So after months of thinking about my Dear Jane project, I finally got it together this weekend and made six blocks. I only had a chance to photograph four. I found a new technique using freezer paper and I have to say was quite proud of the results. The corners turned out quite squarish and each block was surprisingly close to 4 1/2 inches when completed. Certainly an improvement on some of my earlier attempts!
Some of you may notice that I have been using the past tense. There is a very good reason for that. You see, they have gone. I only realised they were missing this evening, when I couldn't find my bag of sewing I had taken away for the weekend with me anywhere.
So I know the chances are tiny, but if anyone has seen a large black tote bag sitting on Mackerel Beach or Palm Beach Wharf with a weekend's worth of clothes that need washing, Rob's beloved Blundstone boots , six treasured patchwork blocks and an expensive to replace library book, I would love it back. (Don't worry, I won't be holding my breath!)
For the record:
1. Old Windmill. The scraps were from a little tunic and bloomers I made for Madeleine's first Christmas. It was the first time I had sewed with an Oliver and S pattern. Unfortunately these were the last scraps, so I wont be able to make it again.
2. Kaye's Courtyard. I still haven't finished the Amy Butler Liverpool Tunic I am making for myself in this fabric. Plenty more scraps so definitely reproducible.
3. Doris's Dilemma. Again not reproducible. I used this fabric in some folders I made as a farewell gift for Madeleine's class when she left earlier this year.
4. Field of Dreams. I used this fabric in a shirt for Madeleine. It was the first Japanese Pattern I had used. I can still remember the brain strain as I traced that pattern off! I may be able to find a few more scraps if I dig around.
I know in the scheme of things it is a very small loss, but I am going to let myself be sad for an evening and then start again tomorrow.
PS I would like to publicly apologies to my ever patient husband Rob, when before I knew my patchwork was in the lost bag, I told him he should just move on and buy himself a new pair of boots. I now know exactly how it feels to walk in those beloved boots!
Here is Mum's Cathie's Campfire:
And for me, this block was a reality check.
I think my confidence was running a little high after block one! After 2 hours, lots of miss cut triangles and lots of stitch ripper action I have ended with a rather wonky Cathie's Campfire. My Cathie is no girl guide! But I have decided I must be honest and show the good, the bad and the ugly.
The fabric is from the Amy Butler Soul Blossom range, I used in a peasant dress for Pippa. I have worked out now that the print is much too large for a 4 1/2 inch block. I am sure I could have cut it far more cleverly and made it look a whole lot better if I had thought it through but I didn't!
In our sewing classes, I often say if you cut right you will be alright. I also say that everything is fudgable - fabric has stretch! I am now realising in patchwork, if you cut right you may be alright and that fudging is sometimes not an option.So what else did I learn?The best instructions for me are ones like these
, where they give you a formula to determine the size you need to cut pieces based on the final size you want your pieces to be.If I miss cut pieces, throw them out
. If they stay in my work space, I will inevitably sew them to a correctly cut piece and create a patchwork disaster.Trim my threads as I go,or else I will end up with the world's most hairy quilt.Simple is often good...So for Block 3 we will be doing a very simple 9 patch!
PS If you would like to read more about the background to this project and Dear Jane quilts in general,head on over to Whip Up
where I have written a guest post
I really enjoyed this little project. It took me about an hour and a half to choose some fabric, read about nifty ways to piece triangles
and sew the block. More and more I am finding that large projects broken into small manageable pieces fit into my timetable right now. I have to grab the time I have rather than wait for a morning or more amazingly a day to open up for my sewing. I have to say, I am quite pleased with the results - one wonky corner, but for a newbie quilter I am quite pleased with my results.
I used scraps from a tunic I made for Pippa. I have now realised that I was dreaming to think that this quilt will be a scrap buster quilt. It really uses such tiny pieces of fabric.
Since the first post I wrote about this project, I have had some time to think about a colour scheme. (I have to admit I put the post up while my motivation was high, because I knew if I thought it through too much I may never have started.) The colours are going to be dictated by my scraps, but what I am aiming for is lots of white with a rainbow of pure colour pops. I don't want any muddied or greyed off colours. I want the reds to be reds, the pinks to be pink and the turquoises to be turquoise. I also want to stick to one fabric and white for each block but I may have to be a bit flexible about that.
