Another 4 Dear Jane blocks and some hand sewing…

…is what I’ve been doing in the way of quilting lately. This batch of four Dear Jane blocks took a little longer than the last four but they are now finished and I am pleased with the way they turned out. When I started this project more than 12 years ago I wasn’t working full-time and had much more time to practice my craft. Some of the blocks were challenging but I didn’t have any doubt I could tackle them all.

The last seven years haven’t provided as much time to practice and when I pulled this project back out I didn’t know how or where to start. Fortunately, I am finding that quilting is a little like going back to roller skating. You are rusty, fall down a lot but eventually it starts to come back and you start gliding along. This week’s blocks were a little more challenging but I didn’t have any real disasters and only had to recut part of B-10 (below).

B-10 (hand pieced, used 1/8″ seams for tiny middle part)
This group involved a mix of techniques including machine piecing, hand piecing and hand applique. Notice there wasn’t any paper piecing? I am currently choosing blocks I can do without even thinking about paper piecing them. Once burned and all that…

G-1 (hand pieced, curves and all!)
On G-1 I attempted hand piecing curves for the first time ever. I am going to avoid those for a bit, as well. After the first one I kind of figured out a system and they did lay flat when finished. But it was dicey.
K-9 (rotary cut and machine pieced)
This was my easy block of the set. I rotary cut all the pieces and sewed them on the machine. Whipped that puppy up in about 30 minutes.

My favorite time of day is turning out to be when I climb into bed at night and get comfortable propped up on pillows with one under my knees and my hand sewing on my lap. I keep little prepared pieces that are parts of my now FOUR hand piecing projects in my little green sandwich box and am ready to stitch anywhere and anytime. In addition to the hand sewing, I have my iPad and earphones and both seasons of Downton Abbey to watch while stitching. Is that a little slice of heaven or what?!

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  1. Taryn, I'm so behind in blog gazing and took a minute to catch up. I love your little blocks, especially the one using my fabric, wink, wink!. They are all precious. DJ and DA, great combination, love, love Downton Abbey.

  2. Your blocks look great Taryn. I have to redo my G13 as I had trouble with the applique bits. Love the Lemoyne star and the tumbling blocks. Your planning is inspirational!

  3. Great blocks Taryn, I really don't know how once you've climbed into bed you even stay awake let alone sew and watch Downton Abbey.

  4. Wow…where to start…I think G-1 and G-13 are my favorite out of this set. G-13 is just so funky and I love that fabric (in my stash as well). Did you piece the curves on G-1 or hand applique the curvy parts on? Either way, the result is perfect!

    I am also loving the hand piecing projects…the star and the tumbling blocks. It's very satisfying to watch those finished blocks slowly blossom, isn't it? I'm impatiently awaiting season 3 of Downton Abbey…

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  5. I had to study that first block for a long time. I really like it and admire the workmanship. When you can blow up a block that big and have it still look good – you aren't rusty at all.

  6. I especially like your first block on this post–so charming…lovely work. DJ looks daunting to me somehow; at this age, I'm not even buying "green bananas" LOL Julierose

  7. Your DJ blocks look amazing–so precise and lay flat and everything! : )
    This makes me want to get started. I bought the book way back when and then got intimidated. You prove that bit by bit it can happen!

  8. I loved Downton Abbey and cannot wait for the next season! I am impressed with G-1. I am not brave enough to even attempt curved piecing. Your tumblers and LeMoyne Star blocks are to die for.

  9. Boy, I really love your DJ blocks and love the cheddars!

    Love your LeMoyne star blocks and those wonderful tumbling blocks. Your fabric choices are awesome.

  10. A couple of those DJ blocks look a bit challenging for machine sewing.
    I pulled out a plastic bin from under the guest bed just this morning that has tumbling blocks in it that I hand pieced and parts for lots more. I thought I had given the project away as I did not know where it was. It went back under the bed but maybe I will remember that is there.

  11. I couldn't agree more. I thoroughly enjoyed Downton Abbey and don't forget to get the Christmas Special which follows series 2. When I am propped up with pillows in bed and hand stitching I usually listed to an audio book for our local library. Take care.

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