Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February One Monthly Goal Update

February got off to a great start and its ending with me in bed with a double ear infection. But I want to play with the kids at  Elm Street QuiltsOne Monthly Goal so I'm writing up a short and hopefully coherent update.

So, how did I do this month?

My official goal was to finish

And for my other goals. Quilting:
  • Auburn quilt: start and finish: all blocks are made. 

  • Stella's quilt: finalize design and start--I have a few ideas...
  • Charity quilt: Russian orphanage - Done!

  • Charity quilt: Brutus--still cutting squares
  • Wedding quilts: design quilts for J&T and E&J, and maybe M&J.--didn't do a thing
  • Bee Hive 2017: complete February month block--done!

  • Milky Way Quilt along: complete February block--done!

  • Pattern test for Sarah--front and back done.

  • Hexies: total of 100...erm...I made one. BUT, I am going to start meeting with some crafty friends on Fridays and I WILL make more.
I also made an unplanned quilt for one of my son's teachers, another milestone quilt. 

  • Make magnetic fidget--I made one, and if I can get my son to lend it to me for a second, I'll post a photo. 
  • Sketch out rocket blanket--nope
  • car poncho--nada
  • NICU baby wrap--Not only did I make the wrap, but I made a crib cover and blanket, too.
And with that, I'm back to bed!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Quilt #75: Weaver First Year

There's something in the water at my son's school. Another teacher is expecting a baby! I knew she was due in March, but since last time I blinked it was November, somehow time got away from me. When I learned last week that she was leaving on maternity this week, I jumped into gear. 

I have a list of quilts on my "to do queue" that is a mile long. For some of my quilts, I know the recipient, but it takes months (or, gulp, years for the right design to show itself). On the other hand, I also have pattern I want to try, but am just waiting for the right time or inspiration to hit. As I start to think about publishing my own quilts and start pattern testing for others, I'm beginning to repeat some patterns I've done in the past. 

Last month I made my first milestone quilt for another teacher at D's school. I love the idea and feel a bit bad that I didn't know how to sew when my son was a baby because I wish I would have done something like this. 

I was really happy with how my first milestone quilt turned out, but wanted to make another with a slightly tweaked design. When I knew I had less than a week if I wanted to make a quilt for Mrs. Weaver, it didn't take long to decide to make another milestone quilt. 

With the first quilt, I made each block one at at time for the most part as I figured out sizes and colors. Because I always take lots of notes (and pictures!), this time I approached the project as a pattern tester. First I cut out all my pieces.

Then I chain pieced the non-number blocks. They went together really quickly. I've never made a log cabin quilt, but the process was similar. This may seem obvious in hindsight, but I realized that by cutting all the pieces to the proper size at the start, I was able to keep my squares more...square. I was very pleased that most of squares were pretty spot on and I did very little trimming.

I love the print that has been hanging out in my stash. Rather than make it a focus like the first quilt, I opted for a more serene look by  highlight it in the small squares and borders, and emphasizing the pink tonal instead.

Inspired by my friend Sarah at saroy.net, whose awesome Intertwined quilt I pattern tested. I took lots of pictures of the order I used to make each number. This will help a lot if I decided to write up this pattern for other quilters. 

I'm usually a one-at-a-time quilter, but at this point I have quilts everywhere. I have my En Provence sandwiched and ready to quilt, you see the top to Intertwined hanging outside my closet, and I have another quilt blocked and ready to piece on my design wall. I look forward to a lot of finished in the next week or two.

I pulled the fabric for this quilt from my stash. I was really happy when I realized that the yellow I pulled for the color, was a nice match in design as well. 

I was especially happy that I had just enough to make the back large enough!

I am in a spiral phase of quilting. I like how the round stitching balances the square blocks. I'm feeling pretty good about how even my stitches turn out. Glad to know that after 75 quilts my quilting is getting better!!

