Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One Monthly Goal :: January 2017 Update

I'm back to report on my One Monthly Goal for January. My goal was to make a first year quilt for my son's teacher and I'm happy to report that the quilt is finished and gifted! I didn't get to make the delivery in person, but I know mom did receive it.

I wrote a separate blog post about this quilt already, but to recap for those just joining in, my goal for January was to make a quilt that mom (or dad) can use as a background for each month of baby's first year. I also liked the idea of using numbers because mom is a dance teacher (...5, 6, 7, 8!) I was surprised how few number quilts I found out there on the interwebs, especially given the popularity of alphabet quilts. I usually try to include a coordinating taggy blanket with my quilts. With this one, I cut out the center of the taggy so it can be used to frame the number of each month.

My newly 8-year-old son pointed it out that the quilt works for big kids, too. 

As far as the rest of my goals...meh. It wasn't a super productive month in the craft room. The first week of January was spent driving from Arizona to Ohio, and then recovering from said trip. The second week of January was spent hosting our new Korean son, Joong Ho, who stayed with us for his first week in America before settling into his apartment near campus. Joong Ho is the second Korean student we've hosted, so D was able to put the flag shirt I made for him last year to good use again. 

On the 15th I turned 45, and on the 21st, I "celebrated" the 13th anniversary of my brain injury with a headache, vertigo, and brain fog that keep me in bed for most of the week. I didn't even step into my sewing room. On the plus side of my health issues, the finger I sliced with my rotary cutter is completely closed. I'm still hoping to regain feeling on the thumb side of my finger, but so far it's still rather numb. But it's so nice not to have to change that bandage!

So here we are at the end of January and I was rushing to finish a few things on this list.

  • First year quilt: DONE!
  • Auburn quilt: start and finish - didn't do a thing
  • Stella's quilt: design and start - worked up a design that may work
  • Mystery quilt: catch up and keep up - I only finished step 5.

  • Milky Way Quilt along: January block. I finished my Sirius block with a trippy metally black from RJR Fabrics and two prints of Moda Grunge.

  • Charity quilt: Russian orphanage - design is sketched and fabrics are selected
  • Hexies: total of 100 - didn't do a single one!
  • Replenish fidget supply. I did this out of necessity, I had several post-Christmas word-of-month sales. I made duplicates so I have a few ready for future orders.
  • Make magnetic fidget - nope
  • Sketch out rocket blanket - negative
  • Car poncho - nix
  • Open Etsy Shop. - My brain injury reminded me why I keep my sales low key. I'm not going to create an Etsy shop. 
  • Put craft table on casters. - We bought some casters, but that's as far as we got.
Now head over to Elm Street Quilts OMG January Finish link up to see what other quilters have finished this month. 

As far as my February goal? Check back soon for a new post!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2017 Trunk Show

In November of 2016, I stumbled upon Soma of Whims and Fancies, who had the brilliant idea of hosting an online trunk show so bloggers can virtually display their quilts and other sewn items. I put together a trunk show of my 2016 finishes, and now I'm going to get a start on my 2017 trunk show by posting photos and links to posts here.

My first finish of the year was made for a little guy born the day (shy of eight years) before my son. Zeke was adopted by D's dance teacher at school and her husband. She has instilled a love for dance in my son I didn't think possible is such a science and math obsessed kid, so I had to make her a quilt! I had the idea of making a quilt that could be used for monthly photos, but the numbers were a perfect fit for someone who counts to eight all day! 

Quilt #74 | Russian Spinning Squares

My second finish of the year is a charity quilt I was able to put together quickly for our church quilt ministry. I was able to use the Russian nesting doll fabric I bought before we went to Russian family camp. This quilt will be making it's way to an orphanage in Russian where I pray it will bring comfort and cheer to whoever claims it.

Quilt #75 |  Weaver First Year Milestone Quilt

So many people I know are having babies! I wish I could make quilts for all the little squishies! Alas, too many babies, too little time. When I found out that another teacher at D's school was having baby, I had the perfect opportunity to make a second milestone quilt. I tweaked it a little bit from the first one I made and I like this design even better.

