Saturday, February 12, 2011

P.S. Dear Jane

For all you non-quilters, "Dear Jane" is a quilt book with a beautiful quilt made by Jane Stickle, in 1863. It has 225 blocks, 4 1/2" square, plus a bunch of border triangles. It is apparently going to more challenging then I thought it would be. I have lots of vintage fabric to use, which is perfect for this project, although the original was done with civil war fabrics. It has become a quilting phenomenon, as people try to make all the blocks, groups and clubs have formed to try to make this quilt. I finally got hold of a copy of the book, but alas, it did not come with the CD of templates and patterns to print out. So my drafting is accurate, but I think it was my seam allowance that screwed up the first few blocks I tried. We'll see if I have the stamina to keep going. I tend to get distracted with new projects, but I do come back to "in progress" items and spend time on them too. As long as I am working on finishing something, I don't count it as wasted time, to spend the weekend on an old project and still not get it finished. I am making progress, and I do finish my UFO(unfinshed objects) projects eventually. My New Years Resolution is always to finish several old projects, and to finish any smaller new projects I start, this has done me well in the past years to get a lot of things finished. That's why I don't like to commit to doing anything for other people any more, as I have plenty of my own things to do!!!!!

Dear Jane!

Dear Jane, Are you certifiably crazy, making all those little tiny blocks? I tried several and they all came out too big. I measured accurately, my piece sizes were correct, and my seam allowance was 1/4", so how come the blocks are a half inch too big? That's a lot of difference when you start with such small pieces to begin with. I tried to be a perfectionist, I really did! Most of my points matched, and I trimmed tails, and squared up each section too. I used my collection of vintage fabrics from 1920-1930's and matching solids from the same era. I might have to use some muslin too, but I thought I'd try it with the colored solids first, but contrast is a problem. Everything is so pastel to start with, I had to reverse several blocks with the print and solids to get enough contrast. They look good, but I sure don't want to have to redo them to the correct size. Even if I make two blocks each week, it will take two years to do them all, and I doubt I'll keep up that pace. So this is a long term project, that may get done some day. Like my 1" strips "Log Cabin" blocks, it's almost done, but it has taken me 30 years of quilting and scrap collecting to get this far. But I do have lots of vintage fabrics I would like to use up some day. I put a little "ducky" print in the center of the circle on the A-3 block, cute! It is frustrating to start out with a problem like this, I think I will have to increase my seam allowance just a hair, to get it right, and probably have to redo the blocks right.