Wednesday, February 28, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: February 2018 Update

OMG indeed! I finished my February One Monthly Goal just in the nick of time. My goal for this month was to finish my Gramma's memory quilt, as inspired by Pat Sloan's sew along, Grandma's Kitchen. 

When I made the goal, I had completed all 25 blocks. I decided to use my own layout rather than following Pat's because I wanted to include Gramma's name and the years she lived. I had to make some of the blocks a little bigger as well as make all the letters and numbers. (I used Lori Holt's wonderful book, Spelling Bee).

I kept the quilting super simple, just straight lines. I'm not totally lovin' it, I had a total but mind block trying to figure out how to work around the appliqued blocks. (I'm a walking foot quilter. If I had the longarm I'm saving for, it might look a lot different!).

I do love the backing print thought. Joann is starting to carry more modern prints and I love the way this one feels. The front of the quilt is pretty colorful with all the things that symbolize Gramma, including some of her shirts, but the back is a nice bit of us both. It includes my favorite colors, purple, teal, and gray, and the design reminds me of the scrubbies she tried (and failed) to teach me to make, resulting in me turning to quilting instead of crochet. 

Each block tells a bit of her life story. I started writing about each block back in July of last year (2017) when I started this quilt. I still have the last few blocks to share, and at some point soon I will write a longer post about the whole quilt which is my ONE HUNDREDth quilt! 

Funny story, I would have been done with the quilt earlier had I no made the wrong year of her passing. I guess I was missing her and wishing I had that extra year. 

Previous Goal Updates:
June 2017 - no goal

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Elm Street Quilts

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Grandma's Kitchen, block #22: Pick a Posey

Block #22 of Pat Sloan's Grandma's Kitchen sew along! Today's block is Pick a Posey. 

Gramma loved flowers. Mom always made sure she had a poinsettia for Christmas and a lily for Easter. On Mother's day she would wear a corsage to Mass. And she loved getting flowers for her birthday. I asked Mom what her favorite flower was, and she told me roses. 

So I changed my posey block to a rose. At this point in the sew along, I knew I was going to change up Pat Sloan's final placement and needed all my blocks to be 12" squares, so I took some liberties with this block to make it a 12" rose block.

The "rose" in my block is actually a snail's trail. I used the very helpful tutorial by Walnut Street Quilts

In addition to cut flowers, Gramma also had a green thumb that did not get passed down to me. 

She had a huge garden in the backyard. 

Gramma with one of her Mother's day corsages, in the green blouse I used in the Wash Day and Glasses & Cups blocks. 

I think this may have been her last Mother's Day corsage. 

And finally, this picture is from the last time I saw Gramma. I was showing her pictures from her old house, and having her tell her stories and memories. I just noticed she has flowers on her coffee table. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Grandma's Kitchen block #21, Telephone Time

Only four more blocks left of Pat Sloan's Grandma's Kitchen sew along! Today's block is Telephone time. 

As you can see, I stayed with the general theme of the block, but I changed my phone to one that is more like I remember. I am old enough to remember rotary phones, but we were fancy and had touch buttons!

The other reason I switched up the block is because I had a new toy I wanted to play with: a Cricut Explore Air 2. I've been a Silhouette Cameo girl for the last several years, but I've been a little frustrated with it lately and decided to take advantage of a sale.

Another Silhouette user told me that the Cricut cutting mats work better than the Silhouette ones. That has been my experience too so I've already been using Cricut mats. On the left, I cut with my Cameo. With the right, I used the Cricut. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but I met a new local friend who walked me through my first design.

My Gramma Ann lived from 1921 to 2014. It's amazing to think of all the ways the world changed in her lifetime, especially in regard to technology. I love this picture of my son, then 3, showing her how to use his LeapPad, a kid-friendly tablet. 

Gramma never had a computer (or email or social media), but she loved getting phone calls from family. Whenever she greeted me, on the phone or in person, she would say, "Hi Doll!" My mom lived down the street from me for most of her later years. I remember her (mostly) patiently showing her how to use her new senior-friendly cell phone.

I'm so happy that I have a voicemail saved from her. The message makes me smile because she didn't realize that she was leaving a message so it's two minutes of her talking to herself trying to figure out my number and why the phone wasn't ringing. But most of all, I love that I can still hear her voice.

This block was one of a few appliqued blocks in the quilt. I've used it to work on my zigzag stitch.

The number pad was so tiny I used my smallest settings.

The applique will make quilting a little tricky, but I'll figure that out later. 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Grandma's Kitchen, block #19: Mending Basket

I have a secret...I have finished all my blocks for Grandma's Kitchen! Before the big reveal--unless you've already seen it on my social media--I still have a few blocks to share.

The block above is number 19 of Pat Sloan's Grandma's Kitchen sew along, Mending Basket. 

I don't really remember Gramma Ann having a mending basket, but I'm sure she did. Like many of her peers who grew up in the years after the Depression, Gramma was a very thrifty person. She reused aluminum foil, baggies, and anything else she could. 

Gramma did a basket of scrubbies though. She loved crocheting these things. It wasn't Christmas if I didn't have a scrubbie in my stocking. She also sold them whenever she could find a buyer. 

The last time I visited her in her home in Arizona, she tried to teach me to crochet. All I made was a giant knot of netting so she gently suggested that I find another hobby. I made my first quilt shortly after I returned home. I bet she would be shocked to learn that this block is part of my 100th quilt!

One of the last big projects Gramma crocheted was a baby blanket for my son. She wasn't able to attend his dedication, but she sent the blanket with my mom so part of her was with us that day.

Three generations, with a nod to the fourth. 

It also makes an appearance in my favorite picture of D with my dad. 

