Monday, April 15, 2019

Out of this World BOM #1 :: The Space Shuttle

If you follow my blog regularly, you may remember that last year I participated in Pat Sloan's mystery quilt, "Grandma's Kitchen." It inspired me to make memory quilts to honor my Gramma Ann. I ended up making six quilts: one each for me, my mom, and my four aunts. 

I wasn't planning to do any social quilting this year because I had so many to finish from last year. 

But then...

Pat's Block of the Month theme for 2019 is Out of this World. My aspiring rocket scientist insisted that I participate. How can I say no to this face?

So, we will be doing this project together. I will sew the blocks, and then D will help me write the post. Hi~ My name is D and my mom asked me to help her with the posts she write for this quilt she is making for my friend J. It's all about space, and I am the space expert at our house! I first became interested in space when I went down to Florida and my parents asked me, "Would you like to go to Disneyland or the space center?" and I said; "I DO NOT LIKE MICKEY THE MOUSE!" So my parents said, "Ok then, space center it is!" and since then when I was 3, I have been into space. but, even before I was into space, I watched the last shuttle launch and land. I have seen a bunch of the space shuttles in museums, and I have quite a few space shuttle toys. I like using my little space shuttle lego set to re-enact a space shuttle launch! This is D, signing off. 

At first I asked why he needed a third space quilt, especially after I just finished making him One Giant Stitch for D a few months ago.

He thought about it for a bit and then asked if I would make it for one of his best friends instead. That was all the reason I needed. J shares D'slove of space, though not his obsession. As I share my block for this project, I will share D's lifelong love of NASA and the wonder of the universe.

The first block is based on the space shuttle. 

D's first introduction to the world of NASA was in July of 2011, when the last space shuttle launched. On a whim, we decided to watch it. 

D was only 19 months old, but apparently it stuck with him!

I don't remember the first time we went to a science museum, but I'm pretty sure that is when he got his first space shuttle toy.

This is the day that D's train obsession left the station and the space age began.  

Our first trip to a NASA facility. D is wearing a shirt I made him with my new Silhouette Cameo under the guidance of my friend Lauren from The Thinking Closet.

Since then, we have been to many other NASA facilities, including one vacation that included 3 NASA stops (Marshall, Stennis, and Johnson), as well as one drive by (Michoud). 

Of course, with every trip, we also have to stop at a quilt shop, where I often end up buying space-themed fabric. As a result, I have a pretty good stash of space fabric, including this print that I am using for my center sections.

When D had his first school picture as a preschooler, the photographer asked parents to send in a comfort item with each child to help with nerves. Most kids brought a stuffed animal. D, on the other hand, brought his space shuttle.

When D learned to draw, the space shuttle was his favorite object to create.

Early Shuttle
Later Shuttle
Shuttles have played a part in more than one birthday party.

Another one of his favorite toys was a big cardboard space shuttle. He even drew a cockpit on the inside.

When he learned to make pizza, his dough was shuttle-shaped.

The shuttle has even become part of our Christmas tradition--21st century baby Jesus hangs out in a shuttle, not a manger.

When D was 7, he was finally old enough to go to space camp with Niels. 

Last summer, they went back again.

With his love of space spanning from age 3 to 10--so far--I anticipate many more NASA adventures ahead. 

Linked to:

Saturday, April 13, 2019

TBI Temperature Quilt :: March 2019

March was a crazy month. Clearly, I'm still recovering from it since I'm only now getting around to sharing my month's progress on my TBI quilt.

Even though I had a fair amount of down arrow dates, the good news is that I didn't sew on most of those days because a BIG project kept me out of the craft room, not a headache. (Details coming soon, though you may have an idea if you follow me on Instagram).  

I started the month at the neurologist for my regularly scheduled Botox injections. Before I got approved for Botox, my headaches would have me in bed up to 25 days a month. Now I only have about 5 bed days a month. The frustrating thing is that even though Botox is one of the most effective ways for brain injury survivors to get ahead of headache pain, because it can also be used for cosmetic purposes, insurance companies want to make absolutely sure that no other treatment would work. As a result, it took me three years of recovery and therapy after my brain injury, then another four years of trying every other medicine and treatment available (except for when I was pregnant and nursing), before I was allowed to try Botox. The last thing I tried before Botox was a two-day cocktail of chemicals similar to what cancer fighters are given for pain. Not only did it knock me out of commission for a few days, it didn't touch the pain. 

When I finally started Botox in 2012, it gave me my life back. 

