Thursday, December 6, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: December 2018


If at first, you don't succeed, try, try again. 

For the first time in many, many months, I did not make my OMG last month. It wasn't for a lack of trying, but my brain was just not clicking last month with everything we had going on. I'm trying not to think of all the quilts I didn't finish this year, but for my One Monthly Goal, I am going to repeat last month's goal of finishing the baby quilt for my youngest sister, Liz, who is due in January. I'm hoping for a tiny birthday buddy!

Last month, while I was walking around Quilt Festival in Houston, I was able to video call my sister to say hello to her during her shower. My niece gave me a tour of their new house. I took a screen shot of this pillow from the nursery for inspiration. 


When I got home, I drew up this pattern, which will use the bird pattern by Melinda Honn and the birdhouse pattern by Just Jude Designs.


Unless, of course, I change my mind and do something completely different!

June 2017 - no goal

Linked to:
Elm Street Quilts

One Monthly Goal :: November 2018 Update


Well...boo. I did not complete my OMG goal for this month. I had hoped to finish my sister's baby quilt, but this is as far as I got.


I decided on a pattern and pulled fabric based on some pillows in her nursery.

Considering I didn't even have an idea a month ago, that was a decent start. So, what did I do this month?

I went to Quilt Festival. 


I finished and delivered Max's robot.


I pieced the top of Molly's Mermaid.


I started pattern testing Kelly Fannin'ss awesome One Giant Stitch pattern.


I began Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery quilt.


Outside my craft room, our son tested for and gained admittance to a gifted school. He did a shadow day and fell in love with it. But it's an hour away so I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make that work.  All the while, I have semi-functioned with sciatica and headaches and brain fog. But more importantly,  I celebrated all the good things in my life.


Hopefully, December brings more productive sewing time!

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Quilt #36 :: Avocado Ties


Earlier this year, when I realized how many of my quilts were never shared here on my blog, I made a soft goal of having them posted by the end of 2018. As November comes to an end, I can see that my soft goal was too ambitious. So my new goal is to finish my quilts from 2014! After this post, I only have two left, so I hope that's a reasonable goal!

On to my 36th quilt, which I called Avocado Ties. The inspiration for this quilt began when the leader of our local quilt group mentioned that we needed more quilts for guys. I looked through the fabric bins at church and found this retro tie print. Hello 70s!


Blue would have been my first choice for coordinating prints, but I found more browns and avocado green prints in the stash, like this cool geometric print. 


I was destined to embrace colors of days gone by! For a pattern, I made a variation of a rail fence, with the center stripe being wider than the outside two.



It's a nice quick pattern which I may need to revisit again when I want to make some quick quilts or feature certain prints. 



Because it was a quick and easy quilt, I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I did notice that when I was laying out this quilt, I didn't yet use my laundry room design wall. Instead, I was using the Cheryl Ann portable design wall that I bought at Quilt Festival in Houston. It's pricey, but great for travel and bigger spaces than the narrow space I have. 





I actually donated it to Janice of Quilts of Compassion this year because I know she can put it to good use as she works with different quilt groups. 

The other quilty toy I used when making this quilt was this pair of Dritz quilt hangers.


They are really handy, but I started taking quilt photos outside so now I'm not even sure where they are!

The last noteworthy bit from this quilt is that I learned to blanket stitch. I didn't take a photo of the label, but I think I put it on top of this heart.


As with so many comfort quilts I've made, I don't know exactly where this quilt ended up. I believe it was distributed to an assisted living facility here in Ohio, but I'm not certain. Wherever it is, I hope that it is being used and loved. 


With that, I only have two 2014 quilts left to share! You can see a list of all the quilts I've made here (with links where available), and see photos of all my quilts here. To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at dejongdreamhouse on Instagram.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Quilt #34: Train Tracks


My 2014 quilty trip down memory lane continues with a quick quilt I made for our local quilting ministry. If you regularly follow this blog, you may recognize this pattern, This is the second quilt I made with  Made By Rae's Storytime Squares Quilt. The first was Abrahm's Packers quilt. It's a really cute, quick pattern. I'm thinking I need to use it again soon.


The inspiration for this quilt was the train fabric I bought just before my son's passion shifted from trains to space. I noticed it went well with the alphabet print in my stash. From there, it was easy to pull other red and black prints. 


I used the same quilting motif on this one as Abrahm's quilt, sans the football.


While it's been a pretty big task to go back and write about my earlier quilts, it's been super sweet to look back and find pictures of my little guy with each one. When I was out taking pictures of this quilt, some of the neighbor kids came over to inspect my work. I couldn't help but smile when I saw this gem.


I don't take a lot of photos of me with my quilts, but when I brought this quilt to my local group, my mom was visiting and came with me to meet my quilting friends. She snapped this picture of me.


I had in mind that this quilt would be part of our annual kindergartner collection, but the leaders asked if they could sell it at a craft show for a fundraiser. To be honest, I'm not sure where it ended up! Wherever it is, I hope it is being used and loved.