D hasn't had Mrs. Weaver as a teacher, but his school is very small (about 120 students K-4). All the teachers know all the students, and vice versa. My heart melted the first time I saw Mrs. Weaver greet my son by name and I realized that not only did she recognize his face and know his name, but she also knew enough about him to know his interests, too. Our school is pretty special so I can't help but look for opportunities to let the staff know how much I appreciate them.

Because it's a milestone quilt, I also made a taggie that doubles as a frame for each month when the milestone photo is taken. She can use either the print side or the minky side.

I forgot to get a picture of D with the quilt. He puts the extra love in it. But he will be giving it to Mrs. Weaver today, so hopefully I"ll get a picture of them together. 

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

Linked to:

Friday, February 10, 2017

Quilt #74: Russian Spinning Squares

A few years ago, as a new quilter, I made a Bears quilt for my nephew. It was the first time I wanted to showcase a larger print, so I needed to avoid small pieces and triangles. I went through several design ideas before coming up with this one. 

I knew I wanted to revisit the pattern at some point, I just didn't know it would take this long. The Bears quilt was the 18th quilt I made. The quilt I'm showing today is my 74th! I liked this pattern even more the second time because I was able to complete the whole thing in 5 days thanks to the magic of chain piecing. 

I bought some of this Matryoshka doll fabric a couple years ago before our family went to Russian camp. I had planned to make a pillowcase before we went, but ran out of time. 

When I learned that our church's quilt ministry would be making quilts for an orphanage in Russia, I knew I could finally put this print to good use. I didn't want the dolls to get too chopped up, so this pattern, which I finally named Spinning Squares, was perfect. 

The print is so colorful, I had a hard time deciding what three colors I wanted to highlight. 

I'm still working on my En Provence mystery quilt. All the units have been made so now I'm starting the blocks. SO many little pieces, but I'm on a mission to finish it this month

Once I added the teal border it was just the right size.

I used simple straight line quilting. 

I had planned to use a black solid for the binding but found this colorful polka dot at Joann when I was there for something else. 

Speaking of binding, I save all my leftover binding. Eventually, I'm going to use all the bits and pieces for a "oops" quilt made of all my messed up blocks and extra units. I bought some slap bracelets from Amazon to hold them together. They work perfectly!

The other idea I put into practice while making this quilt is that I bought a piece of ironing board cover fabric large enough to cover my entire craft table (80" x 36"). The 36" by 36" piece I have been using since building my craft table 3 years ago was getting pretty ratty. By having the whole table covered, I could more easily iron larger quilts by removing my cutting mat.

The labels we use for our charity quilts are pretty simple, but knowing that this one is going to Russia, I reached out to one of my friends from camp to add "You are loved."

I didn't get a fancy photo shoot for this one--unless I have time in the next few days!--but I don't I can improve on this one of my little guy giving the quilt the snuggle test.

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

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

One Monthly Goal :: February 2017

February marks my third month participating in Elm Street Quilts' One Monthly Goal. Even though this is a shorter month, I'm hoping that it will be more productive now that the holidays, travel, and my brain is being nice again. On to my goals...

  • Mystery quilt: finish Bonnie Hunter's En Provence mystery quilt
  • Auburn quilt: start and finish 
  • Stella's quilt: finalize design and start
  • Charity quilt: Russian orphanage 
  • Charity quilt: Brutus
  • Wedding quilts: design quilts for J&T and E&J, and maybe M&J.
  • Bee Hive 2017: complete February month block
  • Milky Way Quilt along: complete February block
  • Pattern test for Sarah
  • Hexies: total of 100 
  • Make magnetic fidget 
  • Sketch out rocket blanket
  • car poncho
  • NICU baby wrap
And my One Monthly Goal is...

...to finish the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. I've seen several other quilters list this as their OMG. I don't like to have unfinished projects so it will feel good to have this one done. I'm on step 5 of 7, so this is a doable goal. Especially because I'm making a smaller version of the quilt. It's a fun scrappy quilt, so it will also be nice to have one ready to donate to our local quilt group. We are currently making quilts for a Russian orphanage and for local charity.

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