Quilt #76 | "A Team" en Provence

On the last day of February, I finished my first Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. I started in November and kept up with the weekly clues until we went out West at Christmas time. I finished a little too late to make the finale link up, but I finished just in time to know that I needed to send this bit of cheer to a fellow December 08 mama, Angie, who, along with her girls A & A (aka, the A team) need something a little bright and cheery these days.

Quilt #77 |Intertwined

One of the things I most enjoy about quilt is connecting with other quilts. One of the first quilters I followed online before meeting in real life is Sarah Ruiz of Saroy.net. When Sarah put out the call for pattern testers, I quickly volunteered. Intertwined is my version of Sarah's pattern, which is now available for sale in her Craftsy shop.  I made both the mini and the lap size quilt. I used the mini as part of the backing for the lap quilt, which I gifted to my friends Paul and Melissa.

Quilts #78 & #79 | Nana's Last Gift

These two quilts came about when I was approached by the mom of one of D's classmates. Her mother had recently passed and she wondered if I could find a home for her quilting supplies. That's the kind of help I'm glad to provide. As I sorted through her boxes, I hoped to find enough fabric or a project in process that I could finish for the family. I hit the jackpot when I found 24 log cabin blocks. Best I can tell, she ran out of fabric to complete her original design and it was set aside. I was able to take apart the blocks, and reassemble them into two quilts for her grandchildren. I found enough fabric for the backing and to cobble together log cabin blocks for the back.

More than a few quilts have gone to fellow December 08 mamas. This quilt went the sweet little brother of one of D's birthday buddies. Brooks' mom and dad are big Auburn fans and alumni. I knew that their quilt would feature Auburn colors and prints.

Quilt #81 | Mrs. Gentry's Library

As an author and former publishing professional, I've wanted to make a library quilt for as long as I've been quilting. But it wasn't until I learned that our son's school librarian was retiring--in 17 days!--that I got motivated to make one. It is one of my favorites. I love putting all sorts of special touches into this one to make it special for someone we will miss seeing every day at school. 

Quilt #82 | Lainey's Ladybug

In keeping with my tradition of delivering baby quilts long, long after baby's birth day, this quilt was a gift for my local friend Courtney to celebrate lots of good things that have come her way in the last few years, Particularly a sweet baby girl. 

Quilt #83 | Celtic Midnight

With school out for the summer, my thoughts turned to our upcoming trip to the Netherlands to visit family. I am getting close to my goal of making one quilt for every one of my immediate family members. When I talked to my sister-in-love, Ingrid, about a quilt for her, she asked if I would make a quilt for a friend who has really stepped up to help her through some health issues. She asked that it have a Celtic theme, and that I use black and gray fabric. I modified this pattern from a perler bead template. 

Quilt #84 | Fireworks for Ingrid

Once I started Celtic Midnight, it went together very quickly. So fast that I still had time to make a quilt for my sister-in-love, Ingrid. I was playing around with making paper pieced patterns on EQ7 and came up with this pattern. I like it so much I would have kept it if I would have kept it a secret and didn't tell Ingrid about it!

Quilt #85 | Lindsey's Gymnast

Sometimes quilts take longer than expected, and sometimes they stitch themselves. I made my niece, Lindsey a quilt a few years ago. In fact, it was the first true quilt--not a rag quilt--that I ever made. I've learned a lot since then, so I wanted to make her a new quilt, a big girl quilt that reflects her current obsession: gymnastics. 

Quilts #86, #87, and #88 | Texas Strong

Back in 1993, I was living in Des Moines, Iowa during the Great Flood. I was able to leave that disaster when I accepted my first job, just outside Houston, Texas. Seeing the devastation of Hurricane Harvey brought me right back to that scary, uncertain time. I teamed up with Quilts of Compassion by making these three Texas flag quilts for their hurricane relief deployment. I hope that they bring comfort to whoever receives them. 

Quilt #89 | Garage Sale Vintage

In addition to the three Texas quilts, Hurricane Harvey prompted me to finish a quilt I started restoring a few years ago. What I thought was a completed quilt top at a garage sale was actually a pieced collection of stained and ripped blocks. I was able to save the good blocks and make something new and beautiful. As I was working on it, I thought it was a beautiful metaphor for rebuilding after disaster.

