Monday, July 9, 2018

Pat Sloan Podcast


So...I have some pretty big news! Sometime today, my interview with Pat Sloan will go live on her American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast!

If you aren't familiar with Pat Sloan, she is a popular and prolific quilter who hosts many sew alongs at her website, I Love to Make Quilts.  


I have been part of Pat's active Facebook community, Quilt Along with Pat Sloan, for several years. The quilters there are supportive and talented. I didn't jump into social quilting until less year, so while I admired the progress others made on Pat's sew alongs, I wasn't a participant until I saw her write about her upcoming Grandma's Kitchen quilt. 


My Gramma Ann passed away in 2014 When my family was packing up her things, I requested some of her clothes so that I could make a quilt with them. I had only been quilting for a year at that point. I wasn't confident enough yet to cut up her clothes out of fear of making a mistake. So I put them in a tote while I waited for inspiration.

Nearly a year ago to the day, Pat posted the first block of Grandma's kitchen, called "The Kitchen Table." Just seeing the name, I was transported to Grandma's kitchen in tiny Blackduck, Minnesota. I thought her cupboards were so cool because the doors were flat panels that opened only when you pushed them. I spent many hours entertaining myself by opening and closing those cupboards.


I knew then that this sew along was just the inspiration I needed. I decided from the start that my quilt would be all about Gramma's life, in and out of the kitchen. You can read about the entire process here.  My mom and aunts were very excited about the quilt and talked about who should get it...so...I made six of them!


After finishing each block, I would post it to a link up on Pat's website and/or share the block and its story on Pat's FB page. A few times, Pat herself would comment on the post! And then she contacted me privately after seeing all six quilts, and asked if I would be on her show. Of course, I said, "YES!" 


I hope you enjoy listening to the interview as much as I enjoyed talking to Pat. 

Finally, I have to share one last thing about this project. My mom and aunt were so grateful for their quilts and send me the most wonderful thank you notes and gifts. My aunt Lori, did something really fun! She took all the blog posts I wrote and had them bound up in a book. What a labor of love! 


They say the internet is forever, but this is such a thoughtful way to make sure that Gramma's legacy lives on to the next generation(s). 


I've so enjoyed re-reading the blog posts again. I wrote them as I went along, without knowing how the quilt would turn out. It is really cool to read them all at once, kind of like binge-watching a favorite show!


 I love that she wrapped the book in the blue paper that inspired block "Pantry Goods."



If this is your first time here at de Jong Dream House, especially if you visited after hearing the podcast, WELCOME! This blog started as my husband and I build our dream ultra energy-efficient, universally-designed dream house. After moving in, I posted about organizing and green living. Once I discovered quilting in 2013, my blog started featuring more and more quilts. And that's mostly what you see today. 

You can also keep up with me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Thanks for keeping in touch!


Saturday, July 7, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: July 2018


My summer woes have continued. After my hand and foot healed, my machine broke! It took three weeks to get it fixed. The thread cutter jammed so whenever I turned on my machine it made a horrible grinding sound. My regular shop referred me to a shop and hour away in less that 48 hours, they had her fixed. I was a very happy girl!


It's been almost two months since I've been able to quilt every day so now my mojo has waned. I'm going to try to get back on the bandwagon this month by making a quilt for some family visiting the month. 


I made this first block four years ago when I made my husband's citizenship quilt


I have a new idea for the layout for the Dutch Canuck quilt, so I may have to add this block to the Oops block pile and make another variation. Stay tuned!

Linked to:
Elm Street Quilts

Previous OMGs:
June 2018 - Daybed Pillow
June 2017 - no goal

Linked to:

One Monthly Goal :: June 2018 update


I haven't had a very productive summer of sewing. At the end of May, this happened.



I only had to wear it for a few weeks, but then this happened.


