Graduating Hecticity

Life has been hectic these last weeks with banquets and grad school visits and final presentations, but to avoid complete lack of presence on my blog, I wanted to give a quick update. In case you're wondering, I think about the fact that I haven't blogged everyday, and there's a little counter in my head telling me how many days it's been. Ten. Twelve. Fourteen.....

This weekend I hosted a dinner for a bunch of my friends, and it was really fun to set up the mantle with mismatched drinking glasses and fresh flowers. Next to the quilt my mom made for our house last fall, it felt very springy and celebratory. It was also fun to see my various quilts scattered across the living room and snuggled under as the evening wore on and one or two guests got cold. Mm quilting and hospitality and fun dishes.

This week I am determined to get to some last printing before I move away from the graphic design studio forever, so hopefully I will have more non-instagram photos for you then!

You can check out her other work here.
And you can follow me for more play-by-play updates on Instgram here.

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


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.



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


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.

Up Up and Away

I know you all are dying to see pictures of the show, and I am editing them as we speak, but I wanted to get some pictures up at least, so here are the before pictures. (Big run-on sentence, I know.) Hanging the show was a complicated process with more steps and little details than I think I realized beforehand. Sticking on all the velcro (...which is now falling off, don't trust supposed "fabric fusion"...), gluing foam core into the frames, selecting the final line up, screen printing the artist statement. Whew, lots to do. Luckily, I had great people stopping in and helping all day long. My good friend, Margarita, who graduated last year was in town for a couple days and was a happy surprise in my gallery when I arrived to begin the process. She stuck by as a helping hand and comic relief till long after the sun set. And Brent, the studio associate. The show hanging wouldn't have happened without him. He helped me to twist, turn, and shuffle my quilts until I was happy and then dutifully patched holes in the wall when I miscalculated where to hang the next quilt. We hung the last frame and screwed in the last bulb way later than I expected, but it's done. Finally. After twelve crazy weeks of work. Two years of dreaming. Countless hours of phone conversations. The show is up.

You're Invited

With just a couple days until showtime, I am sending out invitations to my show and reception. It's fun to pop them into the mail and exceptionally exciting to get picture texts and snapchats upon their arrival. And just so you all know: you're invited too!

Within Reach

Life has been been crazy, sewing at all hours of the day and dancing the evenings away with dress rehearsals and performances and cast parties. Just two days until Spring Break when I need to be done with all but the hand-stitching part of binding. In the past week, I've finished quilting six more quilts [lone star, buckwheat, cut-glass, evening star, hovering hawks, and windmill wings] and pieced a new one. Guilty confession: The new block is a third version of the cut-glass block; I just can't seem to stop making them, and I think it will be my first project to make a bed-size quilt as soon as the show is finished. So pumped and a little obsessed. Chai tea and muffins stolen from my cafeteria have kept me going. And my mom. Mostly my mom has kept me going. Always ready to soothe my anxious worries when the to-do list seems longer than the hours in the day.

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.

A Coral and Navy Whirlwind

These past two weeks have been an overwhelming whirlwind of dance rehearsals, deadlines, late nights, and a strong desire to curl up under a quilt and forget about my senior show. With only two weeks left before Spring Break and putting up my show, it's crunch time. I've been a mad fiend, sketching quilting patterns during class and binding quilts through chapel, sewing until the wee hours of the morning and then getting up the next day to begin it again.

Two quilts are completely finished. Unfortunately I don't have pictures for you because I submitted them for the juried exhibition that is currently hung in Adam's Hall, and they were both accepted. Yay! I've been quilting three others, alternating them as I finish a section of stitching and lose direction for the next color of thread. Ribbons is completely quilted, thank you to my mother who ordered me a new walking foot when mine kicked the bucket last week. There was a big crash, and little pieces actually crumbled out of the foot and onto my quilt the night before my quilts were due for the exhibition. Talk about bad timing.

Good timing, on the other hand, was being able to play around in my future gallery space the next day to see which quilts will likely go on the wall and where. It was a fun afternoon, eating chocolate cake for my half birthday and watching everyone else's submissions for the exhibition roll in. Now I only have a couple decisions left to make about hanging the show.