Quilt #90 | Stella's Memory Quilt

Stella's mom and I met at a local breastfeeding support group when our sons were babies. Over the years we have moved on to new circles, but have stayed in touch on Facebook. I was heartbroken to learn that her second child, a daughter named Stella, passed away of an unknown cause on her birthday. My friend was kind enough to give me some of Stella's clothes so I could make a memory quilt for Stella. I hope that it helps her feel close and connected to the daughter she misses so much.

Back in my pre-quilting, pre-brain injury days, I was a marketing director for a publishing company. One of the first books I worked on was by a strong survivor named Renee Alton called Stumbling Toward Faith.  Thanks to Facebook, we have kept in casual touch. I was heartbroken when I learned that she was diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer. Renee has a sassy, quirky sense of humor so I made her this quilt. 

Quilts #92, #93, and #94 | Cards 'N' Cowboys
On October 1, 2017, our nation was once again victimized by a senseless act of terrorism when a man murdered 58 people and injured 851 others. The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild organized a drive to collect quilts to distribute to survivors and family members of victims. These are my contributions.

Quilt #95 | Tula Pink Butterfly

2017 has been a year for social quilting. Whether making quilts for special projects or participating in sew alongs, I have a had a lot of fabric under my needle this year. My Tula Pink Butterfly was part of a sew along with Gnome Angel. Sewing with others was the motivation I needed because this quilt was a stretch for me, particularly the curved piecing. But I love how it turned out and was so pleased to be able to gift it to someone who really stretches herself for the kids at my son's school. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Quilt #73: Zeke's First Year Milestone Quilt

A few months ago, I made a baby quilt for my friend Erin's baby. I was typically slow so Immy was a few months old by the time I got started on her quilt. In the mean time I was stalking her page for inspiration. 

She posted monthly photos of her baby on a muslin swaddling blanket like this one from Batzkids
Please don't pin this image from here. Pin (and buy!) from the source
I thought the idea was so clever. I knew I had to make a milestone quilt, but wanted to change up the look a little bit. One quilt that keep popping up in my searches is this one from the talented Kitty at the Night Quilter. She made a quilt block for each month of her son's first year, then took pictures with the blocks each month. Such a cute idea. I wish I had known how to quilt when my son was a baby. And now I want to make a turquoise and black log cabin quilt!

Please don't pin this image from here. Pin from the source.
As I browsed Pinterest, I saw lots of alphabet quilts, but numbers seemed to be left out of the fun. All the more reason to make a number quilt! 

I have a few baby quilts in my queue for littles who may be one by the time I finish their quilts. That's part of the reason I don't tell anyone I'm planning to make them a quilt because it may take years for me to get around to it. (Just ask my brother!) Plus, I just don't have the time to make quilts for everyone I think deserves a quilt! For this quilt to work as a milestone quilt, I had to finish it before a baby turned two months. (I figured if I gifted the quilt a little after the first month, mama could still get the picture taken). All I needed was a new baby!

When I learned that our son's dance teacher at school adopted a newborn, I knew just who would get this quilt. The fact that it was for a dance teacher's son was absolutely perfect. As I started playing around with a design I think I was subconsciously inspired by the playing platform of Dance Dance Revolution!

My initial design looked like this, with alternating blocks using royal blue for the numbers and frames.

I thought the frames might be mistaken for zeroes, so I played with a few other options. 

After deciding on the navy outline, I second-guessed my fabric choice for the inner square.

I love, love, love the heart print and think it's perfect for a boy quilt, but I realized it's too busy to go with main print.

All vacillating complete, I was able to quickly make the blocks. My housekeeper, who is also a quilter, made me this 12" x 12" mini-design table that is just right for moving pieces from my cutting area to my sewing table.

In no time, I had all 12 number blocks up on my board. 

Once I saw the numbers on my design wall, I had another idea. If I placed the numbers like a clock, then baby could be placed under the appropriate number to indicate her age in months.

