Monday, July 7, 2014

Dear Jane ....

Several months ago my friend Paula bought me the book Dear Jane by Brenda Papadakis. This Civil War era quilt was finished in 1863 in the small state of Vermont by Jane Stickley. I'm sure this modest widow had know idea that her hand crafted quilt would be re-created over and over again in the late 20th century. The original quilt is proudly displayed in a small town Vermont museum. 

When I initially received the book, complete with rulers I was so excited. I had wanted to make this quilt for a few years but just didn't feel ready to tackle this beauty. Now, with book in hand I thought it was time. Eagerly I started leafing through the book and it wasn't long before I realized this project was WAY over my head! The book and rulers were tucked away with my other quilt books and soon became a memory.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Once again I was inspired to make my own "Dear Jane" quilt. This time I actually tackled a block ... A-1, "I'm ready if you are."
Much to my dismay I created the block 1/2 inch to small all the way around. Oh boy, I was again in over my head and discouraged. I shared my block story with  a few quilting friends and Sheryl, the owner of Temecula Quilt Co. shared with me the fact that there is a software program designed specifically for the Dear Jane quilt. Woo hoo! 

The morning of July 4th. I am opening my birthday gifts when to door bell rings. It's the mail man with a delivery from Wow, what is this?? I open the shipping box and find a gift wrapped package. By now I'm wondering who sent me a book for my birthday. Oh my, it was more then just a book, it is the Dear Jane software!! And, it's a gift from my long arm quilter, Susie. She was one of the ladies I was grousing about my quilt block frustrations too!

The next day I had the CD loaded and was printing off sewing directions for blocks A1 and A2!!

Oh yes!! My Dear Jane if you can see me I am so proud of myself! Three of these four quilt blocks were not easy but I'm on my way! Only 400 plus blocks to go! This will be a very long haul so don't look for this to be completed any time soon!
Pure Magic .... This book is full of all sorts of magical tips and patterns!!
Here are a few samples of Dear Jane. I love a worn and loved look to my quilts so I plan to use a tea stained background fabric similar to the picture on the left. Pray for me and wish me luck!

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