Thursday, February 14, 2019

Quilt #41 :: Be Our Guest

One of my goals for this year is to go back and write blog post for all of the quilts that I've made, but not yet shared. I started quilting in 2013, and have made virtual trunk shows all of the quilts I've made in 201320142017, and 2018. (You can find a list of all 122 of my quilts, posted or not, here). I'm in the home stretch, with only 12 posts to go.

Today I'm sharing the quilt I made for our guest room. When we built the de Jong Dream House, we knew that we would always have our door open for guests. We have a second master on the first floor with access to the back patio, a walk in closet, and accessible bathroom.

In the past seven years, our guest room has played host to family, friends, soccer coaches, visiting teachers, college students, and refugees. The impetus for finishing this quilt was an impending six-week visit from Niels' parents. The comforter we had on the bed was looking a little sad, and rather than buying a new one, I decided to make a quilt.

The pattern I chose is called Hang Time, and it's a free pattern from Camelot Fabrics.

The pattern is designed to be 75" x 75". I added two rows of blocks to the length and one row of blocks to the width to make a generous king size top.

While I was working on this quilt, I had the brilliant idea to make a design wall in our laundry room, which is right next to my craft room.

It's a piece of batting hung by pvc pipe and command hooks. Best.Idea.Ever!

At some point since then, I upgraded to a king-size piece of batting and moved the hooks to the ceiling so it takes up the whole wall. So now, if I was making this quilt again, I would have to use the floor as a design "wall."

Quilting this beast on my domestic sewing machine was a bear. I kept with simple straight lines!

For the back, I pieced some long strips to go with the focus fabric.

When I finished the quilt, I used the scraps to make some shams and pillows. Gezellig is a Dutch word that roughly translates to cozy, but encompasses not only mood, but relationships as well.

I was really happy with my applique on this pillow.

This quilt and our guest room is on my mind now, in 2019, because in a few short weeks, my mom is moving in!!

This has been many years in the making. Two years ago, Mom left her house for the freedom of an apartment. We went down to Arizona to help her sort through a lifetime of photos, memories, and stuff. This past summer she came up for a trial, staying with us in between road trips, a cruise, and visits to friends and family.

We also had the chance to test out D's dog allergy desensitization treatment. Turns out, he does not react to Murphy. While Mom was out having adventures, Murphy stayed with us an enjoyed the extra love--and his own quilt.

We've moved things around as Mom started to imagine the guest room being her room. We moved in a smaller bed to make room for a recliner.

Her room has its own zone for heating and cooling. Since she is moving from Arizona to Ohio, we also bought her a fireplace to feel extra cozy.

I'm super excited to have my mom closer. It's hard to have her live across the country. (Though she is still much closer than my in-laws, who live in the Netherlands!). Our son adores his Gramma so I'm glad they will have the chance to enjoy each other's company more. And it will be nice to have another adult around when my health keeps me from doing the things I'd like to be doing.

But it won't be all work for Mom. She working on her bucket list, too. The idea is that she will use our house as her home base, and without the expenses of rent and utilities, she will have more money to travel and visit friends and family. And she will be able to go to Europe with us this summer to celebrate my in-laws 50th anniversary! I'm very excited for all the adventures she will get to have now. And we are excited to have a puppy in our home again. And mom too, when she's resting between her coddiwomples.

As for the quilt, it has been moved downstairs with the king size bed to our other guest area. And now I have another quilt to make for mom!

One of my goals this year is to finish writing posts for each of my quilts. This quilt was finished in 2015. You can see what I'm currently working on by following me on Instagram at deJongDreamHouse.

Linked to:

Needle & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

Beauties Pageant @ From Bolt to Beauty
Finished Or Not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts
Off the Wall Friday @ Nina Marie
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Quilt #46 :: Baby June's Bricks

In my last post, I shared the Buckeye Brick quilt I recently finished. I mentioned that it was the second time I've used this pattern. So today I'm going to finally share my first brick quilt, made in 2015 for the new baby of a mama friend from D's school. 

One day, when Danielle and I were chatting about the baby, she told me that she chose mint, gold, and black for the colors in her nursery. I was intrigued and asked if I could make her a quilt in those colors. At the time mint was hard to find and metallic prints were not as ubiquitous as they are now. I was on the hunt!

The only print I could find with all the colors was a chevron print from Spoonflower. I love the creative designs on the site, but I haven't been as happy with the fabric quality. Even the most basic selection is more than twice per yard what I usually pay by shopping sales, so I don't shop there often. But in this case, Mrs. Hervi designed the perfect print to pull the colors together.

