When I first got interested in quilting, one quilt that just blew me away was the Dear Jane quilt. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can learn about the original and it’s following here: http://www.dearjane.com/
On the Dear Jane website, I saw that they were doing a block of the week where a block from the quilt was posted and participants would make that block and post a picture when they finished it. That struck me as a great idea and a great way to get started and keep going on making the blocks. They also had a chat group that discussed the blocks and gave advice on how to put them together.
My sister had given me the Dear Jane software so I could print out templates any size which encouraged me even more, but I was intimidated by the small blocks and smaller pieces required to make them, so my first attempt was to make them larger. I decided to make 12″ blocks and made enough of them to make a quilt for my son, Christopher. His favorite color is blue. I started it in May of 2004 and finished January 2005. Here it is:
After that, I thought I was ready for the little blocks, but it took me a while to think up a color scheme. Eventually I decided to go with primary and secondary colors and make a rainbow out of the blocks in a trip-around-the-world layout. I love scrappy quilts with a little order to them and this idea fit the bill.
So on January 21, 2005 I started making blocks according to the dearjane.com block of the week and kept up pretty well for a while. They started a triangle of the week too, to work on the triangles that made up the border, and I started making triangles too.
I printed out all the journal pages from the CD and set up a three ring binder so I could record my Dear Jane journey and stored the finished blocks in vinly pockets in the binder. Then I put it away for a few months. And took it out and made a few more blocks, and put it away again. Then we moved to Chattanooga and it sat on a shelf for a couple years.
Last year (or maybe the year before that) I went through all my ufo’s and made a list so I would know what needed done. As you can imagine, that was a bit overwhelming as I ended up with over 80 unfinished or not even started projects that were stacked here and there taking up room in my studio and cluttering my mind.
I looked over the Jane blocks and realized that even though I enjoyed working on them, I probably never would make them all, and even if I did, the difference in quality of the beginning ones and the eventual fininshed ones would be so great that I would want to make the early ones over again. That seemed unlikely.
I put the blocks up on the design wall and moved them around till I found a pleasing layout. I ended up making one more triangle for the border. Then I added the sashing and put all the blocks together and started quilting it. Then I put it away for a while.
Well guess who turned up for my July UFO challenge at Chattanooga Quilt Guild? I finally got her quilted and bound.
OK, so she is not as glorious as the original quilt, but I am happy with it. As I was quilting, I was not sure I liked it at all anymore, but by the time I got the binding on I loved it again.
It finished at around 28″ square. I may put a hanging sleeve on it and put it on a wall somewhere, or perhaps it would make a cute table cover. For now though, I lay ot over a chair or just throw it down on the carpet and when the cats notice it they crawl under it for a nap. They think it is just the right size.