I took my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 to the shop. I just had it serviced in April, so I was a little bummed when the thread cutter jammed only a 6 weeks later. After two weeks in the shop, it was recommended that I bring it to another shop an hour away. I drove it out that day and got it back on June 30th. I got right to work on my One Monthly Goal, but didn't quite finish in time to be part of the finish link up on Elm Street Quilts

My goal was to make an accent pillow (or two) for our new day bed. 


I only finished one pillow in the few hours I had before the end of the month. I made it rectangle-shape with the idea of using it as a neck pillow. I'm going to use it a bit before deciding to make more or making squares.


I wanted to make the pillow easy to wash, so I made a pillowcase as well as a pillow. I could have bought a pillow form and made the pillowcase to fit it, but why do things the easy way? Plus, I have a ton of scraps that are perfect for stuffing pillows. 


I used muslin for the pillow. 




Previous OMGs:
June 2018 - Daybed Pillow
June 2017 - no goal

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: June 2018


So last month, this happened.


I grimaced my way to finishing my May One Monthly Goal, but I am definitely paying for it.  Doctor says that I should be good as new in a few weeks, but I'm going to make it easy on myself just in case I don't have many sewing days.

Since I haven't been able to sew, I am very glad that I made the decision last month to buy new patio furniture. I've had my eye on these sets for 3 summers, but finally came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to find anything I like better. 



The daybed is the Newport Circular Sun Bed by TK Classics (in Aruba). I was pleasantly surprised to see that the bed came with two sets of cushions, both the Aruba turquoise I ordered, plus a bonus set in beige. 

The dining table is part of the Modway Convene Collection in Turquoise. Both sets seem to sell out quickly (on Amazon, at least). The dining set is only available in Beige as of this writing.

We've only had the furniture for a few weeks, but I think we've already spent more time on our back porch that we have most summers! 



In keeping with the summer theme, my One Monthly Goal for June is to make some coordinating pillows for the day bed.  Maybe, if I'm really feeling ambitious, I'll make a pouf, too.

I need to shop in person, but I'm thinking something like this Solarium Olympica Lagoon from Joann. 




Previous OMGs:
June 2017 - no goal

Linked to:





Thursday, May 31, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: May 2018 Update


It's the last day of the month, so I had to get my behind in gear to finish my goal this month. My brain injury has been giving me grief and I've had such a hard time getting going for the last few weeks. Oh, and I also did this.


The crazy thing is, I'm not even sure how it happened. The doctor isn't even sure if it's tendonitis or a sprained thumb, but the treatment is the same. After having my left foot in a walking boot the last two summers, a brace for my thumb doesn't seem so bad,  but it does get in the way of my quilting!

Challenges aside, I'm happy to report that I did well this month with my one monthly goal. My goal was to start my Oops and Orphans quilt using some of my practice, sample, leftover, and not-quite-right blocks, as well as small scraps given to me by my quilting guild.


In addition to using up bins and bags of scraps, I wanted to push myself to practice free motion quilting. I used the Quilt as You Go so that I could use up batting scraps as well, and could start with smaller pieces. (I used 15.5" squares).

Making the scrappy blocks was rather fun. The bag I used was made up of 1.75" strips. I decided to sew them into long strips and used them to make each Oops block into 15.5"--easy peasy.


 I cut the batting and backing 17.5" square and used basting spray rather than pins. So far, so good.


For the first square, I tried my hand at a basic meander. The result was pretty herky-jerky. I can why a stitch regulator is so nice. I do not have a stitch regulator.


My second block was more of a geometric meander, though I had more curves than all right angles as I intended. 


For my next two blocks I used the quilting ruler I picked up at a quilt show a few years ago.  The large waves got easier after the first few rows.


The small waves were a bit trickier, but I'm happy with my first attempt.


I started a fitth block, but my sewing machine was DONE with free motion and I could not get it to work again. (I found a Pfaff shop close my son's Dutch school. In the fall, I'm going to bring my machine up there while he's a school to make sure I'm setting everything up right and have someone who knows my machine looking over my shoulder).


