Saturday, April 15, 2017

Quilt #59: Easter Cross

It's Easter weekend, which means it's a good time to share this quilt I finished last year during Holy Week. I made for my son's Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Adkins, who is exactly the kind of person you think of when you think of a sweet little old lady who teaches first grade Sunday School.

Last year, on Palm Sunday, I noticed that Mrs. Adkins was not at church. I was really surprised so I asked about her and found out that her husband of 50+ years passed away suddenly. My heart just broke for her.

As soon as we got home from church, I started looking for ideas. I was really inspired the Carpenter Star Cross by the talented Judit Hajdu of Quilt Fox.

I also drew inspiration for the tulips from Apple Avenue Quilts  and A Bee in My Bonnet. I paper pieced the tulip blooms from Apple Avenue Quilts--my first time ever trying this method.

For the leaves, I used the tutorial from A Bee in My Bonnet.

I started with the tulips, because I was most nervous about making them. I followed the awesome video tutorial from Jennifer of Ellison Lane, and she took all the fear out of paper piecing.

I was actually a little sad when I finished this part. (And I have done a lot more paper piecing in the last year).

The stems were traditionally pieced. The Joel Dewberry herringbone print was perfect for the leaves.

Next, I worked on the carpenter cross. I changed the size a bit so that design expanded beyond the cross. You can also see that I vastly underestimated the size of the tulips. If I were to make this quilt again, I would make them smaller for a better sense of scale with the cross.

Once those two parts were done, the rest went together easily.

I used straight line quilting to radiant out from the cross.

I was able to finish it in less than a week!

D showed me how big a hug he wanted to include with the quilt.

I always love to deliver quilts in person, but this one was extra special.

No better payment than a hug and a sincere thank you.

Reading the label.

A few days later, I received the most amazing thank you note. In trying to bless this sweet woman, I was blessed so much more in return.

Linked to:

Sunday, April 9, 2017

#80: Brooks' Auburn Herringbone

Some of my best friends live on the internet. My fellow December 08 mamas have become some of my closest friends over the last nine (!) years. I've mentioned them before as I shared quilts I made for Kim's babies, Piper and Branch, Erin, Davinder, and Angie.

This is a good reminder that I never shared Piper's quilt, which I made in 2014 as my 21st quilt. Piper's Mom is one of my favorite Canadian's so I made a feminine Maple Leaf quilt.

Back to my latest quilt. Erin, Davinder, and Beth all announced their pregnancies around the same time. Feeling optimistic, I started buying fabric for all three babies. Beth and her husband are die hard Auburn fans and alum. There was no question the baby boy's quilt theme would be Auburn.

Here in Ohio, the only Auburn prints I could find were online, so I ordered a few and started on the other quilts while I waited for them to arrive. And then I made some other quilts, too!

I ultimately decided to go with a herringbone pattern. I made one before, a Viking/Packer quilt for my brother and SIL.

For this quilt, I decided to make the navy blue the constant. I'm getting much more comfortable with Electronic Quilt 7 with each quilt I design.

I worked on these blocks in between working on other quilts.

Sewing half square triangles (HSTs) are great practice in lining up points.

My initial plan was to make a 40"x40" square quilt, just the right size for a baby.

But while I blinked, baby Brooks grew to 9 months old! So I decided to add a few more rows to make into a toddler quilt.

My original plan for the back was a simple orange minky. Unfortunately, the yardage was just a skootch too narrow for it to work. My second option was to use the blue, but Moda has discontinued that particular shade of the grunge line. I did have a good amount of the Auburn print. Not enough for the whole back, but enough for me to come up with plan C.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the letters for "War Eagle" and "Brooks," the baby's name.

I wasn't able to make the Auburn interlocking logo on my Silhouette, so I handcut two versions of it, one in white, and a slightly smaller one in navy.

I appliqued the letters and logo. Then sewed the orange strips to the Auburn print.

Ready to sandwich!