With that, I only have three 2014 quilts left to share! You can see a list of all the quilts I've made here (with links where available), and see photos of all my quilts here. To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at dejongdreamhouse on Instagram.

Linked to:
Monday
Design Wall Monday @ Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt
Moving It Forward @ Em's Scrap Bag
What I Made Monday @ Pretty Piney

Monday, November 19, 2018

Quilt #29 :: Abrahm's Packers


To paraphrase the Bible wildly out of context with tongue firmly in cheek, "Greater love has no quilter than to make a rival team quilt for a friend." In honor of the Minnesota Viking-Green Bay Packer football game coming up, I'm sharing another one of my quilts from 2014.

This quilt was made for a sweet baby born to my friends Mark and Anissa Meyer. Mark and I became friends when we were both in our early 20s, when I was living in Wisconsin. We had a lot of fun together with our group of friends: game nights, lots of sand volleyball, camping, church activities, going to concerts, and watching loads of football. Even though I remained true to my Minnesota Vikings, I have to admit, it was fun to watch the hometown-owned Green Bay Packers.


Mark has a wonderful family, and over the years, I also became friends with his sisters and got to know and admire his parents. I interviewed them and wrote about them in my book, Generation Ex. They have influenced me in many subtle ways, but one tangible imprint on my life is the wall full of photos. Every time I visited them, I would look over the photos hanging in chronological order along the hallway. It was such a vivid expression of family to me that it inspired the anniversary wall, "we do" gallery, and growing up gallery, displayed in our home hangs in our home. I love the visual representation of my own family history.


Mark and I lived in the same area for only a few years, but our paths continued to cross over the years. We reconnected again shortly before Niels and I got married, and in true Meyer fashion, Mark drove from Wisconsin to Ohio to not only attend our wedding, but helped out behind the scenes to make sure our day was perfect. 

Much of our friendship revolves around football banter. Since Mark's birthday is in early September, the start of the NFL season always makes me think of Mark and that fun season of our lives. When we visited Mark on our way to Minnesota when D was a baby, Mark played host to our family. Of course, I only dressed D in Viking apparel that day. 


Niels and I were thrilled for Mark when he married Anissa and made the trip to Iowa to attend their nuptials. We are so happy that he found some as wonderful as he is.


Our paths mostly cross on social media these days, but when their second child was born, a year after I started quilting, I knew I would be the bigger person and make a Packer quilt for Abrahm. (Only those in the American Midwest can truly appreciate this sacrifice!)

The pattern is Storytime Squares Quilt by Made By Rae.  She was kind enough to offer the pattern for free on her site. It is a great choice for using larger blocks and coordinating prints.

Source
I had a bit of Packer fabric and green and gold prints leftover from my brother and sister-in-law's house divided quilt, which made it really easy to get started.


I bought a football stencil for the center square. It was my first time trying any quilting that was not straight-line,. It's been four years, and I haven't tried it again!


I used a striped minky for the back and kept the rest of the quilting simple.


My favorite part of making this quilt is the label. 


My favorite picture of this quilt came from Anissa, who sent me this adorable photo of Abrahm on his quilt. What a cutie! Toally worth working with Packer prints to see a photo like this!


That sweet baby is now four, and I now have only four more quilts from 2014 to share! Unfortunately, I was just as much of a blogging slacker in 2015, and have only wrote about four of the sixteen quilts I made that year. I see that my throw back quilt posts will continue for quite awhile. I'm so relieved I got my stuff together in 2016! I've only missed posting about 3 of the 17 quilts I made. You can see a list of all the quilts I've made here (with links where available), and see photos of all my quilts here

To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at dejongdreamhouse on Instagram.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Quilt #60 :: O-H I Love The Kauffmans


We live in Ohio, where fall is focused on football. We have NFL teams here in Ohio, but it doesn't take long to realize that that real football team most sports fans follow is the Ohio State Buckeyes. When I made the Always a Buckeye quilt for the Price family, I had a lot of requests for additional Buckeye quilts. 
As a rule, I don't do quilts on commissions. There are many quilters who do, and I am happy to send them business. For me, quilting on a deadline or with expectation is stressful and takes the joy out of the art for me. My "to do queue" is more than a hundred quilts long so even though I make a lot of quilts, it may take quite for a quilt to make its way from idea to delivery.  I like the freedom to work on whatever inspires me at the moment. It's fun for me to post sneak peeks of my quilts and have friends try to guess who the recipient might be. 

I sometimes joke with Niels about who might is "quilt worthy." If someone shows sincere appreciation for the quilts I made, there's a good chance that somewhere in the back of mind, I'm thinking of a quilt for them. 

The Kauffman family fit into this category. Niels and I met Matt and Jen Kauffman and their kiddos early in our marriage when we were in a small group together. 


It doesn't take much time with Matt and Jen before you learn of their love for the Buckeyes. For a few years I dabbled in craft shows to sell my fidget bracelets and a few other small quilted items. I made a couple of Ohio State baby quilts. Since I had the fabric out and had the Buckeyes on my mind, I made a lap quilt for the Kauffmans. 


