Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#98 Wayward Transparency

It's getting pretty exciting here at the de Jong Dream House as I am closing in on my 100th quilt! Today I'm sharing my 98th finish. The pattern is Wayward Transparency by the uber talented Quilting Jet Girl, Yvonne Fuchs.  Yvonne hosted a quilt along over the past several months and I am so happy with how it turned out! In fact, at this point, I think I may actually keep this one for myself!

I've been trying to use up my stash for my social quilting projects like this one. I didn't mean to use the same tones as Yvonne, but when I pulled out the white and teal print on the right in the photo below, I knew that I had to use it for the backing. 

For this particular quilt, it was important to have dark, medium, and light values so I made my photo black and white to confirm my choices.

The actual assembly was quite easy, but since it isn't my pattern, I'll leave those photos out. At the moment, you can still find directions from the quilt along on Yvonne's site, If it isn't there when you read this post, please visit her Craftsy page to find her patterns. 

I used my go-to spiral for the quilting. It's a way to practice stitch regulation without a stitch regulator.

I finished it at night, just as my favorite quilt tester was going to bed. 

He approves!

Thank you, Yvonne, for sharing your awesome pattern!

To see more pictures of this project, check the hashtag #djtransparencyquilt on Instagram.  You can also see other versions of the quilt using the hashtag #waywardtransparencyqalYou can see what I'm currently working on by following me at deJongDreamHouse.

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

February One Monthly Goal

So last month, my TBI was acting up and even though I made a One Monthly Goal, I didn't get it posted on time to Elm Street Quilts link up, but I did finish the quilt.

This month, my one monthly goal is a really special one. I finished my very first quilt on March 18, 2013, at age 41. My son had just started pre-school school and had asked for a Thomas the Train quilt. My friend Nicole taught me how to sew and I was hooked.

This month, my goal is complete my 100th quilt! After all the social quilting I did last year, I had quite a few quilts vying for the #100 spot, but I knew it had to be Pat Sloan sew along, Grandma's Kitchen, which I am making in honor of my Gramma Ann.

I made all the blocks in the sew along, but changed up the layout so I could add her name and the years of her birth and death. 

I only have a few of my quilts here at home, but this one is definitely staying in the family!

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Elm Street Quilts

Friday, February 2, 2018

January 2019 One Monthly Goal Update

Even though I didn't post my January One Monthly Goal in time for the Elm Street Quilt link up, I still posted my goal of finishing my Project Linus mystery quilt here on my blog.

I'm happy to report that my quilt is finished!

Not only did I finish my goal, but my quilt was selected as one of thirty to be eligible for a prize for the second part of the fundraiser. Starting this week, voters can make tax-deductable donations to Project Linus by voting for their favorite quilts. You can find more information here

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#97: Harry Potter Wheelchair Quilt

Like most quilters, I have a mile-long list of projects I want to do. Some quilts are ideas for specific people, some are a particular pattern, and some are unique quilt-ish projects. Something that's been on my list for a ridiculously long time is a wheelchair quilt. 

The opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago when one of D's friends injured her knee and needed a wheelchair (fortunately, only temporarily). It was a low-stress opportunity to figure out how to make a child-size wheelchair quilt. 

As far as a pattern, I drew inspiration from a few different sources. 

I learned from Home Sewn By Carolyn that, in addition to their smaller size, it's helpful to taper the end of the quilt to prevent it from getting caught in the wheels.  She has posted a free tutorial for adult size wheelchair quilts. 

Because it is winter in Ohio, I loved her idea of adding a hand warmer/pocket to the quilt. She sells the pattern for the pocket quilt on her site. 

Finally, I wanted to make the quilt weighted. I've made a very small weighted lap quilt, using the instruction from Susan Sullivan's book, Weighted Blankets, Vests, and Scarves. Niels really wants a full size one, but I haven't had to confidence to make one for him yet. Weighted blankets are heavy! 

I used minky on the back and on both sides of the hand warmer so it would be extra cozy. All in all, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'll show some photos of the process below, but only the parts where I veered from the instructions in the book and online directions.  

Here is the top. I used minky for the 3 squares under the hand warmer.

Weighted quilts are layered differently than regular quilts so I made a little mini one to make sure I didn't mess up the real thing.

I found it easier to use basting spray to attach the top to the batting, then putting the right sides of the front and back together. 

I sewed up three sides, leaving the top open to put the poly pellets in. I meant to topstitch the three sides before putting the pellets so I could add a binding, but I forgot it. Next time.

I chose the square so I wouldn't have to mark lines for the channels. I just stitched in the ditch.

For the poly pellets, I guessed C's weight. I divided the total by 10 and added a pound. Then I added the total number of squares and divided it by the total weight in grams so that I would put an equal amount of pellets in each one. That would have worked perfectly except that some of squares were not squares! So I had to made some mid-course adjustments. Because the bottom row was so full, I definitely couldn't topstitch after the fact or put on the binding I had planned.