I superimposed a photo of my now-eight year old on my design to see how it could work. I may have gotten something in my eye at this point.

Once the blocks were pieced, I opted not to put a border on it because it was already 45" x 45".

My backing fabric was not quite wide enough on its own so I added a few stripes. 

I quilted a giant spiral starting in the center block. Quilting is still the part that I need to improve most when I don't use straight lines, but practice makes perfect. (Seems there's a dancing analogy there, too)

I made my binding while I was finalizing my fabric choices and layout. I've been using my second spool holder for a while now to hold my binding as I attach it. This time, I had the idea to wrap it around an empty spool. Not only does it work great on the spool holder, but it didn't unravel or get tangled before I used it.

For the label, I added the adoption symbol. The points of the triangle represent the birth mom, child, and adoptive family, all connected by love. (I love the way Jane from They Call Me Jane explains what the symbol means to her).

If I'm able, it usually make a taggie blanket to go along with my baby quilt. In this case, it was the perfect way to provide a frame for this milestone quilt. 

When I trimmed the backing, I had the perfect design for a little pillow. 

While we were taking photos, D, who always wraps his love in each of my quilts as we pray a blessing over the recipient, wanted to make sure I point out that the quilt works as a milestone quilt for big kids, too. 

All the self-doubt aside, this was a fun quilt to make. I've already started thinking of how I can make another one. I made a quick template with fabric from Falling for Alex

Updated: I did made a second milestone quilt. Check it out here

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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

One Monthly Goal :: January 2017

Wow. 2017. Time for a fresh start. 2016 was a rough one for our world. Let's hope 2017 brings more peace and joy. 

So last month, I participated in Elm Street Quilt's One Monthly Goal for the first time. I had a list of items, but my ONE month goal was to start and complete a quilt for a teen girl who lost her home to fire on election day.

When I posted the goal, the quilt looked like this on my EQ7:

I had also pulled fabric from my stash and purchased the backing fabric.

So how did I do? I finished it and I love how happy and cheerful it turned out!

Now, if you're curious about the other items on my list. I made a little headway.

  • Finish the Minion quilt (binding and label) - DONE!
  • Make the Scattered quilt (shown above) - DONE!
  • Stella's quilt - I'm closer to landing on a pattern.
  • Auburn quilt- I didn't do a thing
  • Mystery Quilt - Completed clues one, two, three, and four.
  • Christmas charity quilt - DONE!
  • Teacher gifts - Done! I don't have a photo, but I made a few Cleveland Cav items for D's teacher, who is a big fan of the team.
  • Replenish fidget supply. I didn't do a thing.
  • Make magnetic fidget. Didn't touch it.
  • Car quilt. Done!
  • Birthday shirt for D - DONE!

  • Birthday shirt order  - DONE!

  • PJs for Mom - Done!  The heat transfer vinyl is metallic so hard to photograph without shine. 
  • Open Etsy Shop? Still pondering.
  • Put craft table on casters? Ran out of time.
Considering how crazy busy December is for us, I'm feeling pretty good about my progress. Even more so because I spent a decent number of days recovering from a rotary cutter accident! It happened on the 4th and while the stitches have been removed and the wound has closed, I'm still having trouble bending it and the nerve endings are still healing. Looks like I'll be following up with the hand surgeon again.

I spent the last week of the year on a 4,000 mile road trip from Ohio to Arizona and back again. Now time with my machine, but I did start basting some hexies. So, on to January and 2017. What are my goals?

  • First year quilt: finish
  • Auburn quilt: start and finish
  • Stella's quilt: design and start
  • Mystery quilt: catch up and keep up
  • Bee Hive 2017: complete first month block
  • Charity quilt: Russian orphanage
  • Hexies: total of 100
  • Replenish fidget supply
  • Make magnetic fidget
  • Sketch out rocket blanket
  • Car poncho
  • Open Etsy Shop?
  • Put craft table on casters?
And my One Monthly Goal? The first year quilt. It's an idea I'm still working out, but hope to finish up this baby quilt by the 8th when I give it to one of our son's teachers, who just adopted a baby boy born December 8.

Now it's time to get started!

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