I started the month with my schedule injection. Dr. Casanova has been my primary neurologist for the last five years, after my former neurologist moved away. We are both hamming it up a bit in this picture. The injections pinch, but don't really hurt, at least, they are nothing compared the headaches they help keep in check. 

I brought in my first two month's progress to show the staff. 

It was interesting to show to the dedicated folks who work in the office. It was a great visual tool to show that being brain injured (or disabled in other ways) doesn't mean that every day is a bad day. And it was cool for me to show them how the creative I lost as a writer has come back through quilting.

I marked my March 1 block with a syringe. 

I used the same thread painting technique I learned when making Mrs. Miller's Steinway quilt. This time I remembered to put some interfacing on the back to stabilize it.

With March being complete, I am already 1/4 of the day done with this yearlong project. 

Here's a look at how the month looks in summary. I had 12 bad days and 19 good days. And sadly, no travel days. When I take the weekend days away from the good days when I didn't nap (5+6 on the card below), I ended up with four days that I could have worked my previous office job.

Here are the numbers for the year.

TBI Tally, as of February 28:

Previous Posts:
A Husband's Perspective (Niels reflects on the 15th anniversary of my TBI)

Follow along with the progress of this quilt on Instagram at #TBITempQuilt. I'd love the encouragement to keep me working on the rough days! You can use the hashtag #tempquiltalong to see what other quilters are doing for their temperature quilts. To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

Linked to:
Temp Quilt Along  @ Twiddle Tails (click here to see other temperature quilts)

BOMs Away @ What a Hoot! Oh Scrap! @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework

Design Wall Monday @ Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward @ Em's Scrap Bag
What I Made Monday @ Pretty Piney


Friday, April 12, 2019

Saturday, April 6, 2019

One Monthly Goal :: April 2019

My April 2019 One Monthly Goal is going to be short and sweet because my non-quilting life is going to take front and center. My mommy is finally moving in with us! She is out of her apartment and staying in a friend's casita in the retirement park in Arizona where my grandparents first started spending their winters more than 30 years ago. They have both passed on, and after twenty years off and on, Mom is seeing her favorite spots before she and her Havanese, Murphy, come up to Ohio to live with us. I'm excited to have her closer, and to puppysit my furry brother while Mom works through her bucket list of adventures. 

I'm still plugging away on the Omigolly quilt I started last month. I hope to have that finished by early next month. 

This month, my goal is simply to finish the Project Linus mystery quilt I started last year. It was my second year doing the mystery. Project Linus is an organization that gifts quilts and blankets to kiddos in the hospital. My top is finished so all I have to do is quilt and bind it. That SHOULD be doable this month.

The theme this time was Sweet Violet's Bakery and Confectionary. The designer's original pattern was heavy on purple and pinks, but I wanted to make a version that a boy would love. Since my little guy loves, space, my confectionary takes place in space, and instead of being a flower, my Violet is a rocket.

My son enthusiastically approved. 

You'll be able to find pictures of my progress on this quilt as #peaceloveandintergalacticdonuts To see what I'm currently working on, including my 2019 Brain Injury quilt, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

June 2017 - Niels' Weighted Blanket (full post)

Linked to: Elm Street Quilts

Sunday, March 31, 2019

One Monthly Goal :: March 2019 Update

March 2019 is one for the books. I'm not ready to fully reveal the news quite yet, but we should have a big announcement next month. What I can say is that I didn't get to spend nearly enough time sewing or sleeping this month!

I didn't realize that my month was going as wild as it was, but I'm glad that for once my goal was only to work on a quilt, not finish one! My goal for March was to work on the Omigolly quilt for my son's school secretary. I didn't make a lot of progress on my goal, but I did manage to do most of the prep work.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, Omigolly is an enlarged version of the Omigosh Quilt by the late Sue Garman.  This is Sue's original version with its itty bitty half inch blocks.

Omigosh is on my to do queue, but first I will finish Miss Jennifer's Omigolly. Here are blocks from each to show the size difference. The smallest pieces in Omigolly are a massive one inch in comparison.

This was my original idea for Omigolly. The idea was to make a tree reminiscent of our school logo out of the brown, green, and blue blocks.

But then I had a different idea. Miss Jennifer is the glue that keeping everything running at school. She is our heart. We love our teachers, of course, and other staff, but Miss Jennifer is often the first and last face our students see. And like, a lot of administrators, her work is vital but easy to overlook. I saved her quilt for last because I wanted her quilt to be the connection between all of the other school quilts I've made. It took most of the month to dig through all my scrap bins to find at least three 1.5" strips from each of the eleven quilts I've already made for the school and staff. 