Together with lots of long-distance support from Ann Arbor, pep talks from the studio associate, endless cups of Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, and a good old quilting favorite The Wedding Date (which I may have watched four times last week), I survived the past eight days. Only twelve more to go before I'm off to Georgia and then back to hang the show!

Up to My Neck

Mid-November hits and the books and leaves pile up to my neck. Every year it catches me a tad off guard. I grow antsy for Thanksgiving Break. My sewing takes a backseat to reading books and writing papers. Coffeeshops become my homes away from home. On the phone today with my mom, she pointed out that my November posts from last year sound very similar to this. In fact this one could have been written this past weekend, and I think I'd like to steal that prayer and repurpose it for this week.

"Lord, open and soften my heart today. You have been so generous toward me. May I give out of all I have and even out of what I think I don't have. Take my time. Take my money. Take my power. Take my powerlessness. Take my weariness. Take my fears. Take my tongue. Take my questions. All that I have and all that I don't have are in your hands. Amen."

Nevertheless, I did sneak in a teensy bit of sewing on Sunday afternoon and tried out machine binding for the first time. Success!

{Check out the beginnings of this project here and here}

Rain and Busyness

It's been an incredibly busy week, not to mention a rainy one. This doesn't mean there haven't been lovely moments. Snuggling under my afghan to read for class. Climbing into my mom's old Michigan sweatshirt before my raincoat. Pulling out cozy wool socks for dance-tired toes. It does mean, however, that there hasn't been enough of certain things. Sunlight to photograph quilt blocks. Time to sit down and sew. Midterms week has decided to envelope my schedule this time around, and I really have no choice but to follow its lead and drink carafes of caffeinated tea until it has passed. That said, it makes the long weekend look all the more appealing. I'm looking forward to unscheduled time: dancing in dim studios, pulling fresh banana bread from the oven, baking casserole, knitting hats, cutting freshly printed fabric for a quilt. Mmmm. Can't wait. What are you anticipating this weekend?

{This is a test print from before the
Chemistry GRE swallowed my daily planner}


Several weeks ago in the middle of the haze of final projects, I stumbled upon a beautiful quilt by Adrianne over at little bluebell. She referenced a book called Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal, so I quickly hastened to use my college's library in the only way I care to: ordering quilting and fabric printing and cooking books through inter-library loan. It arrived, and I joyfully walked through the now summer haze to pick it up. Laying on the grass, I decided that I too would tackle some modern cross blocks and see if it suited my fancy for a larger quilt. I was going to begin with all lime green crosses but accidentally looked at my corals and turquoises  It's a dangerous business, picking fabric. Never put more fabrics that you love on the table than you're willing to incorporate. I ended up with one cross of each color and now I have to decide. Green and coral? Coral and blue? Blue and green? What do you think?

To My Mom, the Intrepid Sewer and Scientist

Today is a great day to recognize my wonderful, beautiful mother. She spent her weekend helping me to pack up my apartment despite the fact that today was Mother's Day and her birthday! She really is the best mom I could ask for. I like lists, so I think today will be a list day. Here is a small glimpse of the incredibleness that is my mom and reasons why I am so thankful that she's mine :)

1. Her love for sewing and her patience to teach me, even when I pick difficult projects and get stressed over zippers and leave irons sitting facedown on dresses I just finished and we have to dye the whole dress a darker color to cover over the singe marks. Thank you.

2. Her propensity to experiment and dye fabric and quilt and make cards and also water color and print fabric and...basically everything artistic. Check her fiber arts out here ;)

3. Her incredible brain and the fact that she got her PhD a couple years after I was born and that she dove back into her research after her kiddos were old enough to drive themselves around. She inspires me.

4. Her patience with me calling home, dare I say it, probably two to three times a day as I walk between classes, receive disappointing test grades (the dreaded B-), and giggle over boys.

5. Her active walk with God, seeking His desires for her life and slowly letting me see that secret side of her.

6. Her inspiring pursuit of understanding and knowledge, be it hawk identification, natural dye sources, or magnetic resonance imaging as related to radiological imaging.

7. Her advice when it comes to dealing with conflict and frustrations, anxiety and school pressure. I will pass along her two recent pieces of advice when it comes to conflict management that have served me well: It's probably not about you, and you don't have to bring emotions into it. Sound advice.

