Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mutual Love

Every now and then I get nostalgic and pull out this box.
 
 
Look what's inside!


My precious Dear Jane blocks! (Only 50 out of the necessary 225 for the quilt.)  How did I ever even get this far, you ask? Mutual love and support from all over the world. Every now and then someone will remember I am making one and will tell me about theirs or send me a photo of their blocks or finished quilt to encourage me to keep going. Or, I Google "Dear Jane" to see what others are doing on their blogs.

 
I like trying to make some blocks as close to Jane's original blocks as possible.


I love looking at all of the beautiful fabrics I've been hoarding for so long and still feel a strong sense of accomplishment because I made 50 blocks. I have to remind myself that 50 is better than  none. And 51 is still a little bit better than 50 . . . . what keeps me going. One at a time.

I have a tendency to feel a teeny bit bad about myself sometimes because I know that there are some of you have made more than one of these quilts while I have only made a few blocks. But for those of us who are not superstars (or super fast), this is the best we can do and I have to remind myself that it's still quite an accomplishment.  Hey, we're still going, if only occasionally, and that has to be worth something. I get busy and will often put the blocks aside for months at a time. But then something reminds me and I get pulled back in.

 
Dear Jane Exhibit at Nantes, France earlier this year. Can you imagine seeing this exhibit? I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
 

 
"In Time of Recollection" by Karan L. Flanscha, Cedar Falls, IA. "My Dear Jane quilt was the beginning of a wonderful journey. Every stitch in my quilt is by hand. I started the original Dear Jane support group, and helped Electric Quilt create the software. I have met friends from all over the world because of our mutual love of Jane Stickle's sampler quilt." Key words, Karan.
 
Seeing some version of The Quilt reminds me how good it feels to continue working on mine. I become so encouraged by the huge community of quilters who are committed to making this quilt. Our mutual love is what keeps me going. I see what others have accomplished and the love that goes into making this quilt and then become encouraged to work on my own.


So, no, I have not given up yet. Life always gets in the way. And, even though I haven't worked on these in a very long time, my goal for November in my Yahoo Small Quilt group is to make a couple of blocks. Even just a few. Shouldn't be that hard, right? Hah! We'll see about that. Let me know if you are also struggling to get your blocks finished and can't seem to commit to doing it on someone else's schedule even if it is more organized than your own. I just have to plug away and go it alone.

 
Last week after I pulled out my box of blocks I spent several hours preparing another one -  choosing fabric, tracing, cutting the assorted pieces, gathering my hand sewing supplies. (Oh, how I love this process!)  Then the pieces started to look familiar. Turns out I had already made this same block a couple of years ago! Oh no. I was NOT about to spend time making it all over again. Arrrghhhh! Making one block takes me so long - almost as long as it takes to make an entire small quilt. Now I have to start all over with a new one.

New Goal: I will get one more block finished by this weekend. I promise. Maybe.  We'll see . . . . This is how it goes.


Visit me on Facebook to check my progress in the coming weeks - https://www.facebook.com/KathleenTracyQuilts


33 comments:

Janet O. said...

I bought the book soon after it came out and still have yet to make a single block. You should feel great about your 50--and you can send me your duplicate, then I'd have one. But, of course, I still wouldn't have made one. *LOL*

Ann in PA said...

Oh my what a lovely project box. I would keep that nearby just because it is so pretty. Having it in sight is a good reminder to start just one more block. : ) Your blocks are wonderful!

Merilyn said...

Looking at all those gorgeous little blocks, you have achieved quite a bit!!! Sigh!!! I have yet to dive into any sort of schedule loose or otherwise, but the will is still there! Only saw one DJ at the annual Brisbane Quilt Show a couple of weeks ago, there is always at least one that someone has lovingly completed!!!! It's all about the journey..........

Susan said...

Great effort....I have gotten as far as buying the book (four years ago). I don't think it's going to happen for me, but I so admire those who take the journey.

Anonymous said...

Hi this is Penny in Australia. Yes I have a problem with my Dear Jane as well. I don't think I have touched mine for 2 years. I would love a couple of weeks off work just to tackle a UFO a day. My ideal holiday. I managed to pull Sylvia's Bridal Sampler out and I had documented when I made the blocks on this one and it was exactly two years ago. I have now made 3 more blocks. This year has gone so fast and there is always new things to try and blogging is so absorbing. And of course working full-time just gets in the way.!
You have stimulated me to pull out my Dear Jane this week and to re-visit with her.

Kathleen Tracy said...

Yay! If I inspire someone and then you inspire one more . . . .on and on. We'll all finish eventually. Working does get in the way of everything, doesn't it? But if not then how would we afford the fabric?

Sue Bennett said...

Kathy, your blocks are beautiful. Maybe we should have a make a DJ block day on your group. I have everything ready to go, just haven't gotten started. Love yours.

Kimmie said...

Thank you for sharing your Dear Jane blocks with us Kathy. I think I need a grand box like yours to store my completed blocks.

marian said...