Here's Mum's block:
It took her 30min from start to finish! I will show you the quick way she made the little triangles that make up the points of the star soon. I haven't had a moment to sew it and take the photos.
Mum has decided to mix things up a little and clear out some little projects she has started and not completed along the way. All her blocks will be finished at 6 inches but she may use some borders to bring small blocks she has already made up to this size. She is also going to use a nifty quilt as you go technique.
So for block two, I thought we would try one of the Dear Jane quilt originals called Cathie's Campfire.
is some information on cutting and sewing the flying geese part of this block, that looks pretty helpful.
You may have noticed, we haven't been around very much lately. It's not through lack of desire or lack of ideas. It's more like the stars aren't quite aligning. Sometimes I just don't find time to sew. Other times I find time to sew and then I don't find time to take the photographs. Sometimes I have time to take the photographs but it's raining or my children can think of lots of other fun things to do rather than model for their Mum's blog. Anyway, we know the posts have been pretty thin on the ground, so thanks for sticking around while we ride the bumps. So to a post...While at the recent Craft and Quilt show in Sydney, I loved several of the quilts called "Dear Jane Quilts". They were new to me but having done a little research now, I realise they are not new to quilters.
You can see the original quilt that inspired all Dear Jane Quilts here
. It was made by Jane Stickle during the American Civil War. She signed her quilt "In War Time 1863." It is an amazing quilt of 169 4 1/2 inch blocks surrounded by fifty-two 8"x5" triangles and four corner triangles.Many quilts have been made that replicate each block and each triangle. They are truly breath-taking.
Well, here goes. I'm going to try and make one. I am no quilter, but having mentioned that I loved these quilts to my mother, who is a passionate quilter, there is no going back! She has already found enough white homespun for me to make at least two of these quilts and given me a book called 501 Quilt Blocks. Dad's looking nervous. He can only cope with one quilter in his life.
So here's the plan:
This project won't be about replicating Jane Stickle's quilt block for block. It is more about the inspiration - 169 little squares, all stitched together, with some yet to be determined triangular border. Let's think of it more as an email to Jane - not as formal as a letter but certainly more effort than a text.
I'm going to commit to one block a fortnight. So not including the borders or quilting, it's going to take me 6 1/2 years!! I'm not going to get overwhelmed by that, being the person who wants to turn around most sewing projects in an evening. This is about the journey as much as the destination. Stay tuned though. If all goes well, I may push myself to one block a week - then I'll have this quilt made in a flash. OK - let's revise that, 3 1/4 years.
I am not going to buy anything new for the top of the quilt. I have four huge bins of scraps that are too small for larger projects but I can't bare to throw out. This quilt will also be about preserving all the fabrics I have chosen for my children's cloths and the gifts I have made as well. It may also be a little bit about raiding my Mum's rather large fabric collection.
Mum is coming along for the ride. I was going to say she will match me block for block, but in reality she will be stitching me in circles. She will be my inspiration and font of all knowledge. Mum says she knows her limitations and will make her blocks 6 1/2 inches finished. I am blissfully oblivious to my limitations, so I am going to stick to the original 4 1/2 inches.
I don't have the skills to run a Sew Along but if you would like to sew along we would love you to join us. I will post a picture and name of the block we are doing each fortnight. If I can find a link to a tutorial describing how to make the block, I will also post that too. At the end of the fortnight, I will post some photos of the blocks Mum and I made. If you would like to email me photos of your blocks I will post those as well or you are very welcome to link to the post.
So for the first block - I feel like there should be a drum roll...
Block 1 Ohio Star
(It seems appropriate for July 4th)
I found these instructions
on how to cut and sew a 12 inch Ohio Star, so my first step will be to work out how to make a 4 1/2 inch square. Wish me luck! (I don't need luck - I've got Mum!!!)
PS I saw a Catalog Card on the Haby Goddess
website today. I loved it. Jodie was kind enough to send me here
so I could make my own. Thanks Jodie.