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.

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.

Linked to:

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!

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

Sunday, November 4, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: November 2018

Wowza! Where did this year go? I just realized I have been doing One Monthly Goals for two years next month. Seems like I just started! For November, I have a very special goal. I'm making a baby quilt for my youngest sister Liz, who is expecting her first baby in January. I'm selfishly hoping I'll have a little birthday buddy, but I will be thrilled with a safe delivery and a healthy baby, too!

My absolute favorite picture from Liz and Chris' wedding is this one, with the young nieces and nephews. D is on the right, apparently roaring like a lion.

Chris & Liz's last name is Burd, so my wedding gift to them with a Love Burd quilt. (This is yet another quilt from 2014 that I never wrote about so I'm glad for the opportunity to share here. More details on this one coming soon-ish).

I have an idea for the design of the baby quilt, but I'm not completely set on it. Liz loves elephants, so I'm thinking there will be elephants and birds on it. We are leaving for Quilt Festival in Houston in a few days. I'm sure I will find lots of inspiration there!

June 2017 - no goal

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: October 2018 Update

Happy Halloween. I'm going to be short and sweet with my One Monthly Goal update because I finished midway through the month and I've already written the post! I'm so grateful for these monthly motivations from Elm Street Quilts!

I love this quilt for two big reason. First of all, it has been donated to Quilts of Compassion as part of the Quilts for the Carolinas deployment for those affected by Hurricane Florence.

The second reason I love this quilt is that I made it while teaching my Dutch daughter, Marissa was visiting from the Netherlands. She did such an awesome job and has a warm and gezellig reminder of her visit back to her American home. 

Be sure to head over the full post to see how we many our quilts and if you want to make a Jewel Box quilt, you can print off a coloring page I created.

To see more pictures of this quilt, check the hashtag #CarolinaJewelQuilt on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, please follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

June 2017 - no goal

Linked to:
Elm Street Quilts

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Quilt #117 :: Scrappy Buffalo Plaid

I'm taking a break from posting about my older quilts to share a new finish! My overall goal for 2018 is supposed to be finishing up all of my social quilts from last year. I've done a decent job completing ten of them:  Project Linus mystery, Wayward Transparency, Grandma's Kitchen (all 6 of them!), On Ringo Lake, and Prince Edward Island MQG Mystery quilts. More than halfway there, so that's good!

Mentally though, I'm thinking ahead to my 2019 goal, which is to make a LOT of scrappy quilts. My scrap bins are overflowing so I need to use them up! I've been curating scrappy quilts on Pinterest for next year, but I couldn't help making a few already this year with Good Night Irene, Good Morning Eileen, VV Improv, Murphy's Oops and Orphans, Lots of Love wedding quilt, and my Carolina Jewel quilt.

The quilt I'm sharing today is my take on Plaid to Meet You by Tonya Alexander of Stash Lab Quilts.  It was featured in the February 2018 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. I'm calling my version Scrappy Buffalo Plaid because the ubiquitous plaid of my high school glory days is coming back! (The stirrup pants can stay in the past!)

In the pre-smart phone days of my youth, I missed the opportunity to get a picture of myself in one of my many stirrup pants and baggy plaid sweater combos, but I will let you admire one of my senior pictures. (RIP, Mandy! RIP, my little waist!)

Back to the quilt. My scraps are separated by color. I know a lot of people cut their scraps into common sizes, but for the most part, I keep my scraps intact so I have more sizes to choose from when I applique or paper piece. But as more of my bins are overflowing, I am taking time between project to cut the smaller pieces into 2.5", 2" and 1.5" squares.

For this quilt, I focused on blues and reds. Can you believe this didn't even make a dent in my blue bin?

I didn't have as wide of an assortment of reds, but still a lot! This was the point where I realized that I cut way more blues than I needed for this quilt. I could make about three with all the blue squares I cut!

When piecing little squares like this, I like to use a method I learned from Elizabeth Hartman using fusible interfacing. 

I have several templates made up that I use under the interfacing depending on the size block I'm using.

I started this quilt over the summer while we were puppy sitting Murphy. He was not a fan of long periods of time watching me sew, but over time he came to accept his little corner of the room, away from the fabric.

As I was quilting the quilt in my go-to spiral, I was able to look more closely at the 1" squares. I realized that this quilt will be like a mini-I Spy quilt for whoever receives it. Some of the prints include a robot, Santa, a Dutch windmill (a little bit of us!), an Ohio State "O" (a bit of local flair), a heart, vintage prints, Mario, Betty Boop, Thomas the Train, a pup from Paw Patrol, and because it's my stash, lots of bits of space stuff.

To see more pictures of this quilt, check the hashtag #ScrappyBuffaloPlaidQuilt on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, please follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

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