Monday, November 5, 2018

Dear Jane Progress

Marian and Jeanne brought their finished DJ tops to my retreat here in the Chicago area last month. What an inspiration that was!




Seeing these lovely quilts really motivated me to get back on track and finish putting all of my own blocks together. So, now my Dear Jane quilt is half sashed. I'd say half finished, but I still have to make the triangles. Sashing first - or maybe I'll take a break from that and make some triangles. Who knows? I do have to tell you that I am so proud of myself for not giving up! It's been "only" eight years since I started my Jane journey . . . . 

So, if you think you're finished with that DJ when you're actually not, or you thought of starting one but never did, there's still hope. Drag it out or buy the book and make a plan. Believe me, it will be worth every frustrating stitch. Make sure you take advantage of every website and tip available. The Dear Jane website has lots of tips and lessons to help you so check it out. When I first started making mine, I printed out the lessons and tips and placed them in a notebook. Lots of help there if you find you're struggling. The Dear Jane software by EQ was also invaluable to me. There are lots of lessons and tips included with that too. It's a stand alone software so you don't need Electric Quilt for it to work. That Quilt is another good resource for making the blocks. Then, just take it block by block, one at a time, and they'll add up. 




The very first Dear Jane quilt I saw up close, made by Karan Flanscha of Iowa, had 1/2" blue cornerstones. I was impressed with the way they looked in the quilt and so decided to use the cornerstones in mine too. 






Some of my early blocks look rather wonky. I was never happy with the way my first version of this F-13 block turned out. It's different from Jane's original block. See? When I made it years ago, I followed the design in the book, not the pic of Jane's block (duh) and it's slightly different. It's always bothered me that the circles don't touch. Silly of me perhaps, but I took the time to redo it last week and now I like it much better and in brown. I knew it would always bother me if I didn't change it. And it really didn't take long. I use the starch and no-melt templates method of applique to make the shapes, then stitch on by hand. That's pretty fast and easy with a little practice. Makes applique fun too.

So here's my almost half-finished quilt. I'm sewing it into unequal quadrants and then sewing the quadrants together. Two down . . .






*  *  *

Fall has arrived here in the Chicago area but it's leaving fast . . . . Glad I was able to get out to a local forest preserve one day last week to take some pics before all the leaves fell. I think I missed the really vibrant colors by a couple of days.









Have a good week - Don't forget to vote tomorrow! 





16 comments:

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

such pretty Dear Jane's - it takes time don't give up! it took me close to 5 years to finish the first one I did and about 4 years for the second one - you can do it!

Linda said...

Very lovely! Wish you would come up with a small quilt version of Dear Jane! Maybe a few favorite blocks and then the triangle version? I don’t see me doing a full sized anything these days. Love your small quilt approach!! Happy fall! L

NancyS said...

It will look beautiful and who cares how long it takes you! You will be so proud when you DO get her finished. I think it took me about two years in my Dear Hannah, and still don’t have it quilted. My friend who owns her own long arm is in a slump and isn’t in the mood to quilt these days. Oh, well!

Jennifer M said...

Way to go Kathy, slow but sure and your getting there. It looks beautiful and your blue cornerstones really pop. I agree that seeing Marian's and Jeanne's was wonderful. I haven't had an opportunity to work on mine in some time. I do plan on finishing, it's not a race, but rather a journey.

Pauline Perry said...

Your Dear Jane is wonderful! Your blue cornerstones are very nice indeed. All of the blocks look beautiful and I like your colours. Thank you for sharing.

LuAnn said...

Oh Kathy! Your quilt looks wonderful! Yes, I am getting inspired by your and Marian. Thinking of maybe trying to piece by hand. I may not, though, just need to get started. I love the blue cornerstones. They really add a sparkle to your quilt.
Thanks for posting this!
Lu Ann

Sheri in Iowa said...

Your Dear Jane looks awesome and is coming along quite nicely! I only worked on mine for 12 years.....so 8 years is nothing! It is worth keeping on!
Sheri In Iowa

cityquilter grace said...

i am impressed with your and other DJ quilts....happy i passed on it tho as still working on civil war diary blocks...

quiltgrannie said...

Kathy, It was so nice to see Marian and Jeanne's Dear Janes. Yours is coming along very nicely. I love your blue cornerstones. And all your blocks are so pretty!! This is truly a journey. Mine has been on hold for some time now, but I will definitely get back to her when the time allows.

Karrin Hurd said...

Pretty Dear Janes! Mine took me 7 years to finish!

Marian said...

Kathy, it's so great to see the progress you're making... how good does it feel?? I love seeing the work-in-progress shots, and the close ups are wonderful. I never tire of looking at DJ quilts... i could look at them all day long. I have started to pin one triangle border to my centre blocks... it's slow going and that's ok :))

Sue McQ said...

Wow, Kathy...your DJ is stunning.

liz said...

Really like the blue cornerstones : )
You make it very tempting to start a Dear Jane....

Susan D said...

Eight years and counting. Just finished #92. At this rate... Oh, I really have to work faster.

Kurt Schindler said...


I love your Dear Jane. I like the idea of the cornerstones too - sure helps keep those blocks aligned.

I just recently saw a Baby Jane in Christmas colors and Civil war fabrics. It intrigued me and perhaps something I could accomplish in this lifetime -only 25 blocks.

Thanks for sharing the pretty photos of the trees.

Charlotte/CA

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