It was the perfect lightweight blanket when D was little and it loved it well. So well that at one point it put a hole in it and I had to put in his memory box until I find someone who can repair it. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#98 Wayward Transparency

It's getting pretty exciting here at the de Jong Dream House as I am closing in on my 100th quilt! Today I'm sharing my 98th finish. The pattern is Wayward Transparency by the uber talented Quilting Jet Girl, Yvonne Fuchs.  Yvonne hosted a quilt along over the past several months and I am so happy with how it turned out! In fact, at this point, I think I may actually keep this one for myself!

I've been trying to use up my stash for my social quilting projects like this one. I didn't mean to use the same tones as Yvonne, but when I pulled out the white and teal print on the right in the photo below, I knew that I had to use it for the backing. 

For this particular quilt, it was important to have dark, medium, and light values so I made my photo black and white to confirm my choices.

The actual assembly was quite easy, but since it isn't my pattern, I'll leave those photos out. At the moment, you can still find directions from the quilt along on Yvonne's site, If it isn't there when you read this post, please visit her Craftsy page to find her patterns. 

I used my go-to spiral for the quilting. It's a way to practice stitch regulation without a stitch regulator.

I finished it at night, just as my favorite quilt tester was going to bed. 

He approves!

Thank you, Yvonne, for sharing your awesome pattern!

To see more pictures of this project, check the hashtag #djtransparencyquilt on Instagram.  You can also see other versions of the quilt using the hashtag #waywardtransparencyqalYou can see what I'm currently working on by following me at deJongDreamHouse.

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Sunday, February 4, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: February 2018

So last month, my TBI was acting up and even though I made a One Monthly Goal, I didn't get it posted on time to Elm Street Quilts link up, but I did finish the quilt.

This month, my one monthly goal is a really special one. I finished my very first quilt on March 18, 2013, at age 41. My son had just started pre-school school and had asked for a Thomas the Train quilt. My friend Nicole taught me how to sew and I was hooked.

This month, my goal is complete my 100th quilt! After all the social quilting I did last year, I had quite a few quilts vying for the #100 spot, but I knew it had to be Pat Sloan sew along, Grandma's Kitchen, which I am making in honor of my Gramma Ann.

I made all the blocks in the sew along, but changed up the layout so I could add her name and the years of her birth and death. 

I only have a few of my quilts here at home, but this one is definitely staying in the family!

Linked to:
Elm Street Quilts

Friday, February 2, 2018

One Monthly Goal :: January 2018 Update

Even though I didn't post my January One Monthly Goal in time for the Elm Street Quilt link up, I still posted my goal of finishing my Project Linus mystery quilt here on my blog.

I'm happy to report that my quilt is finished!

Not only did I finish my goal, but my quilt was selected as one of thirty to be eligible for a prize for the second part of the fundraiser. Starting this week, voters can make tax-deductable donations to Project Linus by voting for their favorite quilts. You can find more information here

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#97: Harry Potter Wheelchair Quilt

Like most quilters, I have a mile-long list of projects I want to do. Some quilts are ideas for specific people, some are a particular pattern, and some are unique quilt-ish projects. Something that's been on my list for a ridiculously long time is a wheelchair quilt. 

The opportunity presented itself a few weeks ago when one of D's friends injured her knee and needed a wheelchair (fortunately, only temporarily). It was a low-stress opportunity to figure out how to make a child-size wheelchair quilt. 

As far as a pattern, I drew inspiration from a few different sources. 

I learned from Home Sewn By Carolyn that, in addition to their smaller size, it's helpful to taper the end of the quilt to prevent it from getting caught in the wheels.  She has posted a free tutorial for adult size wheelchair quilts. 

Because it is winter in Ohio, I loved her idea of adding a hand warmer/pocket to the quilt. She sells the pattern for the pocket quilt on her site. 

Finally, I wanted to make the quilt weighted. I've made a very small weighted lap quilt, using the instruction from Susan Sullivan's book, Weighted Blankets, Vests, and Scarves. Niels really wants a full size one, but I haven't had to confidence to make one for him yet. Weighted blankets are heavy! 

I used minky on the back and on both sides of the hand warmer so it would be extra cozy. All in all, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'll show some photos of the process below, but only the parts where I veered from the instructions in the book and online directions.  

Here is the top. I used minky for the 3 squares under the hand warmer.

Weighted quilts are layered differently than regular quilts so I made a little mini one to make sure I didn't mess up the real thing.

I found it easier to use basting spray to attach the top to the batting, then putting the right sides of the front and back together. 

I sewed up three sides, leaving the top open to put the poly pellets in. I meant to topstitch the three sides before putting the pellets so I could add a binding, but I forgot it. Next time.

I chose the square so I wouldn't have to mark lines for the channels. I just stitched in the ditch.

For the poly pellets, I guessed C's weight. I divided the total by 10 and added a pound. Then I added the total number of squares and divided it by the total weight in grams so that I would put an equal amount of pellets in each one. That would have worked perfectly except that some of squares were not squares! So I had to made some mid-course adjustments. Because the bottom row was so full, I definitely couldn't topstitch after the fact or put on the binding I had planned.

I attached the handwarmer after the pellets were stitched in by carefully top stitching the top and bottom as I smoothed away any stray pellets.

I didn't add a pocket on top of the handwarmer because I didn't want to take away from the Harry Potter print.  With minky on both sides, I think it will be a great hard warmer. 

D is about the same height as his friend, so he was happy to be my model as I guessed the length and width. I purposely made the quilt short enough not to cover the feet so they wouldn't get the edge of the quilt dirty, but if I made another, I think I would go ahead and add one more row.

All in all, this was a good learning experience. The weighted quilt part of it definitely takes away from the creative aspect of quilting I most enjoy, but I am satisfied in adding a new skill to my  wheelhouse. And maybe, just maybe, Niels will finally get his weighted blanket!

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