8. Lastly, and not leastly, (and not really lastly, just the last one here, I've got to keep some secrets between her and me or people might try to come steal her) her servant's heart, packing me in and out of college every year, driving me to countless band concerts and dance classes and friends' houses, stirring the fizz out the Sprite when I'm sick, picking out fabrics with me for summer projects, stopping at garage sales with me even when she wants to get on the road, the list never ends.

Mom, you really are the best Mom. I hope you know that. I couldn't ask for more.

Love you,


Today was my junior critique for my senior show. Basically, the professors want to make sure that we're figuring out a direction for our show and honing our skills. It's the only important thing in my life that I haven't been stressed about recently, and the lack of stress was definitely worth it. My two profs came in and jumped into informal discussion about my pieces and what quilting means to me. We basically laughed and talked about what I love for half an hour, talk about not intimidating.

Professor Samuelson had some poignant insight about my show and me and quilting. She said that I need to have three "things" for my show. One is quilting. Two is me. And three I still need to figure out. She explained that when she said "two is me," she meant that I bring my precision and planning and rigor to my quilting. I match the corners and align the angles to a perfection that demands the viewer to whip themselves into shape. No one has ever analyzed my quilting that way before, but I think it is very accurate. I guess I attack quilting just like I attack life. First of all, I attack it, and second, I whip it into shape. Good thing? Bad thing? Perhaps just very true...

Spare Moments

The week before finals has been a busy one, full of papers and projects and physical chemistry tests. However, with the excitement of my own quilt show on the brain, I have not been able to set my sewing aside. In all of my spare moments (and some that aren't spare), I've been researching quilting history and natural dyes. I even have a list of the books that I will pick up from my home library when I return in a week. More than just research, I actually brought my Farmer's Wife Quilt book to class with me on Tuesday after cutting neat 2x2" squares of each of my fabrics and picked out fabrics for two more blocks. I've also been choosing some of my favorite Farmer's Wife blocks and sketching them as inspiration for larger quilts. I cannot wait for Christmas Break when the fabric dyeing and all-day quilting can begin! What are you looking forward to most over Christmas Break?

Quilt Show, Here I Come

As a newly declared art major, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what medium I want to pursue and what I want to do for my senior show. I was thinking about how many hours I put into doing fiber art every week and how I'll be bummed to transfer that time to senior show prep time. That's when the wheels started churning. Could I do a textile show? How awesome would that be. So I approached my advisor about it, but he said it was pedagogically unviable because Wheaton doesn't offer any fiber classes.

However, the next day a senior show went up of printed fabrics! I talked to the girl as she was putting up the finishing touches of the exhibition and asked who her advisor was: Botts. While Professor Botts was helping me to load new paper into the photo lab printer that afternoon, I asked him if he'd be willing to advise me on a quilt show for my senior show. And he said, "Yes." !!! Then he proceeded to ask me if I'd been to Quilt National ever. Yes, twice. And then asked me if I'd ever thought about dyeing fabric. I said, most emphatically yes, I'd LOVE to try it. At this point, I was so excited about having my own quilt show that I completely forgot about the yards of fabric that I have already dyed with my mom and grandma until my Mom reminded me on the phone later. How silly of me. Oh well. So, hooray! I am doing a quilt show for my senior show, and my hours on pinterest and perusing quilting blogs is actually now considered homework time. Yay!

Remember, Remember

Remember, remember the fifth of November...and the fact that you're still a student. Three papers to write this weekend. Two science tests to study for. And Hartree-Fock approximations to tackle. Unfortunately, this leaves so little time for quilting and knitting and all things fiber. I did, however, read a wonderful book by Mark Labberton titled The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor while enjoying a chai latte at Honey downtown Glen Ellyn. I highly suggest that you read this book. It's honest, insightful, and kindly convicting.

Here is an excerpt (slightly paraphrased):

"Lord, open and soften my heart today. You have been so generous toward me. May I give out of all I have and even out of what I think I don't have. Help me to see and respond to my neighbor as you do. Use and meet me as I walk down the street, stand in line, engage with students at the college post office window, study physical chemistry, take pictures of refugees, knit hats. Use my gifts and life as I am working, playing, relaxing. Take my time. Take my money. Take my power. Take my powerlessness. Take my weariness. Take my fears. Take my tongue. Take my questions. All that I have and all that I don't have are in your hands. Amen."