This is a really easy quilt to make, just 4.5" x 8.5" blocks and 2.5" sashing. It's a great way to use larger prints.

Danielle wasn't keeping the baby's name a secret so I was able to make letters on my Silhouette to personalize the quilt. 

For the back, I used a super soft minky. It creates such a mess, but little ones love the cuddle fabric. Exhibit A. 

 And this is why I am saving to replace the carpet in my craft room!

The best thing about these throwback quilt posts are the pictures of my sweet boy. 

Now my "little boy" is a big ten year old, and "baby" June is nearly four!

For the label, I used one of my favorite verses of the Bible.

As it turned out, Danielle was a trendsetter (no surprise to me!). A few months after I finished June's quilt, I saw this display at Joann!

One of my goals this year is to finish writing posts for each of my quilts. This quilt was finished in 2015. You can see what I'm currently working on by following me on Instagram at deJongDreamHouse.

Linked to:

Brag about Your Beauties @ From Bolt to Beauty
Finished or Not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts
Off the Wall Friday @ Nina Marie
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Show Off Saturday @ Sew Can She
UFO Busting @ The Madd Quilter

Oh Scrap! @ Quilting is More Fun than Housework

BOMs Away @ What a Hoot
Design Wall Monday @ Small Quilts & Doll Quilts
Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt
Moving it Forward @ Em's Scrap Bag
What I Made Monday @ Pretty Piney

Colour & Inspiration Tuesday @ The Clever Chameleon
Linky Tuesday @ Free Motion on the River
To Do Tuesday @ Stitch All the Things

Midweek Makers @ Quilt Fabrication
Wednesday Wait Loss @ The Inquiring Quilter
WIP Linky Party @ Silly Mama Quilts
WIP Wednesday @ Esther's Blog

Needle & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

Sunday, February 3, 2019

TBI Quilt :: January Update

Hello February! My yearlong TBI temperature is already 1/12th done! This is going fast!

Now that we are in month two, I have put all of my January blocks together. If you are new to my project, I am chronicling my 15th year of living with a brain injury.  Each day, I am making a block to visually show how my brain injury affects me in one specific way--my ability to quilt. The wings of each block refer to the daily high and low temperature outside. Purple geese pointing up mean that I am able to quilt, gray geese pointing down mean that my headache, fogginess, fatigue, or other symptoms keep me from sewing. The darker the color, the more extreme my sense of well-being. Dark purple = a great day. Dark gray = I didn't get out of bed.

My goal in making this quilt is to give a visual representation of what it's like to live with a brain injury. I have lots of experience telling others what it is like, but seeing me experience my symptoms is much more impactful for those who don't know much about brain injury. Just this week I experienced a crash at our local YMCA (fortunately I was with a friend who could drive me home, but I'm sure I'll have to explain it the next time I'm there).

Also in January, I finished the top of my Good Fortune mystery quilt. In one of the clues, designer Bonnie Hunter shared that by making an extra line of stitches with my flying geese, I could make extra HSTs for later use.

This turned out to be a great idea because even I was startled to see how clearly it shows the breakdown of my days. 

I think that many of us on disability feel guilty at times. Even though SSA disability is a program we in the US pay into with every paycheck, there is a sense that disability means an all day, everyday debilitating condition. And it can be. A blind person doesn't get a break from being blind, which is why blindness is a condition that gets fast-tracked for approval. For other conditions, like brain injury, the challenge is that one's ability to function can vary wildly depending on exposure to triggers, and the daily exposure to those triggers are cumulative, meaning that our body's response to them are more severe and longer lasting. For me, things like stress, deadlines, driving, crowds, bright lights, multi-tasking, etc. contribute to my need for rest and the likelihood that I will crash--become so overwhelmed that my body shuts down.

I can't quite put into words what it felt like to see my days so starkly. I was shocked. I felt both affirmed and saddened by the reality. 

Near the end of the month, I made this realization. As of the 25th of January, I would have only been able to work a regular day 4 times!

I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to use these HSTs. I'm leaning toward using them in the border, but we'll see if I get another idea. I would like to submit this quilt for a show, so I won't be able to use them on the back if I want them to be part of the educational aspect. So for now, I'm put them together and have them in my project box.