I ripped out all the wonky stitches and tried again (I was doing matchsticks so it was a lot!), but the thread kept breaking. (Same thread that worked beautifully for everything else). So I decided that four blocks was a good start for this goal

I intended to use Jera Brandvig's method as she describes in her book, Quilt As-You-Go


Unfortunately, I didn't read the book before starting my quilting. Her method has the quilting done with just the top and batting. Oops.

I found Jennie Doan's method on YouTube. I was able to modify her method to make my blocks work. I took two of my squared up blocks and placed them backing sides together. 


I sewed a 1" seam.


First I pressed the seam open. You can see that there is still some free motion quilting within the seam allowance. I may or may not rip that out at some point


Then, I folded each side of the seam under itself to hide the raw edge.


I didn't pin the folded under seam because it was pretty thick with the batting. Jennie's version is such that it's only fabric--no batting. Follow Jennie's lead.  Then I top stitched the folded under seam, checking every couple inches to make sure that the seam was completely tucked under.


Since I had four decent blocks, I decided to add the other two blocks. This is why Jennie's method is better. I had to cut out the notches of batting on either side of my seams because it was too thick. Here's the first notch.


At this point, my quilt is approximately 30" x 30". I'm trying to decide what to do with these quilts.  Obviously, they aren't my best work, so I don't want to donate them to my normal places. I'm thinking I may use smaller blocks to make up kennel mats for our local animal shelter. I'm sure the dogs would love all the smells from some of these vintage prints and they won't care about my wonky free motion. I may make a couple more blocks this size thought to make a slightly larger quilt that I will keep as a reminder of my first attempts at free motion.


Now that I've dug in, free motion isn't so scary. I just need to make time to keep practicing. Fortunately, I have enough scraps to make about a hundred quilt as you go quilts!

Here's a recap of other One Monthly Goals I have made.

June 2017 - no goal

Linked to:





Sunday, May 6, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: May 2018


Another month, another goal. I have a stack of quilt tops to quilt, so you would think my goal would lie somewhere in there.


However, I'm going to do something different this month. I have three little goals that I can work into one project. I just need the push to get started. Thank you, Elm Street Quilts!

#1: I really want to learn to free motion. I have used straight line or spiral motion for most of the 107 (!) quilts I've made so far. I really like the look, but I want to expand my repertoire.

#2: I also want to learn Quilt as You Go. I have a TON of batting scraps (hello, 107 quilts!) and I can only make so many microwave cozies. I'm planning to use Quilt As-You-Go by Jera Brandvig.


#3: Speaking of scraps, I want to start an Oops quilt of all my practice blocks, extras, and not quite right for the project blocks I have overflowing in a bin.


So my goal for May is to start my Oops quilt using free motion and QAYG techniques. I will work on this as I'm also tackling that big stack of quilts from the top of the page, so I'm making a modest goal of 5 blocks this month. I think once I get started, I'll really like it. I just need to get over my fears and dig in!

Here's a recap of other One Monthly Goals I have made. 

Linked to:




Saturday, April 28, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: April 2018 update


It's that time again, the end of the month means time to post an update on my One Monthly Goal. 


When I set my One Monthly Goal for April, I was sailing the Caribbean. As I write this update back home in Ohio, it is overcast and rainy. Fortunately, the colors of the quilt reminded me of the warmth and beauty of our trip.


At the start of the month, I only had a few blocks done. I made them over a year ago after my friend Jamie got engaged. I knew I wanted to make her a scrappy, beachy quilt for her wedding to Toben, but I didn't have the actual design figured out.


The "love" letters are paper pieced using the Wonky Alphabet pattern I bought from Kelby Sews. For the "HEIM" in the middle, I made my own templates in the same style as Kelby's lowercase letters. Here they are in reverse because I love the stained glass look of a quilt top in the sun.


Today is actually Jamie & Toben's first anniversary. I didn't quite finish the quilt, but the top is done and should be headed their way soon.

Here's a recap of other One Monthly Goals I have made. 




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