Quilts  :  Dear Jane


I've been moving pretty slow on my quilt projects, thanks in part to tax season.  I just finished the center of the quilt and pictures do not do it justice.  There's a lot of drama in the center and I really love how the quilt is coming together.   I'm so excited to add the calico fabric borders as they come next.  They measure 10 inches by 49 inches.  Once they've all been added to the center, I will go back and mitre them in the corners.


Center row number 4 is now finished.   It didn't take very long as most of the piecing in these blocks included straight forward seams;  I just love how Sun Bonnet Sue is centered in this row...she's just so cute!  Now if I could find a Raggedy Ann doll that was a cute a Sue, I'd be a happy camper.


I finished center row number 3 today, but not without making a big mistake.  I typically forget to sew right sides together, and sometimes stitch a block in the wrong place altogether, but this time I trimmed my block to the finished size of 4.5 inches, thereby cutting my quarter-inch seam allowance completely off!   My options were to either piece strips back onto the block, thus giving me the finished width plus seam alllowance, or to put this block aside and use a different block in its place.   I opted for plan B, whereby I substitued this block with the only other applique block not being used in a "special" spot on the quilt.  The flame block was substitued in and is now front and center, where I wanted it all along.  This isn't exactly my mom's first choice for this block but she was supportive in the decision.  I think possibly this mistake happened for a reason.


Happy New year!!  I now have the second center row pieced together.  It looks great and I can't wait to join it with row number one.  I'm going to wait until all of the center rows are finished before joining them with the sashing rows.


Here I have finished piecing the first row of center blocks.  Note, this row is acutally shown upside-down.  You can see the exact layout of these block here.  After piecing this row I decided to do a little cleanup work on the back. That is, I trimmed the seam allowances so that they were graduated.  This will help the blocks lay flatter, and while quilting.


After a slight delay (of a few years), I started working on my Dear Jane Quilt.  That is, my Mustard and Black Amish Center Diamond Quilt is now finished, and so is Tristan's Nine- Patch Baby Quilt.  I thought to myself, "Now what?"  Well rather than start a whole new project, I decided my unfinished Dear Jane Quilt looked interesting.  I left-off (years ago) with the blocks completed and a layout chosen (seen here on the right).  It is based on a quilt called "In Time of Friendship" by Linda Franz.

After looking at it again I decided the layout needed a little tweaking.   I started flipping through the pages of my Dear Jane book and came across an inspiration by Brenda Papadakis called Eaton's Crossroads.  I instantly liked this layout for several reasons. First, the blocks themselves stand-out quite a bit more.  Also, this layout lends itself to hand-quilting, which at this point I'm sure I want to do.  It also has a small amount of applique work, which I'm in the mood for right now.  Anyway, here's a mock-up of the new proposed layout for my Dear Jane quilt.

I've started piecing the blocks together and now how three of the center blocks joined!  If you'd like to see some of my finished Dear Jane Blocks in the proposed layout, click here.

A little background...

I started my Dear Jane quilt after discovering the wonderful "In Time of Friendship" quilt by Linda Franz. While searching the internet for ideas on hand-pieced quilts, I came across her site and was immediately drawn to the quilt. That is, until I saw "Quilted Diamonds", the quilt (and book) also by Linda.

blame Jane

I share my passion for Jane Austin books and quilting with my mother. Together we "blame Jane" for our obsession with all things Jane, including the desire to watch Pride and Prejudice on a weekly basis. It seems only fitting that we should find others like Linda who not only share our passions, but who feel compelled to combine the two.

a fusion of disciplines

Armed with the hand-piecing techniques described in Quilted Diamonds (which I recently purchased at the Road to California quilt show in January of 2004) and those I learned from Hand-Piecing Basics by Candy Goff, I set out to create my own Dear Jane quilt. Since this was my first large quilt, I decided not to attempt "Diamonds"; though I would be using many of the blocks. I will also be including some additional blocks which are favorites of mine.

starting out

Much to the dismay of the sales ladies at my local quilt store, I combined a light calico and dark batik fabric for my quilt. They suggested many alternatives, but I preferred my combination best. The process of making a block always begins with my reproducing it in digital format using AutoCAD. Not only does this give me a computer backup, but I can print with an accuracy of .0001. I think it's important that each step in piecing a block be as accurate as possible; starting with the block itself. For this reason, I choose not to use a copier.

take a gander (or even a goose)

So take a look around and don't forget to check out my work below. If you like what you see, then contact me. I'd love to talk with you about quilting. Be sure to check out Candy Goff's fabulous work here, and a special thanks to Linda Franz for giving us Quilted Diamonds.