Tuesday, June 25, 2019

One Monthly Goal :: June 2019 Update


My OMG for June wass to pack up the craft room in the de Jong Dream House If you haven't seen it in it's glory, you can take a tour here.


Depending on how you look at it, my June One Monthly Goal was either really easy or really hard. It was easy in the sense that all I had to do was sit back and watch the movers pack up the craft room in my beloved de Jong Dream House. But realistically, it was really hard because change is hard. Whether or not you choose it or are chosen for it, change is a disruption to normal. Living with a brain injury, for me, means that routine and organization are necessary for me to function reasonably well. Moving is chaos, and I don't function well in chaos.

I mentioned in my original post that once we knew we were moving, my goal was to finish a specific few more quilts before moving day. I could not have cut it any closer!

In May, I was able to finish three quilts.

Big Lake Blooms was sent to my hometown in Minnesota for a fundraiser.


Theo's Milestone Quilt made it home to its new owner in time to commemorate his first month of life. 


Omigolly Miss Jennifer went to our school secretary.


June is when things got hairy! I had one quilt left to finish, the school year was ending, and the movers were set to arrive a week earlier than we originally planned.

The night before the movers came, I had the top of Coded Thank You pinned and ready to quilt, and the binding prepared. 


I should have saved myself some time and made a single print binding, but I was deep into my code theme and lots of little pieces to say "thank you" in Morse Code. 


I woke up ridiculously early on moving day to start quilting. 


By the time the moving truck arrived at 10, the quilting was mostly done. Much to Niels' chagrin, I would pack for 20 minutes, then quilt for 5 minutes. I really wanted to finish the quilt before moving because I knew it would take a few days (weeks? months?) before I would be settled enough to quilt in the new house.


We actually moved in two days. On the first day, we cleared out the second floor (bedroom and craft room) and lower level (so many books, and memory totes, and media!). The crew came back a week later to get everything that was left on the main level. So on this day, I was packing up the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs, as well as my craft room during my intervals. 

Fortunately, I keep most of my supplies in totes so I saved the crew time in having to wrap things up. 


By the time the truck was filled and ready to make the first trip up to the Lake House, I had finished quilting. 


By this point, the tough-looking movers were cheering me on. But they had a job to do. I was able to get my binding attached while they took the bowling alley top of my craft table. 


While the guys wrestled with that beast, I used the unbored door that used to be the top of my craft table to clip and iron the binding.


When we returned for the second load, I ran upstairs to finish the binding while the crew removed items from my room.


It really came down to the wire.


The room was nearly empty by the time I finished.


My cheering section, aka the movers, volunteered to help take a "finished" picture.


And just like that, the craft room at the de Jong Dream House has become a bedroom in someone else's house.


We've been completely moved into the de Jong Lake House for ten days and it's still chaos. As expected, I have not done any sewing. I have been running on adrenaline for so long that my brain just gave up. So I've been doing a lot of sleeping and only a little bit of unpacking. Our new kitchen cabinets are installed, but we don't yet have appliances or counter tops. Our new family foyer has been painted and has flooring installed, but no cabinetry. So that means we have mudroom, laundry, pantry, and kitchen items in our bedroom, and our "kitchen" is a couple of portable tables with disposable dishes, a crock pot, and toaster. It's overwhelming but the end is in sight. 

Also overwhelming is the current state of the new craft room, Vesper View Studio.


Maybe making sense of that mess will be my July OMG.

To see more pictures of my progress, check out #VesperViewStudio on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.


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Tuesday:

Thursday, June 6, 2019

One Monthly Goal :: June 2019


Well friends, the end is near! We are just a few days from moving out of our beloved de Jong Dream House and into the de Jong Lake House. D has graduated from his beloved elementary school and Mom is already moved into the new house.

I am spending my last days in the Dream House packing and crying. I have loved it here. My OMG for June is to pack up my craft room. If you haven't seen it in it's glory, you can take a tour here.


This is what it's looks like this morning.





When we sold the house, I made a list of quilts I wanted to finish in this special room. When I'm done, the tally will be 126 quilts made here in just shy of six years. 

As much as I have enjoyed this space, I think I will LOVE my new space, Vesper View Studio. 


Since taking possession, we have replaced the carpet with cork, and painted the sunny yellow stripes on the wall Sherwin Williams Vesper Violet. We are replacing the can lights with 5000K daylight panels this week--I hope--and then I'm ready to move in! That may be next month's goal!

Back to packing!

To see more pictures of my progress, check out #VesperViewStudio on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Quilt 130 :: Omigolly Miss Jennifer


Back in 2013, I was talking to a few moms at my MOPS group about preschool options. One mom told me about a hidden gem that I hadn't heard of before. It's a community choice school, which means it's a public school (no tuition!). It followed the state guidelines, but had some flexibility in how they achieved those goals. It had a STEM focus, and used project-based learning. I was intrigued. 

So one day, about six years ago, I picked up D from the preschool he attended four hours a week at our church and we drove over to the new school. I was only four years into motherhood and new to the world of pick up lines. As it turned out, I had arrived just as the school day was getting out. D and I walked into the school and were greeted by a bewildered staff member who wondered why we were there. 

I'm sure I said something like, "I heard there was a school here and wanted to check it out." The woman, who later learned was Miss Jennifer, patiently asked me to hang out while parents picked up their kids and we'd talk when things settled down. At that building, there was an indoor pond by the front door with books on display. D, age 4, picked up a book and quietly read until Miss Jennifer was free to give us a tour. 

The school was as wonderful as I had hoped and D had a blast reading all the signs in the rooms and along the hallway. I asked when he could enroll and was disappointed to learn that there was a waitlist. I filled out the paperwork and began our wait. 

