Friday, May 31, 2019

Quilt #129 :: Theo's Milestone Quilt

We are t-minus 10 days from moving into the Lake house and t-minus 5 days of D's elementary school career. Lots of crazy going on around here. I'm checking lists of lists of lists to try to keep everything straight!

One pressing item is my list of quilts to finish in my current craft room before I settle into my new studio. I try not to look at it or the packing will never get done! 

Today I'm sharing a milestone quilt I made for a special couple. Six years ago, my nervous boy was warmly welcomed by his pre-K teacher Miss Anne.

This year, as a fourth grader, Miss Anne's husband Mr. Reiman is his principal. 

The first teacher quilt I ever made went to Miss Anne. It is an I Spy/Checkers quilt.

When their first child was born, I made Charlie's Choo Choo for him.

And now Charlie is a big brother. I had been wanting to make another milestone quilt because I have had a few requests for my original pattern. I was able to take some careful notes and will be looking for pattern testers once we are settled in the Lake House and I have caught my breath!

This is the third milestone quilt I've made. The first two also went to staff members at D's school. 

The original one went to D's dance teacher.

The second one went to a teacher of another hub (multi-age classroom). D's school is very small, so even though Mrs. Weaver didn't teach D directly, they know each other well. 

D's doll, Mark Watney, still pulls modeling duty when baby quilts are ready to be delivered. 

I'm still playing around with fabric placement. Each of the quilts I've made is slightly different, but I think I will include a coloring sheet with the pattern so quilters can decide how they want to vary the design.

This is a pretty easy quilt to put together, unless you are moving and renovating a new house at the same time! I wanted to make a version in shades of blue, and chose two directional prints (plus a directional backing). Nothing like to doing things the hard way.

Because I'm only working in small bits of time between everything else, I got my prints confused and ended up having to redo all my number blocks. Uff da!

Ultimately, it all came together, and baby Theo will have his quilt before his one month milestone. The idea for the quilt as I saw all the ways new parents showed their baby's monthly (or yearly) growth. I've seen monthly pictures with the same stuffed animals, with stickers or special onesies, with chalkboard and letter boards and all sorts of different ways. 

At the same time, I've seen lots of alphabet quilts, but number quilts aren't nearly as popular. Because Miss Anne is a preschool teacher, I love the idea of her having a quilt to teach numbers as well as to mark Theo's milestones. 

With the other two quilts, I made a taggy frame to indicate the milestone.

This time I decided to give a frame I found at Joann. 

Then I found this cute billboard with dry erase on one side and chalk board on the other.

And then, I was at Target and found this cute arrow... to these adorable little socks!

So, I'm going to give them options!

As always, D slept with the quilt to make sure there was lots of extra love in it.

And finally, for the label, I couldn't resist using the precious photo of Theo as the background.


Isn't this the cutest?

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Quilt #128 :: Big Lake Blooms (May 2019 One Monthly Goal)

It's been pretty quiet on the blog front this month. We have closed on both the Dream House and the Lake House. Mom has moved into the Lake House and is there to keep an eye on things while we do some renovations. Niels, D, and I are still at the Dream House for a few more weeks packing up, decluttering, and finishing out D's elementary career. 

Packing and renovating has taken a big chunk out of my sewing time. I have a few projects I'd like to finish in my current craft room before moving into my ah-mazing new Vesper View Studio. 

One of the projects on my list is my One Monthly Goal for May, which I'm calling Big Lake Blooms. I'm happy to say that I finished my goal, not just to have an item crossed off my long to do list, but especially because this quilt is headed to my hometown where I hope it will raise money for a special family.

I grew up in a very small town in Minnesota. When I attended school in the 80s, there were only two schools in our district. The K-86elementary school, which was right next to the 7-12 high school, or "Big School" as our elementary teachers called it. There were less than 100 students in our graduating class, so we all grew up together and knew everyone in our class, as well as the classes ahead and behind us.


I've been thinking a lot about the idea of home lately as we pack up the Dream House and move into the Lake House. As much as we love this physical building in which we have lived in for the last nearly 8 years, it is the memories we've made here that made it a home, and we'll take those with us to the Lake House. Even though I haven't lived in Big Lake for nearly 30 years (!), it is still the home of my childhood memories so I will always have a connection there.

I left Big Lake after graduation and haven't lived in Minnesota since. But thanks to the internet and social media, I was able to reconnect with a lot of people I had lost track of over my college and early career years. It's been interesting to see which friendships fade over the years, which remain steady even though our interactions are overwhelmingly digital, and which friendships surprisingly blossom in adulthood. 

On April 12, 2019, tragedy struck my little town. A fire took the lives of two babies, ages two and one, and their father. Two older siblings and their mom survived. In a town so small, something like this affects the entire community. But, in a small town, the whole community pulls together to help the ones who are hurting. 

One June 6, there will be a fundraiser in my little hometown. I'm 800 miles away here in Ohio, but I'm sending a quilt to participate in spirit. I hope that it helps raise money for Jessica to buy a new home, to replace some of the things that were lost, and make things a little easier as they grieve a tremendous loss. And if the quilt doesn't sell, I hope it offers comfort to the family. 