I don't often post photos of the sandwiching process anymore because it's not that exciting, but I do have people ask me how I sandwich my quilts so this time I happened to take a picture. I spent the week of my son's spring break playing nurse as he was sick the whole week with bronchitis. We watched lots of movies to keep him still (and quiet) once he started feeling better (and before I got sick!) Can anyone guess which 80s classic we introduced him to here?

I sandwich my quilt on a table in our basement using 2" clamps I bought at Home Depot.

I quilted by echoing chevrons.

I'm happy to report that after 80 quilts, my bindings are starting to look more consistent. This time, when I clipped the binding down, I used my seam guide to make sure the width was consistent. I'm not certain that 1/2" was exactly where it needed to be, but my binding was very even, which thrills me.

Once I get my machine binding mastered, I may attempt hand binding at some point...if I'm patient enough!

Since we don't have a lot of Auburn fans here in Ohio, I tried to use up the scraps a bit with some  extras.

To see more pictures of this quilt in progress, look for #AuburnHerringbone on Instagram.  If you'd like to see what I'm currently working on, follow me at de Jong Dream House.

Linked to:
Craftastic Monday @ Sew Can Do

Saturday, April 1, 2017

One Monthly Goal: April 2017

This year is speeding by. I can't believe I'm already making summer plans and my baby is nearly finished with second grade! Since we will be spending a few weeks in the Netherlands visiting my in-laws, I'm feeling the pressure to get some quilts done before we go!

  • Lainey's Ladybug: finish
  • Stella's quilt: finalize design and start
  • Charity quilt: Brutus
  • Charity quilt: campers
  • Wedding quilts: design quilts for J&T and E&J
  • quilt from Dare to Be Square
  • Bee Hive 2017: complete March block
  • Milky Way Quilt along: complete March block
  • Hexies: total of 100 
  • Start free motion practice blocks
  • Weighted blanket for Niels
  • Make second magnetic fidget 
  • Sketch out rocket blanket
  • car poncho
  • make a sewing apron
One Monthly Goal is...

Make a ladybug quilt. It will be an original design that at this moment is mostly only in my head, but I think it will go together quickly because it's inspired by the French Rose quilt I made last summer.

All I have for a preview picture is this image of the fabric I've pulled for it.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March One Monthly Goal Update

March was a strange month for us: 70 degrees on day. Snow the next. An anticipated blizzard that left us with a dusting, and an unexpected storm that gave us a few inches. Only to be followed by more 70 degree days. Needless to say there were more than a few colds being passed around my son's school. He gets his immune system from his daddy, and is usually only down for a day or two at most. We are currently on the last day of his spring break, and we haven't left the house since Tuesday, when we went to the doctor. My immune system seems to think I should share this cold, but I have remained strong...until this morning. But I'm not sick because the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo is tomorrow!

So, let's recap the month, shall we?

My March OMG was...

To finish the Otto's memory quilt. The backstory on this quilt is that the grandma of one my son's classmates recently passed away. She was an avid quilter. As her family went through her things, they generously asked me if I could put her sewing supplies to good use. Of course, I said yes! I was able to share fabric and notions with friends and my quilting group. As I pored through her stash, I hoped I would be inspired to make a quilt for the family. I was delighted to find part of a log cabin quilt created.

And I finished the quilt by...making two quilts! One for my son's friend and one for his sister. Here's a picture of the front of one and the back of the other. Read more about Nana's Last Gift here.

As for my other goals...

  • Auburn quilt: I just finished it yesterday. I should have a post up in the next couple days.

  • Stella's quilt: still procrastinating...
  • Charity quilt: still cutting...
  • Charity quilt: fabric bought...
  • Wedding quilts: design quilts for J&T and E&J, and maybe M&J....still noodling
  • quilt for Dare to Be Square...nope.
  • Bee Hive 2017: done!
  • Milky Way Quilt along: done!
  • Hexies: up to 35
  • Start free motion practice blocks - nope
I did however also finished the pattern I tested, Intertwined by Sarah Ruiz

  • Weighted blanket for Niels - still waiting for his fabric
  • Make second magnetic fidget - nope
  • Sketch out rocket blanket- nope
  • car poncho- nope
  • make a sewing apron- nope
If you'd like to see what I'm currently working on, follow me at de Jong Dream House.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Quilts #78 & #79: Nana's Last Gift

About a month ago, I got a text from the mom of one of my son's classmates. Her mom. Dorothy "Dot" Dowdell passed away in December. Dot was a quilter, and since no one else in the family quilted, her daughter asked if I could give her supplies a good home.

