Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Miles and Milestones

Hope you all had a happy Easter or Passover holiday. The weather was so nice here I was almost convinced spring was just around the corner.  Today, however, I had to put on my winter coat when I went out. Oh well. Patience is a virtue, they say. Spring will get here when it gets here.


I am happy to have reached a milestone in my Dear Jane quilt. Yesterday I completed 100 blocks! I'm amazed and can hardly believe I have gotten this far and not given up. So I am definitely singing "Hooray" today.  Maybe I WILL finish this quilt after all. No going back now.



One more to add to the growing pile

There's such a sense of satisfaction when a block is completed. Usually because it has taken me the better part of a day.


Many of you have asked me about my blocks. I know I am repeating myself here but I also know some of you struggle as well and hope you can glean a little encouragement to keep going on yours:  I began making them in 2010. But, after getting a good running start that year, I had to take 6 months off. The following years also were full of months without any progress at all. So it has been an off and on project for me. I usually work in spurts, instead of focusing on this quilt alone, which allows me to do other things too. 




I try to note my monthly progress on a database in my DJ Yahoo group and have committed to making at least one block a month. Some months are usually good for more blocks and there is still progress. I could certainly finish sooner if I made one row a month like some of you but that's not practical for me and wouldn't work. I know I could never keep it up. 


One block per month doesn't sound like much but it almost always translates into more than one so I so try to keep it up and recommit every month. And every month I ask myself:  Do I still want to finish this quilt? YES. Then I tell myself  - go make a block to prove it, LOL. I have no timetable for finishing. When it gets done, it will be done. Hopefully, before I die. My goal is to not leave a box of unfinished blocks to my family as my legacy. 


I use mostly 1800s reproduction fabrics. Sometimes I just use a print that I like a lot. Some of my blocks are hand pieced, some are machine pieced, some have shirtings for the background, some backgrounds are made with ecology cloth (higher quality muslin), and a few of my favorite fabrics have been repeated (oh no!). Some of my blocks I regret making and wish I had either used a different print or taken more time to do a better job. Oh well. I cannot afford the time to remake them now. They are what they are and they represent a part of my journey. 


Every block is an achievement worthy of celebration. 

Only 125 blocks and triangles left to go . . . Yikes, I'm not even halfway there. That sounds so discouraging when I read it. More than a few more years of work left, I guess. 

And miles to go before I sleep  . . .  


 . . . under a Dear Jane quilt, at least.


22 comments:

Heartsdesire said...

I definitely think you are taking the right attitude to making this quilt. Just a few blocks at a time gets it done. With a quilt this intricate, you really need time in between to make other quilts. And when you come back to these blocks, I think your spirit is renewed. You'll get it done, and there are no quilt police to say when you have to finish it. Enjoy the process.

Robin said...

Lovely comments about making Dear Jane. It is really a journey and can only be accomplished one step (block) at a time. Your fabric choices are very nice and I like how you have the finished blocks stored in a fancy box. It gives the whole project a special status.

Kris B said...

Your DJ blocks are beautiful! The fabric choices are so nice that I've gone back several times to take them in. You must be very pleased with your progress and I look forward to seeing more as you continue to make them.

Kathleen Tracy said...

Thank you!

Granny's Button Box said...

Your blocks are lovely, you have such an eye for choice of fabrics, they go so well together. I got the DJ book and did a couple of the blocks, they were so fiddly with tiny triangles I gave up which isn't like me at all. So full of admiration for you. Keep going the quilt will be wonderful. Take care Sharon x

Carmen y Prady said...

Felicidades por ese maravilloso trabajo, que seguro que vas a terminar muy pronto.
Un beso

gayle said...

How about, instead of saying not-even-halfway-there, saying "Wow! Almost halfway there!" Because that's how I'm looking at your progress - I'm so impressed!
(It's like you're walking from Los Angeles to New York and you've just hit the Kansas state line. Look how far you've come!)

Ann in PA said...

What a good feeling it must be to look at all those beautiful blocks! I love your fabric choices. Just think of all the memories that will be stitched in this beautiful quilt when it's finished. It's a treasure for sure!

Jennifer M said...

Kathy my first thought also is, your almost half way there! Don't even think of not being quite half way there. This is huge! You do an amazing job with fabric and color choices, that's just one of your talents, that's drawn me to your books and patterns. You have a gift and bless you for sharing it with others. Your Dear Jane is you, a representation of you, and you are so worth celebrating. You continue to inspire me and so many others, keep it coming:)))) Congratulations to you!!

Yvonne said...

Love your DJ blocks. I have 107 finished now. Going slowly but steady! Love your tulips! I live in the area in the Netherlands were all the bulb fields are with tulips dafadills, hyacinth's and such. It is beautiful right now!

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

I have an almost finished Farmer's Wife quilt top which is just as exhausting as a Dear Jane. I am to the point where I'm sewing the blocks into strips. I haven't worked on it in a year or so. Would love to finish the top and get it quilted, but I get tired just thinking about it.

quiltgrannie said...

Kathy, I'm enjoying your journey along with mine. I admire your dedication and I WILL get back to DJ soon!!! Your blocks are beautiful, I have a few that I wish I would of done differently but like you say, it's proof to my learning process with DJ.

pens and needles said...

You are so dedicated and have such a sensible attitude toward this quilt -- I will be watching and waiting (but never impatiently!) to see the finish. In the meantime, the JOURNEY is the thing!

BJ said...

Kathy, your DJ is coming along beautifully - I love seeing the updates. Your fabric choices are amazing! I'm still in the "what color (s) do I want to use" stage. It is encouraging that you've been at it for so long and are still committed. This will be, for me, the long-term project worked on and savored while trying to complete many other turn-and-burn quilts. Thanks for sharing! Celebrate every block.

BJ said...

Kathy, your DJ is coming along beautifully - I love seeing the updates. Your fabric choices are amazing! I'm still in the "what color (s) do I want to use" stage. It is encouraging that you've been at it for so long and are still committed. This will be, for me, the long-term project worked on and savored while trying to complete many other turn-and-burn quilts. Thanks for sharing! Celebrate every block.

Wendy Caton Reed said...

WooHoo! 100! Good for you! I love your blocks. Using different backgrounds adds so much interest. You have a great color sense. Please don't give up, they are wonderful! We all go at our own pace. I am making mine in the potholder method (each block is quilted and bound and then whipped together by hand) and I promised myself to finish it in less than a year or I would give it up. I think I will make my goal as I am NOT going to give these up! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen, love your work. You inspire me to start one...possibly.

Scrappy quilter said...

One hundred sounds really good to me. Great job on not giving up.

Judy said...

I like how you approach a long term project. So often people ask how long does it take to make (fill in the blank), but like you said, it's really about loving the whole process. Knowing that the quilt is growing block by block and that it will be done when it's done, and what a happy day that will be :-) Wow, 100 blocks, that's a huge achievement!

Loly said...

Unos bloques preciosos, maravillosos! Y ya queda menos, ánimo!!!

Anna said...

I love your sentiment of not leaving unfinished blocks for your family...I always say I am shopping so my girlfriends can have a legacy, LOL

Leratdesfils said...

Beautiful fabrics, wonderful blocks !

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