Black and White Quilt Printed

I finally finished printing this black and white quilt, which meant I could stitch up the remaining seams. I am so pleased with the results.

1. Larger Scale:

I have been trying to work on a larger scale. From 6"x6" farmer's wife quilt blocks to 2'x2' senior show quilts to 3'x3' for QuiltCon last year, and now almost 5'x5' !

2. Within a Design Challenge:

Seeing the "Black and White, Twelve Quilts" show this spring inspired me to create a quilt with the design parameters of monochromaticity. I work with light grey in almost every quilt, but I stretched myself and chose an off-white instead. I love the warmth the cream adds!

3. Stretching My Process:

As I explore the process of printing on quilts, I don't want to end up in a rut. With Stone + Bloom for QuiltCon last year, I experimented with masking off sections of the quilt. For this quilt, I went a step further and only partially pieced the top before printing. 

The next step in the process always takes me the longest: deciding how to quilt the quilt. I printed out my design sketch to audition several quilting options, and after some layering with tracing paper and several long collaborative FaceTimes spent staring more at my quilt than my boyfriend, I think I have decided on the direction I want to go. That boyfriend of mine is such a trooper.

black and white experimental screen-printed quilt in modern black and white | Lovely and Enough
black and white experimental screen-printed quilt in modern black and white | Lovely and Enough
black and white experimental screen-printed quilt in modern black and white | Lovely and Enough
getting creative with methods for hanging quilts for blog photos | Lovely and Enough
black and white experimental screen-printed quilt in modern black and white | Lovely and Enough
sketching quilting ideas for a modern black and white quilt | Lovely and Enough

Follow the progress of this quilt with the links below:

Piecing

Finished

Eggplant Modern Printed Quilt Finish

Last January, my aunt commissioned a quilt for above her fireplace. We chatted about color schemes and styles, and I pieced this large grey and white morning star quilt block. Then I stalled. For months. But in December, knowing that I would be flying to the west side of Michigan for a baby shower for my cousin, I decided that this quilt would be my next completion. And here it is: completed!

Modern Screen-printed Grey and White Wall Quilt | Lovely and Enough

It is based off of Morning Star, a quilt from my senior collection, "She Can Laugh at the Days to Come." The deep eggplant printing lends a stronger graphic quality to the final composition. I also experimented with a dark navy straight-line quilting thread instead of matching the grey, and the pop balances the blooms, I think. At just under 30" square, this quilt is a bit of an up-size from the original Morning Star, and I love the final product.

I bound this baby using my new clover binding clips while watching Ellen's Design Challenge with Brent. Talk about a good evening, and a good finish. I just dropped it off at its new home this past weekend, and I can't wait to get a picture of it above the mantle!

Modern Screen-printed Grey and White Wall Quilt | Lovely and Enough
Modern Screen-printed Grey and White Wall Quilt | Lovely and Enough

Follow the progress of this quilt with the links below:

Inspiration

Sandwiching

Straight-line Quilting

Printed Quilts and Good Books

Printed quilts. Summer plans. Artistic direction. Lovely moments. Sweet rememberings. Ohio stars. Michigan.

I don't know where to begin and what to share. I've been feeling many directions recently. Homesick. Frustrated. Loved. Supported. Far away. Overwhelmed. At peace.

four modern low-volume ohio stars with striking overprinting | by Lovely and Enough

I suppose though, I want to talk about quilting. I've been treating it like my job. When I photograph projects like this, I am full to the brim with excitement and inspiration, and I love it. When I come home from a long day in the lab and feel like curling up with dinner and a good book, I don't love it. I savor that evening. It's glorious and wonderful, and I am so thankful for those times. But I go to bed feeling I wasn't productive enough, that I didn't sew, sandwich, print, or accomplish enough.

This is not how I want it to be.

Do you ever feel like this? Somehow the bloggers and instagrammers can pull together entire quilts, whole fabric lines, and gorgeous photos with time to make dinner for the kids and go on vacation. I don't understand how they they make it happen, but I know that I want to stop trying to measure up. I thought this might mean focusing on just one: quilt design or fabric design. I prayed about it, thought about, talked it out, and journaled.

modern low-volume ohio star with striking red overprinting | by Lovely and Enough
modern low-volume ohio star with striking dark teal overprinting | by Lovely and Enough

My conclusion is Neither. Neither will I feel like I don't have time for all my quilting dreams, nor will I hold such high and grandiose expectations with such short timelines for my fabric designs. In fact, I will not focus on either one for the next three months.

