Sunday, January 20, 2013

An Old Passion Awakened

   Our weather has sure been fickle this week. Cold with 3" snow on the ground the first of the week, jacket weather and snow melted on Friday, no-coat weather Saturday, and today...cold and 2" fresh snow! I'm really not a fan of cold and/or snow. The only time I enjoy it is when I don't have to leave home and can spend the time creating in my sewing room. What can I say? I live in IOWA!

   Sometime before Thanksgiving, my friend, Jane, asked me if I would consider getting together on a regular basis to work on Dear Jane quilts. She knew I had worked on it in the past and she wanted to begin a DJ herself. I agreed and we decided to begin after the first of the year. She came to my house last Saturday and we jumped in. I had a 50 block head start on her, but she was enthusiastic and determined to catch up when she could. I was embarrassed to see that my blocks had all been made in 2007! I can't believe I've let it sit idle for that long, but the proof is in my own writing. In my DJ book, I penciled in the date of completion by each block. Enough dilly dallying now, I'm determined to begin anew. The old passion for a Dear Jane quilt has been awakened. I'm in love with her again. I made 5 blocks this week, 3 of which I took pictures of and will share.

The three together...


A-10... (don't look too closely to my not- so- great- applique)

    Dear Jane is very challenging and not for the faint of heart. I have the book and the software and it is still very intimidating to work on these 4 1/2" (finished) blocks. Jane Stickles was either a very gifted seamstress or a raving lunatic (maybe both) to have created this much loved and imitated sampler quilt. I consider it a "rite of passage" quilt and decided if I was ever going to make this quilt before I die, I'd better get started now. I'm sure it will take years to complete. The thought of those triangular pieced border blocks has me quaking in my boots (or at present, bedroom slippers.) Working on this with a friend will be inspirational. Jane and I will need all the help we can get. She didn't work this week and got 8 blocks done!!! Way to go, Jane! She is sewing her DJ all in William Morris fabrics, very much her trademark look. I've mentioned before, she lived abroad for years and all her quilts have an "English" look to them. Mine, of course, will all be Civil War reproduction fabrics.

   Yesterday was Breakfast Club at Inspirations. The owner, Nancy Lackender, announced that her shop will be featured in the upcoming issue of  Quilt Sampler magazine!!! I'm not surprised as her shop has become a favorite for quilters in about a 200 mile radius of the tiny town of Hills, Iowa. Be sure to get a copy, out May 1st, to see why it's featured.

   Here's Nancy telling the Breakfast Clubbers the exciting news...

   Here are a few quilts shown at show 'n' tell... a sampler by Sandy...
   Sandy's finished Farmer's Wife...

    Hunter's Star, which will be an offered class next month...

    I took two little quilts I made over Christmas break to show...

    Christmas 4-Patch, 16" x 21 1/2"...
     I used a Christmas toile I only had a yard of for the backing. I signed the back with a new Pigma pen labeled (BR). It looks like calligraphy without even trying. I love it.

  This is my Civil War Square in a Square, 12 1/2" x 12 1/2", quilted and bound...


 I love the gray patriotic block...

   After getting home from Hills, I had to hurry to Dallas City, IL to take my Mom to Carthage for her prescription before the pharmacy closed at 2 PM. I think I set a new record for the time it takes to get from MP to Carthage via Dc, a 75 mile trip. We got there with 20 minutes to spare. Randy's mother lives in Carthage so Mom and I visited with her while there. Several years ago Mom Wright bought one raffle ticket with a dollar she borrowed from a granddaughter, for the HCHC Auxiliary quilt. I made a quilt annually for years before the government told the auxiliary that to continue the raffle, they'd have to pay for a gambling license. They no longer hold the raffle, a shame since it raised money for nursing scholarships. I was surprised when they asked me to pull a ticket and I drew her name. It was the last time I agreed to be the one to draw the winning ticket. I had drawn a good friend's name the year before! I didn't want people to think it was "rigged." Here's a picture I took yesterday of the quilt on her bed. (If you're familiar with my patterns, you may see the center of this medallion quilt resembles my Freedom Road pattern.) She told me her oldest daughter had given her new red sheets for Christmas that matched the quilt perfectly. Mom W lives in a very nice Senior Citizen Apartment Complex and loves it. She is 88 years old and still drives and enjoys life.

   Well, I don't want to miss Downton Abbey, so I'd better wrap this post up. I hope you are all enjoying life too, no matter what your age. And keep stitching!



  1. Love the 2" SIAS quilt, so cute....took your advice and went to Davenport, enjoyed the display plus they had additional quilts from local guild. Thanks to your blog as I had forgotten about the exhibit and knew I didn't want to miss it.
    I think I need to join you sometime at Hills, sounds like so much fun. Keep plugging away at DJ and before you know it you will have a stack of blocks.

  2. Your DJ blocks look great! And so do all the quilts you showed. Do you have the same luck with lottery numbers?? lol

  3. I just love your CW Square in a Square, wonderful mosaic of fabrics, you did a great job with all those tiny pieces. Good for you to get back into your DJ blocks, I have collected fabric for that for years but have yet to dive in, some of those applique blocks scare me to death LOL!!!!!

  4. Congrat's on going back to your Dear Jane. Mine has been untouched for way too long, and I feel guilty about it now and then. Maybe I'll follow your lead.
    Yup -- it's Iowa. How low will it go? We have forecast of -12 degrees tonight, wind chill in the -30 to -40 range. Ouch!!!
    I'm amazed by your Square in a Square. Just 2" blocks? That's a lot of patience. What's the length of a side of the center squares? I bet it could officially be called itty bitty.
    I finally started watching Downton Abby at beginning of this season. I was seeing so many shows about the manors, how the estates are run, the staff, the actors, highlights of the other 2 seasons. I started watching Season 3 and I'm hooked. I look forward to seeing what comes out of Maggie Smith's mouth. She gets the best lines :)

  5. I think I worked on my Dear Jane for 10 years off and on before I actually completed all the blocks/tris and put it together. It is still sitting here basted, laying on a quilt rack waiting for me to either decide to try hand quilting it (which I'm not good at), or send it out to a long arm quilter. We used to sew once a month here at a library to work on our Janes back when Brenda P. lived here in Indianapolis. I have a block in my quilt that I was struggling with, and she sat there one evening and made it for me. I have never watched Downton Abbey but guess I need to check it out. I love your little quilts, too!

  6. You have introduced me to the Dear Jane quilt. I will have to go and research more on this intriguing quilt. Your blocks are beautiful and as a novice - not sure I am ready for such a challenge yet - but definitely something to look forward to feeling confident enough to go for it.

    Can't wait to see more of your beautiful work.

    Your newest follower!