Kathy, you're right, it's more about the journey than it is about the destination. Some journeys take longer than others and what's lovely about the DJ journey, there are so many quilters around the world taking this journey with you... isn't that a lovely thought? I wonder what Jane Stickle would make of it all.
Btw you blocks are so lovely and i recognize a few of the 'older' fabrics :))) cheers... Marian

Rosa said...

Go you can.Three years playing alone with mine.I began with a friend,but at least she left.
This year , my goal was at least four blocks in a month, but in the end I made ​​more,all in blue fabrics.
Have a look here:
http://moramargaritaster.blogspot.com.es/search/label/Dear%20Jane

Tempus fugit said...

DJ exhibition was so great ! You would have loved it !!!

quiltgrannie said...

Kathy, I don't have the book but I admire all you girls that have started their DJ. I dream of one day staring one. Maybe you can set a goal of doing one block a month to keep you on track. All your blocks are beautiful and so is the box!!

monica said...

I have about 70 blocks that have been hiding in the closet for a few years now. Recently 2 of my friends who started at the same time have finished theirs and this is the 150th anniversary of Jane's quilt, so....maybe this is time to make some more blocks

Regina said...

I started my Jane last September hoping to finish in October, because I was going to Vermont to see Jane's quilt. I did see Jane's amazing quilt, I don't know how she did it without paper- piecing and all the tools we have today. Where would I be without freezer paper? I didn't finish my quilt, I 'm on row M and have 30 Kites finished. I hope to get started again in January. Your blocks look beautiful.

Pensée et Lavande said...

Bonjour de France,
Un réel plaisir quand ma fille me dit d'aller voir votre blog,
on y parle du Dear Jane.
Je vous encourage fortement car vous avez fait un travail titanesque,bravo.
Je vais commencer le miens d'ici peu,j'attend le livre pour le modéle.Vos blocs sont si minutieux et je viendrais voir vos avancée futurs.
A bientôt donc,bravo a vous
Amitiées Marie Christine

Jeanne said...

Keep making those blocks. The ones from your project box are gorgeous! My top has been complete for years, but I haven't quilted it for some unknown reason.

Kathy in GA said...

I have had so many ambitions for this year that I turned 60, and I'm not sure any have been accomplished, lol. My Dear Jane has yet to get beyond the buying of muslin and my ever increasing stash of era fabrics, but maybe it will be the quilt that I start before the end of the year...if I start center out, maybe I can get a few rounds done! I had the joy of seeing her in person a few years ago up in Vermont, and she is a beauty! Still deciding on something to finish for the yahoo challenge...that would be my first for the year!

Cathy said...

I have a dear friend who started the Dear Jane quilt around the time the book came out. She has now lost her eyesight and will not be able to finish. She has entrusted me to finish it for her. I made my own Dear Jane over a period of about three years - shortly after the book came out. My advice is not to put it off too long. You want to be healthy enough to finish it and enjoy the process. Set short term, weekly goals. That helped me when I made mine.

Karen said...

I love your box of Dear Jane blocks, Kathleen. You should always feel so proud of what you have accomplished. It's the journey to making the quilt that is suppose to be the enjoyment of what we do. Your blocks are beautiful...I love the variety of fabrics and prints you have chosen.

Liz L said...

Yes, your blocks are really lovely. I have completed 72 blocks by hand of "Dear Hannah" over a period of about 5 years but would love to maybe make a mini quilt of Dear Jane.

Maureen said...

Your blocks are lovely, I wish they were mine. I started making blocks several years ago and then went on to different projects. I am not ready to resume working on my Dear Jane, but someday.
I will watch all of your progress, maybe that will inspire me.

pandchintz said...

Gorgeous box! I started this project some (13!) years ago and have 8 blocks made, so you're waaaaay ahead of me! However, some friends and I have decided to get together once a month next year in an endeavour to get more blocks made. (You could join us - from your place of course! Can't expect you to trip to Australia for one evening's stitching!!)

Maxine said...

I guess I can say I'm making the Dear Jane Quilt, too. I have about 25 blocks. Just like you, I pull out my plastic container every now and then or read something that inspires me to continue with this project. We'll finish our quilts one day and be very proud of our work. Hang in there. We know it can be done.

Louise said...

You have inspired me to bring out my box of 23 dear Jane blocks. I set them aside to join Jo's Little Women along with various civil war quilts. I have missed working on my little Janes. Thanks for the noodge!

annie said...

those are wonderful blocks!

Judymc said...

Great reminder that I need to "visit" Jane again! I think I have around 15 blocks made (by hand). I'm keeping my blocks the same color and placement that Jane did. Also, I made a chart on a legal pad and I put a small square of the fabric I used so I can tell if I've made the block or not.

Susan D said...

Oh, I'm amazed at how much your blocks look like mine. It's as if we were working on them together, sharing our fabrics. I've done 59 in 3 years. Not rushing.

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agullainquieta said...

Ánimo, 50 són ya una buena parte!
Besos

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