I am twenty two. Twenty two. I don't need to be the same place as those people with books and fabric designing jobs and thousands of followers. This summer I am going to sew myself a dress. I am going to plant an herb garden. I will hang art on the walls. I will cut myself slack because I am working on my PhD. I am going to read books and cook food and visit my family. When I turn twenty three, I can decide where the road leads next, but for the next three months...the deadlines and comparisons and timelines will be set aside. How freeing does that sound?

Will you support me in this?

modern low-volume ohio stars with striking red and dark teal overprinting | by Lovely and Enough
four modern low-volume ohio stars with striking overprinting | by Lovely and Enough

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Modern, Crisp, and Printed

Hello and welcome again from the Blogger's Quilt Festival ! If you're here for the first time, I'm glad to have you. You'll find I love clean and fresh design. This quilt, titled Evening Star, was for my first show. It's completely machine pieced and quilted and is overprinted in the same process I use for printing my fabrics. The quilt sold and is now hanging in a loving new home (hooray!), but sadly these are the only two photos I have of it (sad). Enjoy this tiny montage.

modern and fresh screen-printed quilt in grey, mint, and coral | by Lovely and Enough

This is my second entry this sunny spring of 2015. My other is a bright and modern minimalist mini quilt. I encourage you to check out the other quilts in the modern section of the festival. Some have caught my heart with just a glance, and I can't wait to discover the makers behind them!

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 : 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.

Uniola and the Price Lowering Party

You may know Chelsea over at Patch the Giraffe. She is pretty amazing when it comes to juggling teaching and quilting and taking amazing photos and making friends and being encouraging. The list goes on. So, when she purchased a bundle of fabrics from my Etsy shop, I was over the moon! You can see the bundle she picked out over on her blog today. It's gorgeous, and I am beyond excited to see what she does with it.

That got me thinking. I want to do more projects with my fabrics, but not only that, I want more people to be able to as well! However, with the expensive and time-consuming process of screen printing, prices felt high. So, last night, I lowered them. I had a price lowering party complete with hot chocolate and comfy pillows, and I finagled with numbers until I was happy. Go check it out! You can now get fat quarters! And because I don't want to gyp those of you who supported my endeavor from the start, just message me on Etsy with which fabric you would like, and I'll send you an extra little panel free of charge.

And while we're talking about fabrics, I want to officially introduce my newest pattern: Uniola.

Inspired by electron scanning microscope images of plant seeds, the base of the pattern is printed in white. It is then overprinted with beach dune fences. The pattern draws its name from uniola paniculata, a dune grass that grows along the coasts of the southeastern United States and helps to prevent the erosion of its sandy habitat. I experimented with lots of color combinations and was geeked when I found this one last July. I can't believe it's taken me this long to share about it on my blog, but I guess that's what starting grad school will do to you.

What would you make with this fabric?

Geeked

Wow, it's been three weeks since I've been here! So much has happened. I printed official yardage to list in my soon-to-be etsy store. I packed up my life in Michigan and moved cross-country to North Carolina. And I started grad school! Tomorrow is the first day of classes, and I couldn't be more pumped to study Fiber and Polymer Sciences and dyes. Check out this video about my PhD project. It excites me every time. Gah, so geeked!

Printing Pistachio yardage, I tried my hand at new registration methods, previously described to me as "complicated string systems." Well, I think I have string theory figured out, and it means a lot less drying the edge of every panel before printing the next one. I promise not to be gone for three weeks this time, but I have to run. Free grad student dinner and board game night are calling. Can you hear me smiling?




Test Print Day 6.2 // Pistachios

Sometimes I have to bargain with myself to keep going on test print days.

Chai tea latte in my mint mug. Test print. Chips and queso break. Test print. Gossip Girl. Two test prints. Rainymood.com. Test print. Surprise "inspirational Arnold Palmer" from my lovely sister. Three test prints.

But these days are so exciting too! A simple screen can become my next favorite fabric and potentially a whole set of quilts. Just check my coral hydrangeas and my senior show! The hydrangeas, however, have held my attention long enough. Today was a Pistachio day.