A few months later, we got the call that there was an opening and D could start in October. Fast forward six years, and my little boy is now a decade old and a few short days from the end of his elementary career. And still, when we arrive, or when we check him out, Miss Jennifer is the friendly face that greets us.

When I first started working through the list of teachers and staff for whom I would make quilts, I knew I wanted to make a quilt for Jennifer that would convey how she is the thread that stitches all the pieces of our school together. She may not be known as well as our teachers or principal, but her quiet work behind the scenes is what makes our community run smoothly. I spent awhile thinking of a pattern that would show her connection to everyone else at school. 

I remembered a stunning quilt I saw at a quilt show a few years back. It's called Omigosh by the late Sue Garman. I wish I had a chance to have met her when she was alive. I'm sure we unknowingly crossed paths at the Quilt Festival in 2014. Both Sue and her husband, Jack were legends at NASA. I would have loved to have heard her stories about NASA and quilting. 


I remember being stopped in my tracks when I saw the quilt because the pieces were SO tiny. I started a version of Omigosh a few years ago. The squares of the nine-patches finish at 1/2"!


I saw a "supersized" version another quilter made and thought it would be fun to make one of both. 


My Omigosh is going to take years, I suspect. Especially because anything I try to make for myself tends to get sent to the end of my to do queue. As I made the first two supersized blocks--which are still pretty small with nine patches made of 1" squares--I thought of who would be worthy of a quilt this time consuming. Miss Jennifer, of course!

Jennifer's favorite color is blue, so I made all of the churn blocks in shades of blue. 


I laid them out so that the light blue blocks would make a heart. The reality turned out a little more subtle than I had planned. I wanted each block to be different, and my goal this year was to only use my stash. I am drowning in blue prints, so I'm happy and somewhat shocked that I had this many blue prints!

For the nine patches, I used blues from each of the churn blocks from squares for each of the 12 school quilts I have made over the last six years. 


I had the idea to use scraps from the other teacher quilts a few quilts ago so some of the strips were already set aside, but it probably took two weeks of sorting through my bins to find at least 2 strips from each quilt!

For the other scraps, I thought of the quilt as a sort of I Spy quilt with some fun fussy cut blocks. 

A few Dutch squares to remind her of the de Jong family.





This little Viking was featured on the school quilt I made, and is a nod to my Minnesota roots.


Of course, we are in Ohio, so I included local sports teams, too.



l didn't want her to forget my aspiring rocket scientist, so there are a few blocks for him.




And finally, I have a little nod to the first quilt I ever made



D happily did his part to impart love into the quilt by being the first to sleep under it. 


When he was awake, he used the quilt as a background for a fun impromptu photo shoot. 


So hard to believe his days at SCOPE are ending. So many transitions in the days and weeks ahead.


Thank you Miss Jennifer, and all the teachers and staff members who pour their hearts into their kids. 


To find pictures of my progress on this quilt, check out #OmigollyMissJennifer  on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, including my 2019 Brain Injury quilt, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Quilt #129 :: Theo's Milestone Quilt


We are t-minus 10 days from moving into the Lake house and t-minus 5 days of D's elementary school career. Lots of crazy going on around here. I'm checking lists of lists of lists to try to keep everything straight!

One pressing item is my list of quilts to finish in my current craft room before I settle into my new studio. I try not to look at it or the packing will never get done! 


Today I'm sharing a milestone quilt I made for a special couple. Six years ago, my nervous boy was warmly welcomed by his pre-K teacher Miss Anne.


This year, as a fourth grader, Miss Anne's husband Mr. Reiman is his principal. 


The first teacher quilt I ever made went to Miss Anne. It is an I Spy/Checkers quilt.

When their first child was born, I made Charlie's Choo Choo for him.


And now Charlie is a big brother. I had been wanting to make another milestone quilt because I have had a few requests for my original pattern. I was able to take some careful notes and will be looking for pattern testers once we are settled in the Lake House and I have caught my breath!



This is the third milestone quilt I've made. The first two also went to staff members at D's school. 

The original one went to D's dance teacher.


The second one went to a teacher of another hub (multi-age classroom). D's school is very small, so even though Mrs. Weaver didn't teach D directly, they know each other well. 


D's doll, Mark Watney, still pulls modeling duty when baby quilts are ready to be delivered. 


I'm still playing around with fabric placement. Each of the quilts I've made is slightly different, but I think I will include a coloring sheet with the pattern so quilters can decide how they want to vary the design.

This is a pretty easy quilt to put together, unless you are moving and renovating a new house at the same time! I wanted to make a version in shades of blue, and chose two directional prints (plus a directional backing). Nothing like to doing things the hard way.


Because I'm only working in small bits of time between everything else, I got my prints confused and ended up having to redo all my number blocks. Uff da!


Ultimately, it all came together, and baby Theo will have his quilt before his one month milestone. The idea for the quilt as I saw all the ways new parents showed their baby's monthly (or yearly) growth. I've seen monthly pictures with the same stuffed animals, with stickers or special onesies, with chalkboard and letter boards and all sorts of different ways. 

At the same time, I've seen lots of alphabet quilts, but number quilts aren't nearly as popular. Because Miss Anne is a preschool teacher, I love the idea of her having a quilt to teach numbers as well as to mark Theo's milestones. 

With the other two quilts, I made a taggy frame to indicate the milestone.


This time I decided to give a frame I found at Joann. 


Then I found this cute billboard with dry erase on one side and chalk board on the other.


And then, I was at Target and found this cute arrow...


...next to these adorable little socks!


So, I'm going to give them options!

As always, D slept with the quilt to make sure there was lots of extra love in it.


And finally, for the label, I couldn't resist using the precious photo of Theo as the background.


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