Jennifer's favorite color is blue, so had a new idea. I will use navy, royal, and baby blue blocks to make a heart and scraps from all the other quilts for the nine-patches and four-patches.

I can't seem to do anything the easy way, so it's taken me awhile to get started. I don't want any of my patches to repeat so I'm taking a little extra time to make sure that I don't have any repeats. 

I'm hopeful that the tedious part is done and now I have moved on to the more fun part of seeing my blocks come together. 

I'll keep plugging away on it so it's done by the end of the school year, but I suspect I will be very easy on myself for the next month's goal. 

You'll be able to find pictures of my progress on this quilt as #OmigollyMissJennifer.  To see what I'm currently working on, including my 2019 Brain Injury quilt, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

Previous OMGs:
March 2019 - Omigolly Miss Jennifer

June 2017 - Niels' Weighted Blanket (full post)

Linked to: Elm Street Quilts

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Quilt #125 :: Mrs. Miller's Steinway

It's March, which means that spring break is here. After that, the end of the school year--D's last at his amazing school--is edging closer, and I am edging closer to the end of my list of thank you quilts for the staff. My latest finish is a quilt for D's music teacher, Mrs. Miller. (Settle in, this is a long, photo-intensive post!)

One of my absolute favorite pictures from the last six years is this one, taken after his first day of kindergarten and he didn't want to go home. Mrs. Graves, our principal, is the foreground, coaxing him out. (Mrs. Graves received her quilt last year). Mrs. Miller is laughing in the background. I love how it captures her joy. She is a wonderful gift to our school 

Making this quilt was my February One Monthly Goal. Some of you already know about the inspiration, but I will summarize here.

I first started thinking of Mrs. Miller's quilt last spring when I made an inventory of what I had left to do. Of course it would be music-related and I wanted to incorporate the school song. For several months, this paper was all I had in the project box for this quilt.

When we came in to say hello at the open house in August, I took a picture of the sheet music to our school song.

There are a lot of great music quilt out there. I was leaning toward a log cabin piano quilt I saw, but was hoping for something a little less time intensive because the next and last quilt will take a quilt. When I saw these two quilts, especially with Deborah's appliqued sheet music, I knew what I wanted to do. (I asked both quilters about the source of the quilt. Deborah said she saw it somewhere, then sketched it out. Lynn said that it was in a magazine years ago. If anyone knows the answer, please let me know!)

After having no luck finding the pattern or designer with a reverse image search, talking to those who had posted their version, and scouring Pinterest, I opted to reverse engineer the squares and HSTs of the original design.

I started with the Trip Around the World background because it was the easiest. I was still figuring out how to do the keyboard and bottom of the piano. It was was a little wasteful to do the background this way because I wouldn't be using many of the pieces, but it was very helpful for finding the center. 

That reminds me that one of the few quilts I still have to share is the baby quilt I made for my cousin's son. It was my first (and only) Trip Around the World. Maybe I'll share that one next. 

It ended up being a good way to plan the colors because my goal was to use only scraps and I found that I was a little short on some of my original choices.

Once the background was sorted, I started adding the piano pieces. 

I used four different shades to convey depth. 

I made lots of edits along the way. For example, I changed the pedals from gold to silver. 

And it took me a few tries to figure out which back leg I needed (or didn't).

And the lift really gave me fits! How to make a diagonal piece. Where does the lift start? Where does it end? Should the edge of the piano be angled or straight? 

If I had more time, I would have paper pieced the blocks with the lift, but instead, I made bias tape and appliqued it down.

While I was working on this quilt, I was constantly looking at photos of grand pianos on the internet. One day, I was at a house with a real live grand piano!  I took a million pictures and got down to eye level with the keys to see how they should look.

If I were to make it again, I would like to try to add a lamp or metronome. 

The bench was pretty easy to figure out. Using HSTs on the top corners really helped with the perspective. The pedals are half the size of the bench legs. 

And then it was time to make the keys. I found a small piano keyboard print and the large piano print
in the inspiration picture, but neither was the right size so I realize I had to make them individually. It was a little trick getting the spacing right. I opted for 1/4" between the black keys within an octave and 1/2" between the octaves. The black keys are 1/2" wide.

I thought briefly of stitching lines to indicate individual keys, but I decided that was too much crazy math!

So much tiny!

The center of the quilt looked a little plain, so I decided to add the Steinway name and logo. I wish every music teacher could be gifted a Steinway piano for all the tireless work and love they pour into our kids, but alas, I can only make one. 