Inspired by Blueberry Park, I prepped with a whole stack of solid panels and then went to town. Karen (the mind and hands of Blueberry Park and an inspiration to me as she manages her own hand-printed fabric business) prints mostly white on solids, and they all look gorgeous and modern and classic, so I thought I would give it a try. My favorite is white pistachios on light grey. My sister votes for white on mint. What's your favorite of the bunch?





Adventures in Chicagoland

Quite a lot has happened in two weeks, and it has all been very exciting. From wandering San Francisco to camping Up North, I have been sketching and absorbing inspiration for a new collection of fabrics and quilts. I haven't been home for more than a minute at a time to print or sew, but luckily, a trip to Chicago was squeezed between Higgins Lake and Cali to burn screens. It was there three new fabric designs were born: Pistachios, Seeds, and Stripes.


I arrived in Chicago to a be struck with an I-haven't-seen-you-in-months hug by my dear friend Olivia. Then after an evening around a backyard campfire catching up on boys and family and the future and munching on passionfruit meringue pie (you really should try it), I ventured back to the Alma Mater. Isn't that weird? I have an alma mater haha. It's like I'm old now or something. I digress.


Brent let me into the art building and we started an adventure all our own, beginning with a hunt for emulsion. (If you don't know what emulsion is, have no fear; I detail the screen-printing process here.) Alas, it was not to be found, so we took a trip to rarely organized but oh so helpful Graphic Chemical. I had to pause outside to snap a picture of their sign, isn't it fun?


Shooting the screen itself was second nature. It's always such fun to see the transformation from pencil sketches to vectorized prints to burned screens. I tried my hand at registration marks for the Hortensia screens and then had a moment when I thought there was a random half-circle hole in my screen to fill. You can see it between the two sets of blooms below.



Now, I am back and more excited than ever to try some test prints. I'm feeling a Delft-inspired white and blue scheme.

What color schemes have you been loving lately?

Bunting on Words

A week ago last Friday was my last day printing in the studio at school. I thought it would be Thursday and shed a tear for the fabrics I hadn't had a chance to print, but a happy accident occurred among the administrative staff, and my commencement rehearsal was actually at eleven instead of the previously stated nine! I woke up early, grabbed my last breakfast at Saga, and made a beeline for Adams Hall to print my last Wheaton fabric. And I'm so excited about it!




The words alone are cute and so is the bunting, but the bunting and words together have a new life to them. It's subtle but fun and fills the field nicely. I feel it would be a lovely backing to a baby quilt or an adorable square on the front, and I haven't decided yet if I should print more or what project they should become. What would you make with this fabric?



Yep, I did say that: print more. I may or may not have borrowed a couple of screens from the school so that I could print this week if I so chose. I'll be driving right back to Wheaton next week for a dear friend's wedding and will return the screens then. But until then, I am off to print!


The designs are printed on Pat Bravo solid Icy Mint and Robert Kaufman solid Ice Peach.

The Screen Printing Process

It was an exciting week last week. In between finishing up classes, planning for graduation, doing my best to get wrinkles out of my gown sans iron, and turning in final projects, I drove into the city with Brent to get my screens. My very own screens. Three white 160s and one bright yellow 225. Clean and without tear or caked on emulsion. Mine.

On Thursday, I stole a couple of hours in the middle of packing to coat and shoot them and since I've never shared this particular part of the process before, I took pictures! It's really quite simple. First, you coat each screen with a thin layer of emulsion front and back. This emulsion is light-sensitive, so you have to hide the screens in that black curtained rack until you're ready to shoot them.


"Shooting" or exposing the screen refers to exposing it on the light table, kind of like shooting a photo. Since I've never done film photography before, I can't draw the beautiful analogy here; I can only explain screen printing, but I know both processes have things in common. For screen printing, the emulsion hardens when it is exposed to light, so I paint my designs in opaque paint onto clear acetate and lay it on the screen. Wherever there is paint, the emulsion stays soft, and I can wash it out later.


The table vacuums the screen to the glass eliminating any wrinkles in the acetate and ensuring that light doesn't creep around the edge of the painted patterns. A bright bright light turns on for around seven minutes, I read my book, and then it's time to blow out the screen.


This is the spray booth where I "blow out" the screens. When the emulsion comes in contact with water, it ceases reacting with light, so the soft parts remain soft. Then, with a pressurized hose, I can blow out the parts of the pattern that I want ink to go through, in this case, leaves!


