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...

Source 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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