Now, let me tell you about this quilt. The pattern is called Magnolia Mystery. It was designed by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. I started it in July of 2017 as part of my year of social quilting. 
Since I didn't know what the pattern would be, I decided only to use fabric from my stash. 

I have a lot of blue, so I started with that print. I chose the yellow because it has a similar flower bloom design, and so does the white. I thought gray would look better than a stark black or white background. This print reminds me of splotches of raindrops, which seemed to go well with flower blooms.

As the months went by, I still wasn't sure where this quilt was meant to go. When the mystery was revealed, I finished the top. It's a beautiful pattern and I love how it turned out.

However, since I didn't have a pressing deadline or recipient in mind, I folded up the top and it waited patiently in my UFO bin for the last year.

When I first heard about the fire, it brought a visceral response as I thought about the fire that destroyed one of my childhood homes in January 2014. In response, I posted about making a quilt for my dad and his wife, who were fortunately not home at the time. Quilters from all over the world responded, and I ended up making quilts for both of them, as well as for my stepbrother who was also living with them. The group of quilters came to be the organization Sew It Forward.

Once these quilts were completed, the group made quilts for other families affected by fire. And then we moved on to other projects. After about a year of dormancy, Tina Burlington asked if she could revive the group. I gave my blessing and she is now doing amazing things with it. If you are a quilter, please check out the Facebook group to find out how you can be involved. The beauty of the group is that you don't need to make a full quilt. You can make one block per project. Or more if you have the time, or none at all if other things demand your attention.

I was debating whether or not to put this family on the Sew It Forward list, and then I remembered the quilt waiting to be finished. Big Lake school colors are blue and gold. 

Given the somber occasion, I like that the blue and gold is muted and the gray raindrop fabric. The other thing I noticed is the center row. When you look at this block... can see two complete blocks in the middle, and two partial blocks on the side. Fitting for a family that has had the lives of two children cut short. 

I can't imagine anything harder than losing a child, let alone two in the same night. I hope that the fundraiser is a huge success and that Jessica and her family feel all the love and support being sent her way in the months and years ahead. 

To see more pictures of this quilt, check out #biglakeblooms on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

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Sunday, May 5, 2019

One Monthly Goal :: May 2019

Moving madness has descended upon us. I'm hoping for some quilting time to keep me sane during these last few weeks at the Dream House. I have a few projects I want to finish here as I wait the new floor in the soon-to-be Vesper View Studio. I'm working hard to complete the last couple of projects for staff at my son's elementary school before he closes this chapter and moves on to middle school (!). 

But my goal is a quilt I started almost two years ago. 2017 was my year of social quilting where I joined all the quilt alongs and mystery quilts. It's almost mid-way through 2019 and I'm still finishing up all the quilts I started! Usually, when I start a quilt, I have a recipient in mind. But sometimes, like when I make a mystery quilt, the person doesn't reveal his/herself until later. Such is the case with this month's OMG

The name of the pattern is Magnolia Mystery by Meadow Mist Designs. I have had the finished top and backing ready to put together for about a year. But it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I knew where it would go. 

I grew up in a very small town in Minnesota. I haven't lived there since my senior year of high school, but thanks to the interwebs, I'm still in touch with many of my 70 classmates. On April 12, a terrible fire took the lives of two children and their father. Two older siblings and their mother survived. My childhood home was lost to fire in 2014, so my heart drops whenever I hear of a house fire. Knowing that a classmate lost two of her grandbabies breaks my heart. 

I started wondering how I could make quilts for the surviving family members when, realistically, I'm in the middle of a move. When a fundraiser raffle was announced, I decided that I would finish up this mystery quilt, which I am tentatively calling Angels of Big Lake, as a donation to the fundraiser. 

The fundraiser is on June 8, so making this my One Monthly Goal is the gentle nudge I need to get it completed and sent to Minnesota. Plus, finishing a UFO counts as packing, right?

To see more pictures of this quilt, check out #biglakeblooms on Instagram. To see what I'm currently working on, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

One Monthly Goals

In December of 2016, I joined the One Monthly Goal project hosted by Elm Street Quilts.  The idea is that at the beginning of each month, participating quilters chose one project as their monthly goal. I usually try to make my goal a finish, but any part of the quilting process can be a goal.

At some point, I started listing my prior goals (and updates) and the end of my posts. But I've realized two things: 1) the list is getting really long, 2) Since I make a post about my quilt finishes, I don't always make the time to do a separate update post. I'm going to combine those posts so I'm more likely to enter the update linky and be eligible for prizes.

With that said, welcome to my list of One Monthly Goals! To see what I'm currently working on, including my 2019 Brain Injury quilt, follow me at deJongDreamHouse.

August 2018 - Kindred Spirits Quilt (full post)
July 2018 - Dutch Canuck Quilt (full post)
May 2018 - Oops and Ophan quilt (full post)

June 2017 - Niels' Weighted Blanket (full post)

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