After I've removed all of the emulsion in the pattern, I set the screen to dry and fully expose in the window well. The emulsion, which begins a shade of green, turns a greyish blue when it is fully exposed and then it can no longer be easily washed out from the screen.


I prepared my three 160 thread-count screens with my hydrangea patterns for the summer and exposed flamingos onto the 225. (You can see previous incarnations of the flamingos here, here, and here.) Then, with my new screens, I printed onto two quilt tops. One is a reprinting of this quilt. And one is a completely new exploration. I experimented with printing only three of the hydrangeas and overlaying them across the quilt, while also taping out several triangles to leave them blank, as if they were pieced in after the printing. 


Watching Taylor and Zac fall in love in the quaint southern flick The Lucky One for the second time this week, I printed the afternoon and evening away, taping and re-taping the screens to achieve just the bloom patterns I wanted. Such a great day. I could do this for the rest of my life.


If you have any questions about the process, I am happy to field them. I tried to keep the explanation pretty simple, but I truly do understand it in more depth, so hit me up even if you're just curious.

Good Friday

Some days are just great. Good Friday was one of them. I woke up to sunshine, rolled out of bed to a quiet and warm campus, and hied to the printing studio for a day away from assignments and dance rehearsals. This time around I decided I should prewash, so I threw them in the night before and pulled from the dryer...a crinkled mess of fabrics. No amount of ironing or steam would remove the wrinkles, but as always, mother came to the rescue. She said that Grandma used to spritz her wrinkled fabrics with water and then roll them into logs before spreading them out to iron. It works like a charm! An hour or so later, with a little company from Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, I had a fresh stack of fabrics ready to print.



I printed three colorways from my artist statement screen from my show. It is the first color-on-white fabric that I have printed and liked. I can't wait to print a bunch more yardage experimenting with overlaying colors. For now, I have coral and coral over mint. The mint is quite subtle but adds texture and interest. You can just see it in the picture if you look closely on the right side. Next came the peach and mint colorways, pretty simple tone-on-tone. I have plans to print a panel or two of solid-colored bunting over these fabrics in white on the mint and coral on the peach.




Recently I had been struggling with my screens clogging up and needing to wash them after only a couple of pulls, but I called the helpline at BuyPermasetInks.com, and he suggested spritzing the screen with water in between pulls. This also worked like a charm. Yay for spritzing, and I only had to wash the screen when I got too distracted watching the movie or talking to my mom and didn't pull the next panel fast enough.



With new tips and tricks under my belt and a new fabric design, I am so pumped for designing a new line of quilts this summer. The fabric collection is growing, and I can't wait to dive into it!


Remnants of Summer

With little pieces of hydrangea fabric from the summer as well as an overprint of hydrangea design, this block brings me back to walking the hot streets of Florence with my sister at my side. Freckles and sandals and sketchbooks in backpacks. However, rather than settling into nostalgia, I like to remember the many things that have grown from that month: a deeper relationship with my sister, a year of studying fabric design, a beautiful quilt from the fabrics we purchased at the markets, this show. Dwelling on the past is not productive. Appreciating, instead, the unfolding of moments into long-lasting treasures keeps us thankful and grounded in the present and future.



Making it was a whirlwind of late nights and frantic stitching. The deadline for the juried exhibition was Friday before noon, and I began it Tuesday morning. Between every class and commitment, I would dash off to sew or print, pick up velcro or make frames. The final stitches zig-zagged around the edge of the ninth block at 3:30 in the morning Thursday night, and I fell contentedly into bed for several hours before bringing it to the gallery for the jury.



I think it's the layers in this one that make it my favorite, as well as the movement between the navy and coral pieces. After piecing each of the nine blocks, I laid them down on my printing board and over-printed two layers of the hydrangea design in a transparent white. At first, it felt like the white toned down the outside colors too much, but after adding a zing of color with coral straight-line quilting, the piece really came together. The free-motion quilted swath of the hydrangeas that overlaps from the grey blocks to the colorful ones is probably my favorite aspect of the design, and I look forward to figuring out how to make this design into a full-size bed quilt.

