I set myself a goal of trying to finish the 169 square blocks of my Dear Jane quilt before the end of 2013. The blocks are finished, and I am only a few days late!
In fact, I made 170 blocks, not 169, by 2 January. A slight miscalculation, I confess. I got carried away.
I did not like L10 Nan’s Naiad, so I made another small block to replace it.
Then, after three attempts at G9 Mary’s Journey, which involved a lot of unpicking and swearing, I gave up and decided to make a different block, but I could not choose, so I made two blocks to replace it.
I still do not understand what I did wrong that made G9 consistently too small.
You can download PDFs of the flower block, the churn dash block and the four T block patterns.
I think I might leave J12 Rebecca’s Basket out, as the basket always strikes me as slightly out of place. I will decide later.
I had a few successes with assembly for the following blocks, and I thought I would share what I learned:
- A11 Pebble’s Protest
- A12 Framed Fancy
- B6 Wild Goose Chase
- C7 Megan’s Mountain Laurel
- C8 Hani’s Crown
- F2 Kaleidoscope
If you are not a Janiac, stop reading now as it could get boring!
A11 Pebble’s Protest
I redrew this block to avoid the narrow border, and I then hand pieced it. My redrawn block can be downloaded as a PDF.
A12 Framed Fancy and C8 Hani’s Crown
I made A12 Framed Fancy and C8 Hani’s Crown both in the same way: by foundation piecing from the centre out, pausing partway to appliqué triangles before continuing to paper piece. It is possible to appliqué while a block is sewn to paper. I am rather pleased with the results, as A12 was a block that I had been eyeing with a considerable degree of trepidation.
I think this method worked a treat!
B6 Wild Goose Chase
I got clever here! I am so very pleased with myself! So pleased, in fact, that I took photos to show how it was done.
C7 Megan’s Mountain Laurel
After I had carefully pieced M11 Rickshaw by hand, I wondered why I had not just appliquéd seven diamonds in place. Surely, that would have been simpler? So, I tried the appliqué method with C7 Megan’s Mountain Laurel. You can be the judge of the two. (Please do not tell me if it looks bad as it is going in anyway!)
I decided to use both appliqué and machine piecing for this block.
By appliquéing the darker red on top of the cream, I was able to lock the seams together neatly on the outside of the star, or circle, or whatever it is.
As always, I struggled with the eight-point centre. If there is a trick to doing these well and avoiding all the bulk, I would love to know it. Please tell!
J10 Chieko’s Calla Lily
Lucky last! I already had 169 squares, but I had cut out the pieces for this one way back in June and wanted to make it as it is so pretty. I was procrastinating as it looked a bit fiddly, but it was easier than I thought.
I have no special tip for this block. I am just posting it as I like it so much.
If there is one thing I have learned so far from this quilt it is that I am much better at appliqué than I am at piecing.
This leaves me speechless . The perfection here is unmatched.
Really? My sewing group ribs me about being a crazy perfectionist, but I thought they were just teasing! 🙂
No, they weren’t teasing, these are perfect!
Wowza! Simply amazing . . .How kind of you to share your self-taught piecing tricks and save others the pain. I can’t wait to see it assembled. It’ll be a masterpiece.
The cool thing about the Dear Jane quilt is that I don’t think anyone can do it without sharing and swapping ideas with others. It is a lovely big community of quilters – locally and in blogland – helping each other out. Online, I found Aunt Reen’s 13 Months of Jane (site now closed), That Quilt (thatquilt.blogspot.com) and the Dear Jane website (www.dearjane.com) the most helpful.
I don’t think I have the talent or the patience for a Dear Jane journey, but I have enjoyed sharing yours. If I ever decide to give it a go, I’ll know where to look! Your precision is a thing of wonder and a goal to aspire to.
The key is patience and perseverance more than talent, I think, but thank you!
I am not a Janiac but I know dedication and perfection when I see it! Stunning Carla! Did you see the article in a recent Quiltmania magazine about these Dear Jane quilts? I will try to find it if you like?!
Thanks! I missed it, but I am sure someone here has a copy or I can borrow it from the WAQA library. What issue was it?
OK, it’s official, you are the most patient, fastidious, perfectionist person I even vaguely know. There’s no way on earth I’d start a project like this, I simply don’t have the patience, and in any case, it’s not really my thing. But I’m lost in admiration that you have, and do, and will continue to until this epic is completed.
Or I am just plain nuts to have started it! 🙂
What a work of love and dedication. Each square will be so meaningful because you took so much care to make it look beautiful in its own right, and as part of the whole. This quilt is certainly a work of art!
Thanks. When I’m finished, I think I’ll just be gobsmacked that I managed it!
This is beyond fabulous. I can not believe how many blocks you have done. So very very very impressive and the finished quilt is AMAZING.
It is far from finished. I still have more than 50 triangles and corner bits to do, and then I need to quilt it, probably by hand. Have I mentioned that I don’t really know how to hand quilt? I like to set myself challenges.
Hand quilting is the perfect way to finish this beauty…and worth the effort I think. Good luck with it and I look forward to seeing your progress updates through out 2014.
Wow, these are all amazing! Well done on finishing the blocks, they are all beautiful, both the applique and the pieced ones. And thanks for posting all the pics and info, as always, very helpful to the rest of us Janiacs out here.
I hope they help. I don’t post every block as many are straightforward (tiny but straightforward); I try to share only what I think others might find helpful.
Yes, they certainly do help, as long as I can overlook the perfection and accept that mine are not going to look like this!
Remember the Dear Jane mantra: finished is better than perfect!
I’m in the middle of my own Dear Jane and I’m REALLY happy I found this post!
The middle, eh? Then you are through the worst of it! I found by the middle I was feeling braver, even when I knew I had saved the tricky ones until later. No matter how daunting a block looked, I kept telling myself, ‘If someone else has made this block before me, it must be possible.’
Now I am working on the triangles and missing those pesky little squares.
On C7, those diamonds are pieced so perfectly. Can you explain how you applique them to get them square, with good points, and placed perfectly?
Hi Ann! Have you had a look at my appliqué post? The link to it is found on the tips and tutorials page, which is listed in the top menu. I think it might answer some of your questions, but feel free to ask me again for further clarification if it does not.
I’m hoping that by the time I get to J10 (I’m doing the quilt in order) my applique skills will have improved and my block will look as perfect as yours! So perfect for such a difficult block. When I think of my struggles with A03 which only has one circle and J10 looks like A03 on steroids!
I think you are brave doing them in order. (Creo que usted es valiente para coserlos en secuencia. Testing my dodgy Spanish!) I just sewed whichever I felt confident enough to tackle each day. I started on the easy ones and gradually made more difficult blocks. You will notice I did J10 much later on!
Pingback: Mice Attack – UK City Crafter
Wonderful! So intereting to read how you changed your blocks. I’ve learned a lot from that. I’ve recently started altering DJ as well and I did the same with a-11.