Sunday, February 17, 2019

Quilts 42 & 42 :: Jan & Kitty's Amish Caravan

One of my goals for this year is to go back and write blog posts 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 11 posts to go.

When I wrote my last throwback post about our guest room quilt, I mentioned that my incentive to finish that quilt was my in-law six-week visit from the Netherlands. I had in mind that I would finish the quilt for the guest room, and then when they arrived, take them to a fabric store to pick out fabric for their own quilt to bring home. I figured this was a good plan because my father-in-love is particular and with six weeks, I'd have plenty of time to finish. 

As it turned out, when I brought up the idea, my father-in-law said not only did he want to pick out fabric, but he had an idea for the pattern and wanted to help make not one, but two!

Jan (pronounced "yawn"), like a lot of Europeans, likes lean lines and modern trends. He didn't want a busy quilt, which he thought was more American. His vision was to make quilt comforters for his and Kitty's new caravan (travel trailer). His first design was to have black quilts with stripes, and an appliqued caravan.
But after doing some sightseeing around here he decided we should make Amish carriages instead for just a little bit of America to remind them of his family in the US.

Because I am not fluent in Dutch and he is not fluent in English, it is difficult to have really significant conversations together. We visit them in the Netherlands about every other year, and they have come here about every four years. It's nice to have them on my turf, so to speak, because then I'm not battling a brain injury and jet lag and a second language. I feel like I have a chance to communicate myself. I really loved that he wanted to do this with me because it was a wonderful way to connect and deepen our relationship. 

At first Kitty wanted to help, but once we got going, Jan shooed her away so it could be our thing. (As mom and cooks, Kitty and I have had more ways to connect). He was a quick and eager student.

The second top went together much faster than the first. 

While Jan was piecing, I designed and printed the carriage with my Silhouette.

The applique was pretty taunting to Jan so I did that part. 

I always like the underside of applique. 

Jan did a great job on the quilting, and then I did the binding.

D did this part to roll his love in the quilts.

Of course, Jan wanted to test out the quilts as well. 

I made and attached the label. Jan dictated what he wanted it to English.

We had fun with the photo shoot. I love this picture because it shows his personality and fun-loving side. 

When Jan and Kitty returned home, he sent me this picture of their caravan with its new quilts and pillows. 

This was such a sweet memory for me. It meant a lot to me that Jan not only wanted one of my quilts, but that he wanted to join me in this activity I love so much. It is something I will always remember. It is no wonder my hubby is such a wonderful man, he had a fantastic role model.

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.


Print this post


  1. How awesome that he wanted to learn to quilt from you!! Your combined efforts are fabulous!!

  2. What a wonderful project and 2 quilts! I love that he wanted to help and learn. What special memories it must hold for both of you!

  3. This is the best story... although you have a habit of telling great quilt stories. I adore these matching quilts! And I love how they are a bit American and a bit European. Perfect!

  4. I love that you worked on these together! What a wonderful way to connect, and a great way for him to remember your time together. Thanks for linking up to What I Made Monday.

  5. What a wonderful experience with your father-in-law and great opportunity to spend time together. The quilts are stunning and look great in their caravan. I just learned another quilter I follow (Rachel at Stitched in Color) is moving to the Netherlands with her family from the US. Seems she might be right at home with people like your in laws!

  6. What a sweet memory you made together! Love the story, love the quilts. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  7. Oh wow, just love those quilts and the story behind them! xx

  8. What beautiful quilts and what a precious story! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  9. These are absolutely gorgeous and 2 of them. How perfect can that be. The story is as touching as the quilts!

  10. LOVE!!! Quilting removes the language roadblock!!

  11. Wow, I love this story!!! My DH's middle name is Jan (pronounced yawn) so I know just what you're talking about! A little Dutch ancestry influence there. Neat story, beginning to end. Love the final photo!

  12. You have the best stories with your quilts! This is wonderful, through and through. Plus, the quilts are very nice. They look great in their caravan.

  13. Such a lovely post and adorable quilts!


We love hearing from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...