Thursday, January 19, 2012

What Inspired Me Today

I woke up feeling kind of yucky this morning, with a scratchy throat, like maybe I was coming down  with a cold. Did not feel like doing much, even though I had a lot to do. Ever have one of those mornings?


I fed the dogs, made myself a cup of  tea, took some Tylenol, and sat down and checked my e-mail. There was a message from the Dear Jane e-mail list I'm on that contained a little note from Karan Flanscha that I wanted to share with you. I know some of you are making your own Dear Jane quilts or have already finished one.

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Greetings, Sticklers!!
I have exciting news . . . I have finished my big Dear Jane "In Time of Recollection" . . . started 1-1-1997 and finished today, on my birthday . . . 1-18-2012. It will be part of an exhibit "Covered By Glory: Civil War Commemorative Quilts" at the Grout Museum of History & Science in Waterloo, Iowa. The exhibit will be open from Jan. 27 - September 1st, if any of you will be traveling in the Midwest. There will be around 50 wonderful Civil War era quilts, and reproduction quilts shared by quilters like Barbara Brackman, Brenda Papadakis, Mimi Dietrich, Kathy Tracy, Judi Rothermel, Fons & Porter, and many others.
When I started my Dear Jane, I knew it would be a 'long term project'. . . I didn't think 15 years, but a lot has happened over those years!! My quilt is sewn entirely by hand, even the binding (front & back) was sewn by hand. That actually worked really well... no anxiety or hassles trying to fit the big quilt under the sewing machine and pivoting the scallops!! My personal challenge was to stitch my quilt as much like Jane Stickle sewed hers, as I could. A column in the local newspaper stated 'women today could not make quilts like the very old ones' (we just couldn't do work with wonderful applique, piecing and quilting!!)

My colors are not all like Jane's . . . when I started, I planned to make 49 blocks, but then I found more of my background fabric, and by that time I had learned that Dear Jane is not a quilt . . . it is a lifestyle VBG!!

Here is a quote that sort of sums up my Dear Jane experience:

"My whole life is in that quilt. It scares me sometimes when I look at it. All my joys and all my sorrows are stitched into those little pieces . . . I tremble sometimes, when I remember what that quilt knows about me." (Credited to "an Ohio
great-grandmother reminisicing to Marguerite Ickis".)

There are so many wonderful memories associated with my quilt, and some sad ones too . . . quilters who have 'crossed over to Glory' ahead of us. For those of you working on your blocks . . . a 'Tilde thread' a day will keep you moving forward . . . most of my blocks were stitched in 'found time' . . . little bits of time here and there that have added up to so much more. Thanks to all of you who have been part of my journey!!

Happy Stitching

Karan


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This is just what I needed to motivate me. How exciting it must be to finally complete that quilt! I felt so proud of and happy for her. Before long, the Tylenol kicked in and I started to feel better. Or was it reading Karan's inspiring message that made me feel better? Probably a little of both. So, in honor of Karan's completed Dear Jane quilt, I decided to take some time today to finish another block of my own. Thanks, Karan! Wonder if I'll be able to finish mine in 15 years??



Not a difficult block, true, but still - lots of tiny pieces.


This makes 39 blocks finished since 2010 . . . . Don't worry, I'll catch up.

I first saw Karan's almost-finished quilt in 2010 when I taught a workshop for her guild.




Every time I look at these photos I become inspired. I will be in Iowa  again in less than 2 weeks to teach at the Grout Museum Cabin Fever Retreat and to see the Covered by Glory quilt exhibit Karan talked about. And Karan's Dear Jane quilt. Can't wait. I hope she lets me take more pictures so I can show you. I'll bet you'll be inspired too.






15 comments:

Lori said...

I started my DJ journey with Karen!! That is too funny that I just finished mine a few days ago!!
Congrats to her as that is a huge achievement.
Love your blocks!

Kathleen Tracy said...

Lori - Congratulations to you too! You must feel great at completing that wonderful quilt. Would love to see a photo.

Julierose said...

Welcome to my world since Jan 2nd I've been fighting off this mega-cold--am finally starting to get some energy back. Resting a lot really helped me...what a stupendous achievment that quilt is...patience in cloth....Julierose

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful work of art!!! Congratulations
Julia

Miki Willa said...

Thank you for this great inspirational post. I made a decision not to make a Dear Jane quilt, but I really admire those who are. It takes a kind of dedication that I am not sure I have at this time in my life. I think I will stick with quilts I can get done in a year or two. I hope you are feeling better.

The Civil War Quilter said...

Congratulations on your quilting milestone! You and Karan have both given us inspiration today. Thank you!

Sue said...

Wow and to think I haven't even started mine yet! This is inspiring though to get started on it. I really don't know what the hold-up is...

Thanks for sharing such inspiration and I do hope you get to feeling better. I was feeling the same earlier in the week, but it was a quick little head cold and now all is good. Hope the same for you.

Blessings,
Sue

Margreet said...

What a great pictures of this lovely Dear Jane quilt...Thanks for sharing..Hugs, Margreet

Merilyn said...

I do remember seeing Karan's DJ featured on your blog some time ago, it's great to see it again, how wonderful to have it finally finished as Lori has done too just recently!!! Your blocks are wonderful and this year I will definitely get started on mine too!!! Thanks for another inspiring DJ kick along!!!!!

Elin said...

Thank you for a very inspiring blog post! Maybe I should catch my eyes on my DJ blocks too. In case, I'll make a blog post over the weekend, linking to your blog, OK?
I've reached another milestone this week, not a good one I must admit, as I started chemo therapy, which will go on for 6 months. Scary experience, maybe some tiny blocks would be a comfort.
And as for you small quilt along of the year, maybe I'll join some months, I didn't feel for the theme of January, sorry... Hope you have plans for the schoolhouse quilt!

taylorsoutback said...

A terrific post - thank you for sharing the story of dedication by Karan. Your own creation is coming along beautifully too & will join the group of DJ quilters. Love the name Sticklers!
Will share this information with my Liberty Ladies quilt history group & & my guild about the exhibit. So many of us travel during the summer.

Me and My Stitches said...

I just love to see DJ quilts. I have a pile of blocks of my own in the closet...not sure they will ever be finished, but your post certainly is inspirational. I would love to visit that exhibit in Waterloo - sounds like a good reason for a road trip!

Kathleen Tracy said...

If they let me take photos of the exhibit I will certainbly post them here.

Anonymous said...

Love your quilts/blog. At the first sign of a scratchy throat if you take a spoon of vinegar (and no drinking anything else for 30 min,) that will get rid of it. I have heard you may add a drop or so of honey but I just do the vinegar. Get better!

Elly D said...

WOW! Karan's words are certainly inspirational. It's comforting to know I'm in good company on the slow train of the Dear Jane journey. I started mine in 2007 and only up to 93 blocks..... hopefully 94 by the end of tomorrow ;) Your blocks are very pretty.
That big cat sounds scary and the awful bird of prey.

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