Colors. Circles. Curves. Applique. Minimalism. Printing. Free motion quilting. With the celebration of Easter, I am bringing Lenten Twelves to a close until next year. Thank you for joining me on my journey. I hope I can encourage you to push even just one of your quilting boundaries. After all, after the forty days of Lent...come the forty days of Easter!

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. Find her finished Lenten Twelves here. Or find my Lenten Twelve OneLenten Twelve TwoLenten Twelve Three, and Lenten Twelve Four, and Lenten Twelve Five. Happy exploring.

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 TwoLenten Twelve Three, and Lenten Twelve Four.

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 OneLenten Twelve Two, and Lenten Twelve Three.

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.

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.

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.