This is an easy quilt to assemble. Thank you, Ohio State, for a simple helmet design!
I used my Silhouette Cameo to make the Ohio-shaped label.


I used a blanket stitch to attach the label. Even though it is reversed, I like the Ohio state outline it made on the front of the quilt.


Cheers to good friends!

Linky Parties:
Wednesday:
Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Midweek Makers @ Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss @ The Inquiring Quilter
WIP Linky @ Silly Mama Quilts
WIPs on Wednesday @ Esther's Blog
Thursday:
Needle & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
Friday:
Finished or Not Friday @ Busy Mama Quilts
Off the Wall Friday @ Nina Marie
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict
Saturday:
Scrappy Saturday @ So Scrappy
Show Off Saturday @ Sew Can She
UFO Busting @ The Madd Hatter
Sunday
BOMs Away @ What a Hoot
Oh Scrap! @ Quilting is More Fun than Housework
Monday
Design Wall Monday @ Small Quilts & Doll Quilts
Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt
What I Made Monday @ Pretty Piney
Tuesday
Color Inspiration Linky Party @ The Clever Chameleon
Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the River
To Do Tuesday @ Stitch All the Things

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Quilt #118 :: Max's Robot


First, a moment of silence for the long-detailed blog I wrote about this quilt that I accidentally deleted. *Deep Breath* Exhale.....Okay, let's try again.

For the last six years, my son D has attended a fantastic community choice school with a focus on STEM and project-based learning. (Community choice is similar to a private public school. No tuition!). One of many reasons I love this school is that it is small enough that the students (and teacher) stay together for multiple years. 


One of D's best buddies for the last few years is Max. I met Max's mom, Nikki, one day while our kids were at the Y for swim lessons. Usually I keep my eyes on my phone--and occasionally D--during lessons, but Nikki started chatting me up and I'm so glad she did. She was looking for a school for her kids, so I was happy to tell her about ours. By the next fall, her kids joined D and Nikki became one of my best friends. 

Last year, Nikki coached our school's first Destination Imagination team. DI is an international competition in which students solve challenges. For our challenge, the team made a robot that navigated through a maze.


Shortly after our team competed in regionals, Nikki announced their upcoming move to Houston. It's not often that we find families where the moms, dads, and kids are all friends so we were very bummed. I'm glad for D's sake that we live in an age of technology where a cross-country move doesn't mean two friends can't stay connected.


Earlier this year, Max's sister Caroline needed a wheelchair due to some issues with her knee. I made her a Harry-Potter-themed wheelchair quilt


I gifted Nikki my newly-complete Wayward Transparency quilt. 


As soon as we learned that the Pauley's were moving to Houston, we made plans to attend the International Quilt Festival. And I had a deadline to finish a quilt for Max. I knew immediately which quilt I would make for him. 


The pattern is called "Does Not Compute." It was designed by Boo Davis of Quiltsryche and included in her awesome book Dare to be Square.


Boo is not your gramma's quilter. She is irreverent and her quilts are influenced by heavy metal. I first discovered her when I found her Bangover quilt, which inspired my Tool quilt. I bought her book a while back and have been waiting for the right time to make one of her patterns. The "Does Not Compute" pattern is a perfect way to remember our DI team with its robot and maze.

The only change I made to the pattern was to personalize it with Max's name in the center of the robot.


Originally, I made the name in blue, but it didn't show very well. 


It's never fun to replace blocks once a quilt top is pieced, but it was the right call. I also had a second chance to fix the X that I wasn't 100% satisfied with the first time.

Because Max and D are two peas in a pod, I knew that he would appreciate soft minky on the back. I ordered extra wide minky online and crossed my fingers that the shade of blue I picked would work. I think it does.


I've started doing my labels a little differently. Instead of using printable fabric, I've been cutting Kona White fabric into 8.5" x 11" pieces that I iron onto freezer paper. I design the label on my computer and, stabilized with the freezer paper, print the fabric. I find that the labels are much softer this way than they are with the printable fabric. I also use Steam a Seam Lite rather than Heat N Bond
for the same reason.


I fold the edges of the label under, then attach the Steam-A-Seam. I love that I can reposition the label before pressing it down. I topstitch it to keep it in place.


As always, D slept with Max's quilt to add the last bit of love into it.


All ready for Quilt Festival shopping and a very special quilt delivery.


Max is such a great kid. I love him so much. He has a wonderful attitude of gratitude. He is every quilter's dream recipient because of his joyful appreciation of gifts. I'm so glad I was there to see his reaction.


D was so excited to see his friend get his quilt. What a great way for these friends to stay connected.


To see more pictures of this quilt in progress, look for #MaxsRobotQuilt on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, please follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

Linky Parties:
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Scrappy Saturday @ So Scrappy
Show Off Saturday @ Sew Can She
UFO Busting @ The Madd Hatter
Sunday
BOMs Away @ What a Hoot
Oh Scrap! @ Quilting is More Fun than Housework
Monday
Design Wall Monday @ Small Quilts & Doll Quilts
Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt
What I Made Monday @ Pretty Piney


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