In recent weeks, our SQT group has been abuzz with lots of chatter about Jane Stickle's 'Dear Jane' quilt and it's all Kathy's fault.. only kidding lol!!
It all began when one of our members suggested, that rather than making a small quilt (as we have been doing each month), what about we work on finishing a UFO or two, instead?? What a great idea!! If you're anything like me, you'll have at least one (or more) UFO's stuffed in a cupboard somewhere, right??
So, that's when Kathy brought up the subject of her Dear Jane blocks, meaning that was her ongoing UFO... so that was going to be her project for November. What she hadn't counted on, was the huge response from her SQT members. So many of us, are also making Dear Jane quilts. A few have already finished one (or two), while others (like me) have been stretching out their DJ journey over several years. Believe it or not, some are making their second DJ quilt, while others are talking about starting a third DJ quilt.. and i thought i was nuts LOL!!
Well, with all the excitement and discussion about everyone's DJ progress, Kathy in her wisdom, came up with the idea of starting a Small Quilt lovers ~ Dear Jane Group, that is connected to the group, but separate. This was intended for anyone who was keen to make progress with their DJ quilt. In other words, it's a working group and a place where we can share our block progress, hints & shortcuts, and also encourage one another along our DJ journey. Above all, it's a place where kindred spirits can share their personal DJ experiences, and simply have fun along our DJ journey!!
There are already 95 members signed up, including lots of 'newbies' who are very excited about embarking on their Dear Jane journey. Here's a link to our Dear Jane Group if you'd like to join us.
It's been exactly, three years since i made my last DJ block and you know how i know?? i'm keeping a Dear Jane diary, and my last entry was Nov 4, 2010. Two weeks ago, on Nov 4, i pulled out my Dear Jane basket, where i keep all my DJ related stuff, and i had a little play with the 23 blocks i have made since embarking on my Dear Jane journey, back in Jan, 2008... has it really been that long??
So, here's my Dear Jane basket full of ziplock bags, where i keep the plastic templates and the finished blocks...
twenty-three squished little blocks, happy to be set free for a few minutes. The first block i made is L-5 'Chatanooga Charlie'.. it's the purple block in the middle.
in case you're wondering.. i hand sew all my blocks, which in itself is rather time consuming, but equally rewarding.. call me crazy, but i really do love to hand sew.
First, i trace all the shapes onto template plastic with a 1/4" seam allowance, then i trace around each template and mark the seam allowance, in pencil, onto the fabric, prior to cutting out the fabric shapes.
Here are two copies i've made of the blocks diagram. The copy on the left is coloured in a 'Trip Around The World' formation (in keeping with Jane Stickle's quilt). The copy on the right is a record of tiny fabric swatches. So, at a glance i can see which colour to use for the next block, as well as the fabrics i've used in previous blocks... makes it all nice & easy.
Every once in awhile i will prep one or two blocks in advance, so i have the templates at the ready, whenever i feel inclined to make another block. When i started back in 2008 i decided to choose the blocks in random fashion, one per row... and then i made the block next to the finished one.
This past week i made three blocks, and do you think i'm pleased with myself.. you bet!! I can't tell you how good it feels to be back in 'Dear Jane' mode again.
I started off with the centre block.. G-7 'Indianapolis'
those pesky curves were a challenge.. but i won in the end LOL!!
then i made block J-7 'Chicken Tracks'... as easy as it looks, this block actually took longer to make than the previous block.
next block, was K-11 'Columbine'
and it came together in one evening... very happy about that!
so now i've made two blocks in each row... that's 26 blocks in total.
I have prepped my next block, A-13.. top right hand corner.
After i make all the corner blocks, i'm going to tackle (dare i say) a border triangle, or two.. wish me luck!!
Are you wondering what SSS stands for??? It stands for ~Secret Santa Swap~ a fun thing we've decided to do this year, in our SQT group.
I know who my swappee is but she doesn't know that i'm making her a secret 'something' and she won't find out until she receives it, next month. By the same token i don't know who is making a 'secret' something for me.. oh how i love surprises lol!!
anyway, i thought i would share a wee sneak peek of my 'secret' project..
it's coming along nicely and i hope to have it finished, wrapped and mailed by the end of this month... this is ssoo much fun!!