I attached the handwarmer after the pellets were stitched in by carefully top stitching the top and bottom as I smoothed away any stray pellets.

I didn't add a pocket on top of the handwarmer because I didn't want to take away from the Harry Potter print.  With minky on both sides, I think it will be a great hard warmer. 

D is about the same height as his friend, so he was happy to be my model as I guessed the length and width. I purposely made the quilt short enough not to cover the feet so they wouldn't get the edge of the quilt dirty, but if I made another, I think I would go ahead and add one more row.

All in all, this was a good learning experience. The weighted quilt part of it definitely takes away from the creative aspect of quilting I most enjoy, but I am satisfied in adding a new skill to my  wheelhouse. And maybe, just maybe, Niels will finally get his weighted blanket!

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

2018 Quilting Goals

I realize I'm a little late to the 2018 quilting goal-setting party. I've seen posts by several of my quilty friends, but my own goals have been so to percolate, so rather than sharing them as part of a link up with others more on the ball than me, I will simply share them here.

If I were to make a sweeping generalization of my 2017 quilting goals--though I never actually made any formal goals--it would be that I aspired to be a more social quilter. And I did that quite well. From my very first mystery quilt, Bonnie Hunter's En Provence, to my Lovely Bee swarm, joining several block of the months, to entering my first contest, I was a very busy girl!

One downside of participating in all those block of the month projects is that is that now I have several quilts ready to be finished. And I'm hesitant to join too many other new things until I finish what I started.

So here I am at mid-January with a goal be a little less social. I'm not going to be completely anti-social, just less social. I enjoy making my own patterns. I enjoy having time to make something on the fly as I feel inspired. I want to make some quilts that have been on my to-do queue for a long time. I want to make more baby quilts and quilts for those who mean a lot to me and my family.

So, in no particular order, my goals for 2018 are to:

  • Finish 18 quilts. I made 22 last year, so this should be a problem. Especially if I finish some flimsies.
  • Of those 18, I'd like at least 12 to be quilts donated to my local quilt group.
  • Use my stash. Make more scrappy quilts to reduce my overflowing scrap bins.
  • Quilt through my favorite quilt books.
  • Write up one original pattern.
  • Piece and quilt the blocks received from my Lovely Bee swarm from 2017
  • Fully participate in my 2018 swarm. My month is December so I will not complete my quilt this year.
  • Make all 365 blocks as part of the 365 Block Challenge hosted by Kathryn Kerr.
  • Quilt Quilting Jet Girl's Wayward Transparency quilt.
  • Complete Blossom Heart Quilt's Milky Way Sampler
  • Complete Pat Sloan's Grandma's Kitchen quilt.
  • Complete Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake quilt. 
  • Complete the PEI MQG Mystery Quilt.
  • Complete Meadow Mist's Magnolia mystery quilt
  • Complete Sewhooked's Rainbow Cascade quilt.
  • Send out churn blocks to my swap group
  • Complete the 3 charity quilts pieced for my local quilting group (Good night Irene, Good morning Irene, Red)
  • Finish Jamie & Toben's wedding quilt.
  • Finish Niels' weighted blanket.
  • Finish University of Akron Quilt
QUILTS ONLY MENTALLY STARTED: (pardon my vagueness, I don't generally announce who is getting a quilt).
  • Amelia
  • Molly
  • CJ
  • Molly Apron
  • Landon
  • Phoenix
  • BELL
  • Color blocks (Red is included above. Same quick pattern in Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Teal, Blue, Purple, Pink, Black, Gray, Brown, and Neutrals.
  • Labyrinth Walk
  • Contribute 70723 Blocks
  • Awesome Ocean
  • Little Amsterdam
  • Dutch Scraps
  • Rings of Kerry BOM
  • Dogs in Sweaters
  • Lisa Unicorn
  • American Soldier
  • Bright Birch Tree
  • Drunk Zebra
  • Bubbles
  • Storm at Sea
  • Dog Daze
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Master Bedroom 
  • Mike
  • Ashley
  • COWS
  • Thin Blue Line
  • Catan
  • Hemza
  • Dutch/US flag
  • Snowflake
  • Dutch Orange
  • Oops quilt using Quilt as you go. 
  • Molly Apron
  • Starry Night
  • Brutus
  • Violet Craft Elephant
As expected, I have many more quilts in my queue than I will be able to make this year. And I have many more quilts on another list, but I decided to cap this public list at quilts that I am actively working on or have at least designed/pulled fabric/prepped to begin. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fourteen Years

It's been fourteen years since I broke my brain. I wrote more about it here

Saturday, January 20, 2018

PEI Modern Quilt Guild Mystery 2017: Clue 5

Most of my quilt alongs from last year are finishing up, but my PEI Modern Quilt Guild mystery is still plugging along. Clue #5 was half rectangle triangles. I've never made them before but the directions were great and I was really happy I had the Tri-Rec ruler from last year's Bonnie Hunter mystery, En Provence.

