Welcome to Fuller by Design, where we explore what it means to lead a creative life. Because the truth is this - life is what you make of it. So let's make, every day. For life.

Today's Sewing Table

Flag QuiltToday kicks off a holiday weekend and the unofficial start of summer. The skies are clear and the temperatures cool - it feels like the possibilities are endless!

I’m juggling quite a few projects lately, some fabric-related, some writing-related, some business related. Most days my brain feels like I just got off the Scrambler ride at the county fair - a bit confused and unsteady, yet still exhilarated, with a bit of that “what did I get myself into?” feeling mixed in for good measure. More on all that soon in the coming weeks.

Thankfully this weekend is filled with long stretches of unobligated time for me, so I’m going to take advantage of that and throw myself head-first into the pile of sewing projects on my table. Here's a quick look at what's there.

I’m bringing back my high school geometry skills (thank you Google - it was definitely more fun this time around!) to draft perfect 5-point stars for this quilt. Looks a little familiar, right? I’m putting a lot of the scraps from my Founding Farmers quilt to good use to make this throw as a gift for someone. I don’t know what I’m more proud of - using up so many of those red, ivory and blue scraps, or showing the protractor and ruler who’s boss. It’s a tie I guess. But it’s certainly the perfect weekend to be working on this quilt (not to mention I’m giving it as a gift next weekend, ahem, that also makes it the perfect time to start…).

Pouch Fabrics

These fabrics are what I’m currently choosing from to make a zip pouch for the latest DC Modern Quilt Guild swap. The due date is rapidly approaching (June 3) and you’d think I’d be ahead of the game given that I’m the one who organizes these swaps and sets the deadlines (and if you thought that then you’d be wrong, oh so woefully wrong…). Anyway, I’m trying out a brand-new-to-me pattern for a hinged and lidded zip pouch - yikes! May the sewing gods be with me - but that’s usually why I participate in swaps - to make something I typically wouldn’t have made without an outside push. I think that’s the best part, forcing myself to move outside of my own comfort zone (even if it mentally tortures me a little).

Wedding Quilt Fabrics

This is a set of fabrics I’ve assembled for a commissioned quilt for a wedding. I think the colors here look a little bit more vibrant and more bright than they are in real life, and all the charcoal gray sashing will substantially tone everything down. It’s a gorgeous palette though, isn’t it? I had so much fun choosing fabrics for this one, particularly fabrics that work well with the quilt pattern I chose. This one is due in three weeks - gotta get cracking!

Wave Quilt

This commissioned quilt has been on my table and on my mind for months. It’s one of those artistic and personal challenges that really takes me a long time to embrace. I’m so very excited about it, but also nervous, since it’s my first whole-cloth quilt and the recipient (a 15-year old boy) has a very clear vision for what he wants. So I’m juggling pleasing him with how I see it being executed along with how far I can comfortably push my skills and still feel confident I can complete in a way that measures up to my own standards.

Phew. Yeah, so this one is kinda loaded with angst.

But now I have a solid plan for it and I’ve been working relentlessly on my drawing skills to train my brain to tell my hands exactly how to execute the designs. I’ve been drawing, drawing, drawing, but very soon I need to move onto sewing, sewing, sewing!

Block Detail

This is a project I started on Mother’s Day (yes I chose to spend the whole day sewing - it felt so indulgent!). It’s a totally improvisational piece, which means I planned nothing - I literally dumped out all my scraps of solid fabric on a table and grabbed a new piece each time I added something.  I had no idea what I was going to make when I started, and I ended up with six geometric blocks.

Blocks Quilt

Then I decided to combine them into one piece, which will be a wall hanging. But of course just sewing the blocks together would be too easy (why can’t I ever take the easy route?!?) so I’m learning how to offset and repiece blocks that are not designed to go together in this way (and even if I had planned it, I’m not sure I could have figured out how to do it in the first place).  I can see the whole piece completed in my mind, so that’s encouraging, but I’m still wresting with the mechanics of how to fit those blocks together.

Cathedral Window Pillow

And finally, here’s a view of a project I recently finished after it sat on my table for a good long time - it’s a cathedral window pillow using bits of Liberty fabric. I know that cathedral windows are an age-old technique and are far from modern, and certainly the Liberty prints are from years gone by (some from the late 1800s I believe) but I can’t help but think it still has a bit of a modern feel to it, don’t you?

Pillow Back

And even better, I learned something new while making it - how to make a pillow back with a covered zipper. It really was easy, I just had to really think it through and fold a few mock-ups to make sure it would actually work, and it definitely did. Now I can’t see making a pillow back any other way - it’s really easy and I think it looks great!

I hope you have a lovely, long, relaxing, creatively-fueled weekend and are able to tackle some of your own projects, whether they’re must-do or want-to-do (or even better, some of each!).


Motherhood by Design: Elise Blaha Cripe

Motherhood by Design: Jacquie Gering