She Can Laugh At the Days to Come

Transience and permanence. This collection anchors itself in the juxtaposition of beginnings and endings, expressing confidence in the face of uncertainty and joyful contentment in the present. As my sister began her college career and I finished mine, we seized the opportunity to spend a summer together studying textile design and photography in Florence. While there, I crafted a small line of fabrics inspired by her graduation party—hydrangeas, bunting, and striped paper straws. As I reminisced on our time together and began to sew summer fabrics into autumn projects, this show was born. It contrasts the deep constancy of family against the transience of growing up through a medium that has long accompanied those disparate pieces of life: quilts. From births to weddings to graduations, quilts commemorate transitions in life. Drawing on the tradition of the simple one-block quilts of the Amish, I utilized large flat planes and solids, bringing it to the modern quilting scene with fresh colors and straight-line stitching. Each quilt contains a printed snapshot of our summer together—laughing and exploring—as well as a look into the past and future through the meanings of the traditional quilt blocks.

The show title is taken from Proverbs 31, which describes a woman who is successful in her business endeavors as well as at home but grounds her strength and carefree nature in Christ. She can laugh, enjoying the present without fear of the future, just as I hope we can embrace the now and hold what might come with excited and open palms. I invite you to enter into these moments, feeling the tactile changes in direction our lives take as well as the unity of family and faith that undergirds each quilt and story.














Remnants of Summer

With little pieces of hydrangea fabric from the summer as well as an overprint of hydrangea design, this block brings me back to walking the hot streets of Florence with my sister at my side. Freckles and sandals and sketchbooks in backpacks. However, rather than settling into nostalgia, I like to remember the many things that have grown from that month: a deeper relationship with my sister, a year of studying fabric design, a beautiful quilt from the fabrics we purchased at the markets, this show. Dwelling on the past is not productive. Appreciating, instead, the unfolding of moments into long-lasting treasures keeps us thankful and grounded in the present and future.

Variations on a Bouquet of Tulips

Life doesn’t always happen as you expect, but often then it is better. My sophomore year, I was surprised with a bouquet of tulips after one of my dance performances from a friend who then asked me to dinner. I was flattered and excited, but the relationship didn’t take off and ended up rather awkward. This year, though, I was surprised again with a beautiful bouquet from two of my chemistry major friends. We all chatted and laughed and had breakfast together the next Friday as we had all semester. Great friends, good conversation, and lots of fun. Sometimes the best moments are subtle variations on what you would’ve picked for yourself.

Lovely & Enough

The title of my blog and this quilt encompasses a lifestyle to which I aspire. My life is so full of blessings: a loving family, a great group of friends, a burgeoning church, and my knitting and quilting. I want to live happily and contentedly in this and remember that my life is lovely and enough. Quilting through physical chemistry tests, documentary photography classes, friend drama, and stressful dance performances, I choose to work with my hands and lead a life that reflects the great wonder of life rather than the minutiae. This lone star block, with its classic pattern and single star represent the beauty in simplicity and the joy that can bring.





New Growth

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Coming & Going

Windmill Wings

I've grown up hearing the phrase, "If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much." This, of course, isn't true, but I feel very connected to my Dutch roots and home church. Originally titled End of Day as a block in the Farmer's Wife Quilt, I am renaming this block Windmill Wings as an homage to my heritage and the Benjamin Moore color I painted my room as a little girl. It speaks of a solid foundation in my life—my Dutch church family and home—from which I can now springboard into a wider body of fellow scientists, artists, and Christians. The end of each day and phase of life is then not a conclusion but the groundwork for winging into the next adventures of life.


Little Pieces

This is our purpose: to love one another as He loved us. Being afraid of the unexpected turns life throws crushes faith and spontaneity. Rather than worrying, we can instead focus on the beauty of each moment so that any little pieces we leave in our past among close or lost friends, realized or broken dreams are beautiful and untainted with regret.

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Ties

Initially titled Ribbons in the Farmer’s Wife Quilt, I shifted the title to Ties to reflect family relationships. Our ties to family can at times feel like shackles and other times like an anchor amidst the storms of life. No matter the effort taken to cut them or the misguided attempts to bolster, these ties remain invisible and unbreakable.





