Christmas is over and it's less hectic around here so I thought I'd finish off the year with a bang and try to knock off a few of my Dear Jane blocks. I figured out yesterday that if I make one more block I will be 1/4 of a block away from being a quarter of the way through finishing (That will make Block #56. So, 225 blocks divided by 4 is 56.25. Make sense?) I decided I now really prefer to think of it in these terms - working on my quilt in quarters makes finishing not seem so far away. That's just the blocks, though. Putting the quilt together and quilting it may take almost as long I'm afraid. People around here are being very supportive: "Way to go, Mom!" "Wow, that's great, Hon." But I can tell that they secretly think I will probably die before I actually finish, LOL. Then what are they supposed to do with this huge unfinished project?? No one has asked me yet.
Yes, I know, some of you will notice that I forgot to reverse the pattern for this block. I wasn't paying enough attention and when I figured that out as I was cutting the pieces I just kept going. I don't really mind. It's finished. And I have a feeling Jane would say: Hooray for you! Maybe hers wasn't reversed either; we'll never know where she got the pattern from or if she designed it all herself. I have a feeling she struggled with some of the blocks too and often said, okay, it's done, I'm not going back and changing this one. On to the next one . . . .
(Dear Jane is the registered trademark of Brenda Papadakis and is used with permission.)
I was going to knock off a few easy blocks this week but as I looked at my list of blocks according to difficulty I realized I had probably made too many easy blocks already and was putting off the more difficult ones. So I decided to change tack and make some with reverse applique (easy for some, difficult for me.) I'm not good at it yet but I think I like reverse applique so maybe I'll do a couple more this weekend.
Buy Brenda's Dear Jane rulers. They really help with trimming your blocks to the correct size and come in a set of 2 for the squares and triangles.
The biggest help for me is the DJ software by Electric Quilt if you can afford it. I know I would not be likely to do this if not for the software. It alows you to print out the rotary cutting directions, templates and foundation piecing patterns for the blocks. Such a time saver. (Dear Jane is the registered trademark of Brenda Papadakis and is used with permission.)
Anyway, if any of you are itching to get going on a Dear Jane quilt next year or just want some support for continuing or finishing yours, don't forget I recently started a new DJ Yahoo group. It's sort of an offshoot of my Small Quilt Yahoo group, with a lot of the same people, many just beginning this quilt. Maybe you'd like to Join us . Some in the group are experts and have finished not only one but several DJ quilts. Some, like me, struggle because there is always so much else we have to do in life and yet we keep going, learning new things with each block, picking up another one and feeling exhilarated at crossing it off a list when done. My blocks are not perfect, most are far from it, and sometimes there are months when I just don't have time to make a block so you will fit right in if you are just beginning and worried about keeping up. I try my best and I do think Jane would say "Hooray!" to that.
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As far as gifts went this Christsmas, I was focused on what I was going to give others and did not really make out a list for myself. Therefore, because I didn't ask for anything I did not receive anything sewing or quilting related. Oh. Yep, I should have done that. Don't get me wrong, I received some wonderful presents, just not in the fabric, tool or quilting book department. My son was kind of sweet - he gave me a necklace with a sewing machine and the letter K on a chain. That was one of the most thoughtful gifts he's given me and so I guess that sort of counts.
My daughter also came through for my husband. You see, he's addicted to Tootsie Pops. The red ones.
We all thought this was so cute. It's not really a huge Tootsie Pop, it's filled with smaller ones. I got some Swedish Fish in my stocking. Oh yeah, don't worry, we know and we both solemnly vow to limit our consumption of Red 40 . . . next year.
Have a happy, healthy and productive New Year!