The new skill I am most excited about is thread painting. I have seen some incredible thread painted quilts at shows and it's been on my bucket list to try. I've learned how to set my Janome 9400 up for free motion but I'm still in the train wheel stage. But I knew enough to have an idea.

First, I printed the logo on freezer paper, and ironed it in place. Then with my needle speed as slow as it would go in the free motion setting, I stitched through the freezer paper

I started with a practice piece of fabric. Good thing I did. There was a learning curve!

By the time I finishe the logo, I was feeling pretty confident.

Now I was ready to do the real thing, with metallic silver thread.

The hardest part was actually picking off the tiny pieces of paper. I was able to put my new cordless mini vac to good use. Best gift ever. 

This shows the scale. 

The last thing was to add to sheet music. When I furtively asked about the music for the school song, Mrs. Miller was kind enough to send the sheet music home with D. I took a picture of it, then adjusted it online. I cut a letter-size piece of music fabric and printed the sheet music on the wrong side.

I thought I was done with the top...

but then I realized I print page 3 of the sheet music instead of page 1. Gah! And this is the part where I learned that Steam a Seam 2 is magic! I used to use Heat N Bond Lite, and it really bonds! I like Steam a Steam 2 because it's two-sided. I can move a piece around if I realize the placement isn't perfect. When I made the sheet music, I had already topstitched around it to secure it to the quilt top.

Once I ripped out the stitches, all I had to do was iron the fabric again and came right off! Magic! I was so afraid it would pull or rip the fabric underneath but it was perfect.

When I made the sheet music the second time, I remembered to take pictures. I like to cut 1/4" strips of the Steam a Seam 2, take off one side of the protective page, and line the edges of my applique, with the sticky side down. This is the process I use for my labels as well. The paper side is just rigid enough to hold the 1/4" seam when I fold and press the seam over. Then I lift the seam up, remove the paper, and finger press it back down.

I cut the corners to avoid bulk.

Next, I cut a piece of Steam a Seam 2 the same size as my fabric piece and, after removing one side of the protective paper, place it over the entire thing.

The adhesive is activated when pressed and the seams are secure.

Finally, using the same method, I created the label with PowerPoint. I cut a piece of white music print 8.5" x 11", pressed a same-size piece of freezer paper to it, and print my label.

The only thing left was to let D work his magic of imbuing the quilt with his love by sleeping with it.

After taking my traditional photos from the back porch, I thought I was done. But then as we were driving around an area I wasn't familiar with, I saw this piano-shaped sign.

Because D is more interested in Mars than music, pianos have been off my radar. It wasn't until we pulled off the highway to find it that I realize it was a Steinway gallery!

I learned the value of the Steinway name as a girl taking piano lessons in Minnesota. There was no question that it was the name I would give to Mrs. Miller's quilt. What I didn't know was the history of Steinway's presence in Ohio, particularly with Oberlin College and Conservatory, which became the first all-Steinway school.

We made plans to return in a few days with my quilt. When we arrived, we stopped inside to ask permission to take a photo outside. 

The manager of the Cleveland Gallery, Bryan, was so generous! He invited inside to take photos with the Steinways. Here are a few of my favorites. 

The gallery itself is a wonderful place with gorgeous, gleaming instruments and walls covered with photos of Steinway artists and technicians.

The area where we took photos was set up as a concert area where artists are invited to come showcase their talents. I'm so glad we saw that sign!

This week I also learned that the former Steinway gallery location was recently purchased and will be restored to its former glory.

By this time, I had a grown quite attached to the quilt. Alas, it was time to take it home. On the last day of school before spring break, I caught Mrs. Miller by surprise on her way to the parking lot. 

There are few things better than delivering a quilt in person to someone who is both surprised and appreciative.

Her expressions were priceless. I'm so grateful that a friend was there to take pictures!

Because it was pick up on the last day of spring break, it was a little busy as parents were driving up, but I loved seeing the faces as they watched the scene unfold. My favorite photo is when D's regular teacher, who received her quilt last spring, came over. 

D has learned a lot more about music that he acknowledges and everytime he belts out tunes from John Williams to Mozart to Queen, I know it is her influence. 

As the proud daughter of teachers, I know how hard Mrs. Miller and other teachers work. I hope this shows just a small bit of appreciation I have for the love the pour into my son.

This has been such a fun project, I hate to see it go. But these pictures remind me that it is now exactly where it was meant to be. 

You'll be able to find pictures of this quilt on Instagram at #MillerMusicQuilt. To see what I'm currently working on, including my 2019 Brain Injury quilt, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...