Saturday, April 27, 2024

Dear Jane Fridays

Each Friday in my Facebook group, some members work on starting or finishing their Dear Jane quilts. It's not a teaching group, just a checking-on-your-progress group to help keep you accountable and move forward. Sometimes inspiration happens when like-minded quilters get together. Seeing the progress that others are making on their blocks/quilt can be very motivating.

Jane Stickle used many different fabrics in her quilt, and for a long time it seemed that each printed fabric appeared in only one block on the quilt. Now it has been determined that there are 3 blocks that repeat fabrics. See if you can find them! (I tried but couldn't.)

(Photos of the quilt courtesy of the Bennington Museum)

One of the things I was thinking about this week was that making this quilt was all about the journey and the learning. I wonder if it is the same for you? The Dear Jane journey starts with one block. Try an easy one if you’re intimidated. Then try another and another. I learned so much making this quilt. I pushed myself to do curved piecing, reverse applique and paper piecing. With each block completed it got a little more thrilling to see them pile up. All the while I was becoming a better quilter.

if you 're intent on making this quilt, the key to success might be to keep it uppermost in your mind. While I was working on mine, I bought a special box to keep my blocks in and kept it near my desk.

Eventually I bought one of those Ikea rolling carts and stored all of the things I needed to make the quilt - my block box, the book, my notebook, tools, foundation paper and supplies and special fabrics I knew I wanted to use for the remainder of the blocks. Everything in one place where I could see it. The cart stayed in a corner of my sewing room but I could easily roll it out near my sewing table when I became motivated to work on some blocks. I printed out a list of all the numbered blocks and checked them off to keep track of my progress.

There were times I had to take long breaks from working on it. When I picked it up again, I would challenge myself to make 10 or 20 blocks within a certain time frame. It helped to set small deadlines for myself. Soon I was able to finish 35, then 50 blocks. Checking them off the list one by one. I remember hitting 100 blocks. That was a milestone - almost halfway there. i kept at it. And now I'm done.

If you're intent on finishing your quilt, then push yourself just a little bit every now and then and I know you’ll be pleased at the progress you’ll make. Join us in the group on Fridays if you need a nudge.


Anonymous said...

Yes, good idea to set Fridays as a day to work on these blocks. I have many made and put into a binder with the pages of the book they are found on. It's great to look at all of the blocks you have made. Yes learn a lot doing these.

Anonymous said...

I’ve had the book for years but find the thought of starting this project somewhat intimidating. However making just one block on a Friday and reading your encouraging words Kathy might be the beginning of an inspirational journey.
Thank you
Liz L

liz said...

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keep writing it.Thank you so much for writing your blog
I so enjoy it.