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.
All 169 blocks – and one spare – have been sewn, and half of the triangles are cut out.
They are in no particular order, just randomly placed on my design wall.
I did not like L10 Nan’s Naiad, so I made another small block to replace it.
I made this block in place of L10 Nan’s Naiad.
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.
I made this churn dash block after my third unsuccessful attempt at G9 Mary’s Journey.
I made this four T quilt block as a ‘spare’.
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:
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.
Dear Jane A11 Pebble’s Protest
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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!
I used the same ‘cheating’ method on both A12 Framed Fancy and C8 Hani’s Crown. I foundation pieced from the centre out, pausing to appliqué the circled triangles.
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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.
Dear Jane B6 Wild Goose Chase
I started by tracing the block onto paper to use for foundation piecing. I crossed out the centre section, which I made separately. Later, I will appliqué the oversized square in the centre.
Start foundation paper piecing on the lines I have sewn in this photo. (Note how I redrew the centre slightly so it became a square with neat points.)
Here, I have trimmed the cream fabric to a thread or two less than half an inch, folded it under in half and pressed. (You can also see how I use misshapen scraps when foundation piecing.)
I repeated this step with the other two sides. To trim, I drew a line at half an inch and then used small scissors to cut a thread or two’s width inside the line.
When the centre looks like this, start adding other pieces (like the two outermost cream pieces), continuing to foundation piece from the inside out.
Initially, I thought I could piece everything but the centre in one, but I was wrong. The corner units need to be foundation pieced separately.
When you have made the corner units, sew them on. I tend to keep the paper on for stability.
Here, I have also trimmed the centre square.
When the corners are in place, add the borders. I made mine oversized so I could trim them neatly for an accurate finish.
Tear away the foundation paper and appliqué the centre square behind the main part of the block. Press and trim the block to size. Then, you are done!
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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!)
Dear Jane M11 Rickshaw
Dear Jane C7 Megan’s Mountain Laurel
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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!
Dear Jane F2 Kaleidoscope
Trace the pattern onto freezer paper, cut it out and iron the paper templates onto the back of the fabric, paying attention to grain direction. Leave generous buffers on the outside pieces (the ones that look like twin triangles) and trim other seam allowances to ¼ inch. Trace around the freezer paper with pencil to mark the seam lines in case the freezer paper falls off. Note how I cut these two triangles as one unit, not as two pieces.
I did not use freezer paper on the four corner triangles. I just cut them generously.
Appliqué the pieces in pairs as shown, with the dark fabric on top of the light. You will have to clip four points.
Remove the freezer paper and machine sew the pieces in pairs, carefully matching the seams and inside points, and then sew two pairs together.
Machine sew the two halves together. (Cursing while trying to make the centre align is optional.)
Measure and mark the placement of the outside triangles, and machine sew them on. Trim away excess fabric, and you have finished it!
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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.
Dear Jane J10 Chieko’s Calla Lily
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.