I made the decision not to do as many quilt alongs this year, in large part to make sure that I finish the ones I've started, I have to admit that it's really fun to have a quilt come together slowly like this. A perfect no-stress project!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

#96: Project Linus Mystery Quilt

Midway through January and I have my first finish of the year! Last fall, as my to do queue was filled with mystery quilts and quilt alongs, I learned about the Project Linus mystery quilt. Project Linus is an organization that gives homemade quilts and blankets to kids who are seriously ill or traumatized. 

This was my first year doing the mystery, which is an annual two-part fundraiser. The first part is the quilt along. In order to receive the weekly clues, quilters give a $15 donation to Project Linus. Once all the quilts are complete, the second phase of the fundraiser is a contest where the public can vote for their favorites. 

From the Project Linus website:

From all entries received by the deadline, anyone can vote for their favorite quilt(s) from a link on our website, and voters may vote more than one time. Each vote is $1 with a minimum of 10 votes ($10) per instance. Voting begins on 12:01a CT on Saturday, February 3, 2018 and ends at 11:59p CT on Friday, February 16, 2018. All funds collected through the voting process are also considered a tax deductible donation to Project Linus and will go to National Headquarters to benefit all chapters.

This year's theme was "Exploring the World with Ethan." The blocks are a combination of traditional piecing, paper piecing, applique, and even a few 3D elements. Each block had a different geographical theme. As an international family that frequently opens our home to guests from around the world, this theme was just my style!

Lantern from China:

Three weeks in China changed my life. 

Ship in Oceania:

Whale in the Antarctic:

The leaning tower of Pisa, Italy.

I was there on a VERY hot July day.

The castle was intended to be Neuschwanstein in Germany.

But I modeled mine after Helmond Castle in my husband's hometown in the Netherlands.

A tipi for the North American plains. This was my first time making a 3D element. 

A plant for the Amazon rainforest in South America. 

The pyramids in Giza, Egypt.

Koala for Australia. One part of the world still on my bucket list. Especially as I find more and more quilters down under. I started embellishing my blocks a bit at this point. I added the body of my koala so his head wasn't floating in my block. 

A penguin for Antarctica. I added the water and iceberg.

The star of the quilt is Ethan, an African elephant named after a grandson the quilt designer, Mary Balagna. 

The final block is a stack of books to read more about our beautiful world. This was a fun block as it reminded me of the library quilt I made last year. 

When Mary announced the fabric requirements of orange and blue, I knew I had the perfect background fabric in my stash. I bought both prints a year ago while visiting Holland, Michigan. Look at the little Dutch girl! And the verbage print includes Dutch, too!

I'm so happy I found the perfect quilt to use these prints.

As always my son wraps his love in my quilt. 

I hope that whoever receives this quilt will feel love and support in whatever they are facing and that the bright colors brighten their room and their spirits. 

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Monday, January 8, 2018

January 2018 One Monthly Goal

It's a new year and I'm already behind. Sigh. I'm writing this post on January 8, one day after the link up for Elm Street Quilt's January OMG closed. But I'm posting it anyway, now, because I'm still going to work on it. 

My brain injury has been giving me grief lately. I've been dealing with blurry vision and vertigo for the last few months, which has made my regular headaches worse. The culprit seems to be that my saccadic dysmetria has gotten a lot worse. This video explains it better. 

Long story short, my medical team is adjusting my meds, as well as my contact prescription. We'll get there, but the adjustment is kicking my backside. 

Excuses aside, my goal for this month is to finish my Project Linus mystery quilt, Exploring the world with Ethan. The top was completed as part of the quilt along, but now it's time to get it quilted and bound. 

This was my first year doing the mystery. The annual fundraiser for Project Linus consists of two part. The first part is the quilt along. In order to receive the weekly clues, quilters give a $15 donation to Project Linus. Once all the quilts are complete, the second phase of the fundraiser is a contest where the public can vote for their favorites. 

From the Project Linus website:

From all entries received by the deadline, anyone can vote for their favorite quilt(s) from a link on our website, and voters may vote more than one time. Each vote is $1 with a minimum of 10 votes ($10) per instance. Voting begins on 12:01a CT on Saturday, February 3, 2018 and ends at 11:59p CT on Friday, February 16, 2018. All funds collected through the voting process are also considered a tax deductible donation to Project Linus and will go to National Headquarters to benefit all chapters.

So, I am motivated for a great cause, even if I posted my goal late!

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

December 2017 One Monthly Goal Update

Thanks to Elm Street Quilts and her monthly challenge, One Monthly Goal, I was motivated to finish a few of my unfinished quits before the end of the year.

My goal was to finish the three Cards 'n' Cowboys quilts that I started for #quiltsforvegas.

I'm happy to report that all three quilts are finished and have made their way to Las Vegas and hopefully, by now, are on their way to their new homes.

As a bonus, I was also able to finish my Tula Pink Butterfly as part of Gnome Angel's sew along

I gifted this beauty to my son's incredible principal. 

Early in the month, I finished my Cancer Can Kiss My Donkey quilt, bringing the month's finish total to 5, and my annual count to 22!

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