I'm part of a quilting group at church, so when I saw how much I was gifted, I knew I'd have plenty to share. As I sorted though this generous gift, I hoped I would find something I could use to make something for the family. I was SO excited to find this among her stash.

She didn't have any notes or a pattern to let me know what she had in mind, but it appears that she ran out of some of the fabric, and as we quilters are wont to do, set it aside as a UFO (unfinished object).

I played around in EQ7 with different formats, trying to find the best pattern to stay true to vintage of the prints (which I estimate to be from the 80s) and is workable with the fabric I had, which was cut into strips and small pieces. I had enough to make 3 more blocks.

One of my friends, who knows the family, suggested that since I didn't have enough fabric to make a full quilt in any of the designs I liked, that I make two lap quilts for the children. I loved the idea!

I picked apart the blocks so I had a nice stack.

I ironed out the decades of wrinkles and replaced a few strips that had unraveled or ripped.

After the blocks were repaired and ironed, they went together very quickly. I had four different quilts going on at the time, so I had to get creative with my design wall space.

Some of the prints were very fragile. All of the strips were ripped, not cut with a rotary cutter or scissors so they were pretty stringy after all these years and it was a bit of a challenge to sew them together. There were several places where I had to go back and creatively stitch blocks together because the 1/4" seam was literally strings of thread.

I made the two quilts similar but also slightly different.

The blocks were 14.5" unfinished, so at this point the lap quilts were 56" x 42", just a little smaller than I wanted for 8 and 11 year olds. I added a 2.5" border to bring the size to 61"x 47".

Dot had several yards of the blue fabric, which would have been perfect for a solid backing if I had made one quilt, but was just a little shy for making two. I had two blocks left over, so I wanted to include them on the back. I only had a few strips of the rest of the prints to work with, so I came up with this.

I liked that the back turned out a little more modern. It's a challenge to finish someone else's work, especially when you've don't know her and have never seen any of her work. I want Charlie and Annabelle to think of their nana, not me, when they see their quilts, so I think this was a good compromise, to have a touch of my style in the back.

For quilting, I used a spiral to soften the lines of the log cabin blocks, which didn't always align perfectly. The quilting is hard to see on the front, but I love the way it looks on the back.

As I was quilting, I started to fret about the binding. My pile of scraps was getting pretty small.

At first, I thought I would need to alternate between the prints to make a scrappy binding, but my math (thank you, Mrs. Prigge!) showed that I could make enough with the lighter burgundy print. I made all the binding for both quilts at once. As it turned out, I had just enough!

This was the second time I used the magnetic seam guide. It makes such a difference!

I don't always wash my quilts before gifting, but this fabric was quite musty. I actually had a pretty nasty allergy attack while working on this project. Once I figured out what was making me sick, I opened the windows  (even on 30F days and moved my diffuser to my craft room). That helped a lot. I wanted to make sure I got the smell out before the kids cuddled the quilt, so I put in the washer on the gentle cycle and dried with a wet rag spritzed with lavender essential oil and a couple of color catchers.

Relieved that the reds didn't bleed, I added the labels.

On our way from school, I saw this branch in the undeveloped part of our neighborhood. We went home, I grabbed the quilts and clips and came back for an impromptu photo shoot.

Finally, I wrote a card, including the care instruction cards I've made.

To see more pictures of this quilt in progress, look for #OttoLogCabin on Instagram.  If you'd like to see what I'm currently working on, follow me at de Jong Dream House.

Updated: The family sent me the sweetest pictures of the kiddos with their quilts. And then, after spring break, my son came home from school and delivered this to me.

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