Evening Star

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Fresh Starts

This is it. The show I've dreamed about since deciding to be an artist as well as a chemist. It brings such a lightness to my life to have both sides. Never during the senior show process did I wish I had just stuck to chemistry. (Well, perhaps once, but it was probably 3:30 in the morning or 3:30 the next afternoon as I feel asleep in my third class that day, or more likely 3:30 the following morning when my walking foot broke.) Finishing the show at last is an enormous sense of accomplishment, and it brings me such joy to sit in the gallery in the peace and quiet. Even better is having people come to me after visiting the gallery with stories of how it touched them. College is full of transitions in locale and in family, and I am so thankful to God for the ways He can speak to each individual person's situation through the things He put on my heart for the show.

A special thank you to Mary and Andie, my Mom, my Dad, my sister Taylor, my Grandma and Grandpa Bolt, my Aunt Lisa, and everyone else who was able to make it out for the reception on Friday. Celebrating with you was a wonderful culmination of my time at Wheaton. And to all who were unable to make it due to distance and previous commitments, extensive documenting of the show can be found over on Flickr.

PS Somehow I missed taking pictures of my favorite quilt, Remnants of Summer, and since it was the one finished at three in the morning the day it was due, it has never been posted on the blog either. I will make sure pictures are posted this week, so stop back by to see them.

Fits and Starts

Sometimes you feel really inspired and productive. Sometimes you don't. Thursday was a productive day. I cut and pieced three large two-tone blocks to print. Three! Yesterday was one of the other kind of days. Three and a half hours of staring at the blocks with no idea how to print them. I'm feeling a little discouraged, with an odd mix of all the time in the world and not enough time at all.

Nevertheless, negativity gets you no where, so I'm determined to be thankful for where I am. I have ten potential senior show blocks. I have a color scheme that I love. I have a Mom who is really good at gauging and color matching solids from online fabric stores. I have a great space to work in and a roommate who doesn't mind quilt squares taped to every free square inch of the room. I have a helpful and inspirational show advisor and encouraging friends. And the Friday after next I get to sneak in and tape up blocks in the gallery space. This week is another week. This afternoon another potential for great fun and productivity. Creative work can go in fits and starts but I don't have to dwell on the fits. Now let's get started!




Mini Printing Update

Today was great. The weekend was great. Thursday and Friday were great. God has just been placing little blessings all over the place, and I couldn't be more happy to be anywhere but exactly where I am. This afternoon my advisor and a talented graduated graphic design student brainstormed with me about my show. New colors, different directions, thread ideas, show-hanging schemes. It was wonderful. Such positive creative energy has left me bursting to work on my show day and night. Sewing machine, here I come!



And in the spirit of community, I'm linking up to my first Work-in-Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced!

Icy Printed Hydrangeas



It's been a cold week here in Chicago, but I am pleased to say that a little sleuthing, a very helpful mother on the phone, and a kindly man from the physical plant put our furnace in order. Now we are toasty! With the long weekend, I pieced two simple blocks in solid grey and white to experiment over-printing. After a blustery morning inside, curled up reading about Manet and Goya, I hit the studio. Several hours later, here we have it. The first printed quilt block.


Although the color is off (not the navy I was hoping for), I love the effect. With some tasteful stitching, I think I can push the geometric-organic juxtaposition a little bit further for a nice finished product. Even if it can't go in the show (because it's the wrong color), it will definitely find a home. I've already had two people claim it for their office and bedroom walls!



Six Yards!

Six yards I printed! Six yards! Contrary to expected, school has felt exceptionally relaxing since returning. Quiet days and content evenings spent with friends and books. Last night I made pizza with my girlfriends and then snuggled in on the couch for some peaceful homework camaraderie. Today, after an uplifting breakfast date with my dear friend Steph, I settled in for an entire day of fabric printing. And now I have six yards of straws. Six. On Thursday I will print four more, two each of coral and aqua. And then I will start the next one! I am feeling re-inspired to try delphiniums. This time I think I will free-hand paint the layers onto acetates. After a very computer-intense design, the free and hands on approach of painting will be a welcome change. How are you doing post-Thanksgiving break?



Stripes and Straws

Following the garden graduation party theme of bunting and hydrangeas, the newest fabric design in the set is straws. Inspired by my sister's pinterest-perfect grad party, I created a "stripe" for the set based on the adorable stripey straws she used. They play well in all sorts of color combinations, and I am very enthusiastic about printing yardage of several of these. Tone-on-tone fabrics are some of my favorite to use, and I think I will definitely make good use of these!