As far as the main quilt, I've made a few tweaks as I got started but I think I have a good system going now. I had to make some rules for consistency. For example, if I don't get out of bed until after 10:30am, I'm counting that as a nap day, regardless of whether or not I take another nap that day. If the only sewing I do on a day is my temp quilt block, that won't count as a sewing day. Also, if I experience a crash, like I did last week at Y, it's a dark grey day, regardless of whether I sewed earlier in the day or not.

 I use little black strips to denote weekends, and thicker black strips to separate the months. For visual interest, I am adding black blocks at the beginning and end of the month rows so that each row technically begins with Sunday, not the 1st.  (I just realized I need to add the black block to the end of January).

TBI Tally, as of January 31:

Previous Posts:
Week 2 Update
A Husband's Perspective (Niels reflects on the 15th anniversary of my TBI)
Week 3 Update (my brain-aversary)

Follow along with the progress of this quilt on Instagram at #TBITempQuilt. I'd love the encouragement to keep me working on the rough days! You can use the hashtag #tempquiltalong to see what other quilters are doing for their temperature quilts. To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

Linked to:
Temp Quilt Along  @ Twiddle Tails (click here to see other temperature quilts)


One Monthly Goal :: February 2019

It's that time again...time to come up with my One Monthly Goal to share over at Elm Street Quilts. This is my third year of participating in the monthly challenge and as a result, I have finished quite a few projects that I may have neglected otherwise.

Speaking of neglect, I am kicking myself for not being able to share my January finish with the other challengers. I'm actually not sure what happened. I wrote up my post, and waited for my regular email confirming the link up was posted, and went to Elm Street Quilts, but just missed it somehow. I'm chalking that up to my rough brain month. Moving on...

I suspect that part of the reason my brain has been struggling lately is that this past year has been stressful with BIG.LIFE.DECISIONS. Two huge decisions that have been made recently are:

1) My mom has finally agreed to move in with us. This was a huge decision on her part, 4 years in the making. She loves living in Arizona so she will miss the hot desert, but living with us will give her the freedom to travel, to check up items on her bucket list, to be more involved in her grandson's life, and of course, help me when my brain injury is kicking my backside. We are going to bring her up next month!

2) We decided on D's next school. He has been going to the same tuition-free, STEM-focused, project-based, multi-age school since preschool and this spring he will move on to middle school. It has taken over a year of looking at our options and I'm relieved to have made the decision to send him to an all-day gifted school. He loved his shadow day and we are optimistic that he is going to have friends and learn lots.

That second decision leads to my goal for February. With only four months left at his school, I have three more quilts to make for the amazing staff who have loved our D and helped him thrive and grow over the last six years.

My February goal is to make a quilt for his music teacher, Mrs. Miller.

I haven't started it yet, but I have found inspiration in two places.

My original thought was this log cabin grand piano, which, best I can tell, is called Log Cabin Piano by Sylvia Zobell. 

But then I saw this one posted by Deborah Lord Mosley in the Facebook group Quilters Show and Tell.

We have a special school song that I'd love to include with the quilt so I'm really drawn to how she included sheet music on the piano. The square blocks would certainly be easier and quicker, so that's a plus when I have a deadline coming up!

Check back and the end of the month to see what I decide!

You'll be able to find pictures of this quilt on Instagram at #MillerMusicQuilt. To see what I'm currently working on, including my 2019 Brain Injury quilt, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

June 2017 - no goal

Linked to:
Elm Street Quilts

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Quilt #122 :: Buckeye Bricks

My second finish of 2019 was started almost a year ago. 

I thought it was going to be a quick little quilt, but somehow it got caught in UFO-land! Fun fact, the purple quilt that was on the right also got stuck in UFO-land! It is currently finished and sandwiched and hopefully about to be my 3rd or 4th finish of 2019!

My original thought last year was that I was going to try to use up some of my scraps with a bunch of small comfort quilts in this same brick pattern in each color. Apparently, I stopped at red!

This is the second quilt I've made with this pattern. The last one was in 2015, when I made a baby quilt for a mama friend from D"s school. (I still have to write up that quilt. Maybe I'll do it next!)

You can see that I finished the flimsy back when I was working on my Gramma Ann memory quilts. 

D was especially happy that I finished this one the same day as Molly's Mermaid quilt so he could sleep with both of them, with this one on top! 

This quilt will be going to be donated to a local kindergarten class here in Akron. It's one of my favorite things about our local quilting group. We collect and distribute quilts all year, but this is the one time when we get to see the faces of those who receive our quilts. It totally makes my year! Here are the two quilts I made for last year's class of kindergartners.

Linked to:
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