Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Catching Up

I've been kinda lazy about blogging lately . . . . If I post anything anywhere it's usually on Instagram. Quick and easy. Post a picture, write a comment. Done!  Blogging takes me so much longer to write and upload photos and then edit them. I'm not sure if anyone even reads blogs anymore so it almost seems like a waste of time. But I do know some of my blog fans don't do Facebook or Instagram so I've compiled some of my Instagram posts to catch you up -  

In February I made a small basket quilt for the basket sew along but haven't quite finished quilting it yet. Don't you love these prints??  That border is a very old Judie Rothermel fabric. The pink is French General. 

I quilted it a tiny bit then moved on to something else that caught my eye as I was cleaning up some of my fabrics and patterns. 

I thought I would try a little cross stitching for a change of pace . . . I'd forgotten how relaxing it is to stitch like this. I have a few of these mini Blackbird Designs from awhile ago that I started but never finished. (Hmm . . . do you see a sort of pattern here??) This one is my favorite. Can't imagine why I started it and then just let it go, LOL. I'm pretty sure most of these designs are out of print now. I really want to make them all! (X stitch piece underneath is Prairie Schooler Village Sampler, waiting to be framed.) 

Slow progress for sure but this one is just so sweet maybe I'll actually finish this time. Good thing it's a small one . . . Blackbird Designs, Down in the Valley pattern.

I'm patting myself on the back right now. I needed to take a little break from quilting and this was the perfect solution. Hoping to maybe start another little Blackbird Designs project. Question: Does anyone today still work on Aida cloth?? I've been away from cross stitching for so long and it seems like it's all done on linen now. I feel a little out of the loop. I love the look of linen but I'm afraid to try it because I have retina issues in one eye and my eyes strain easily. Seems daunting to me. Any suggestions? What works for you?

Finished! It only took me a week. But I'm not sure of the exact finish - I temporarily placed it into a frame. I may decide to make it into a small pillow/bowl filler. And a part of me thinks I should try to make a few more and display them on a wall. We'll just have to see how it goes. Wonder which one will be next?? (My Schoolgirl Sampler quilt is in background.)  

As I was thinking about my next little cross stitch project I got a little sidetracked. 

I keep this poster in my sewing room to remind me to work on my Dear Jane quilt.  It's been sitting in my sewing room just waiting for me to find the time to work on it again. I forgot exactly why I stopped at a certain point but I set it aside about a year ago and then got busy with family stuff and didn't have time to think about it. So, yes, I'm back working on it again.

The center is completed. The triangles are sewn into rows. They just need to be assembled. I love this quilt so much - much more than cross stitch I realized. It took me a little while but I remembered why I suddenly stopped. It wasn't because I was blocked or anything. I ran out of fabric for the narrow border that is used to connect the four borders to the top. I wanted to use the same fabric I used in the blocks (Ecology cloth, a tighter weave of muslin with those tiny flecks). I remember checking last year and it didn't seem to be available at any of the shops that used to carry it so I probably stopped looking. But I searched Google and found a place right in my own backyard that carries it. Vogue Fabrics, just north of Chicago, had exactly what I needed. So I drove over there and bought a few yards and now I think I'm set. I'm pumped to sew this little strip between the parts so I can then go on to prepare it for quilting. Not saying it's going to be finished anytime soon of course but it's a huge step to get that much closer to it being an actual "top." So now cross stitch has to be set aside, all other UFOs have to be set aside while I tackle Jane again. Honestly, I think the hard part is over once I get this top sewn. Now I'm seriously pumped about the challenge ahead.

Dear Jane progress: Left side triangles attached to center. With a crazy narrow 1/4" border in between. I'd be lying if I said this was easy, getting those triangles to match up with the sashing. The 1/2" sashing looks quite large in comparison. I do love making this quilt, but . . . it's such a humbling experience, LOL. Finished is better than perfect.

These are photos of the original Jane Stickle quilt from 1863 - 

I love this quilt so much and every time I look at photos of it I feel a rush of emotion and a strong desire to try to finish mine. Some quilters in my Facebook group Kathleen Tracy Quilts are feeling the same. Not everyone is completely self-motivated so I designated Fridays as Dear Jane Motivation day in the group since we all seem to need a push now and then to keep going. If you're stuck on your blocks or triangles or want to start a Dear Jane quilt or just need encouragement to pick yours up again, join us! I used to host a Yahoo Dear Jane group a few years back and sewing along with others who also loved the quilt really helped me make some good progress. But Yahoo shut down and we all had to manage on our own after that. It's a whole lot easier if you have quilters sewing with you, giving you a little nudge every now and then. If you're interested in continuing or starting a Dear Jane quilt this may be just what you need. I'm not going to be teaching you how to make the quilt or anything - we'll just be giving you encouragement and support to keep going and possibly a few resources for help if you need it. This is such a wonderful quilt and, I have to say, an incredible journey. We can do this!


Anonymous said...

I order ecology cloth nowadays from Moda. Last time a lovely quilt shop in San Obispo shipped a couple to me. I use it for everything. Glad that you were able to find some.

Anonymous said...

I was not receiving your emails so I was very glad to see this in my inbox. I am one who still loves blogs and recently I have seen quite a few others comment in other places that they have gone back to more and more blog reading. Life moves so quickly now days and I enjoy feeling I learn so much more about a person and their work than I do from just a quick post on IG. Love all your pieces you are working on!

Sophie said...

Yes, still reading blogs and updating mine. Cogratulation for the Dear Jane, a master piece.

Barb said...

I did receive your email, thank you, and I always enjoy reading them. The photos of the Dear Jane are amazing and I really applaud you for undertaking such a huge and wondrous project! Your cross stitch is lovely also and looks like fun.