Dear Jane!

(photo courtesy Linda at Quilts in the Barn blog – used with permission)
Have you ever had a dream – perhaps nightmare – where your shortcomings were right out in the open for all to see?  That’s what I felt like when I saw the photo above on the Quilts in the Barn blog.  Row after row after row of completed Dear Jane quilts.
I started my quilt just before the year 2000.  I kept thinking the turn of the millennium was just a year or two ago until someone referred to it as “last decade.”  Wow, it’s been about 14 years since I started my quilt.  I’ve made 29 blocks which, by my count, is an average of about 2 per year.  So, time to get cracking and work on my two for this year!
I’ve been saving this fabric for this block pretty much since I started the quilt.  When I first saw the picture in the book I thought it was just about the ugliest fabric I’d ever seen.  It’s grown on me and I have nearly a yard saved up just in case I want to make a few dozen more these blocks.

So, block A-13 is complete – hand pieced. I’ve completed 30 Dear Jane blocks now.  There are a few hundred quilters in Europe and Australia who crossed that mark a l-o-n-g time ago.

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  1. Gorgeous hand pieced block!
    It's all about the joy and the journey. One day you will look back at this quilt and all the fond memories attached to it.

  2. Make it at YOUR pace, not theirs. Some people rush thru things, but, never get the enjoyment out of them. Better to go slowly and enjoy the process, than to just crank them out, and not let them touch your heart. I'm sure Jane let every block touch her heart.

  3. Don't stress Taryn, I have only made about 15 blocks and mistakenly used some of my background for a another quilt before I realised it was for Dear Jane – I think time for me to give up and just make a mini quilt!!!!

  4. I'd have to say it's time to move on. Personally, seeing so many of them in one place loses the whole effect for me. I think I even love mine a little less after seeing all of them hanging.

  5. heh.. I just saw a couple of Dear Jane quilts at a quilt show in Santa Rosa last weekend – one of which was aptly named "At least I did it!" I commend you – anyone – for taking on this quilt. Its far beyond my ambition, heck I consider The Farmers Wife a challenge!

    Anyway.. I love your star block, and the fabric makes it look quite celestial. You're brave to show the back. Nice job!

  6. I admire anyone who starts a Dear Jane quilt, even if it takes forever to finish. Two blocks per year is a good beginning. I'd love to start one, but I just don't have the patience to do it. I bought the Farmers Wife book, but still haven't started that one. Love looking at the pictures though.

  7. Great that the display inspired you to continue! Some quilts happen in their own time, just ask my log cabin that took 15 years for no reason 🙂

  8. Don't worry, there are a few who have been making for as long as you, but aren't anywhere near 30 blocks yet….in fact they haven't even reached double figures yet!! Who, me??!!

  9. Love that line: "is an average of about 2 per year" …. not to worry, I have projects worse than that timewise and not nearly as difficult (nor as beautiful) as this one. Beautiful block you made, that should get you back into the swing of things!

  10. And then there are those of us who bought the book shortly after it came out and have yet to make a single block. Two a year? I'd say you are sprinting toward the finish line! : )

  11. I have 16 blocks made and that's all there will ever be for me. there's enough DJ quilts in the world that I can happily put it behind me and get on with my appliqué. Do you really want to continue?

  12. Don't be too hard on yourself, Taryn. I bet those other quilters didn't work on any other quilts while they were working to finish their Dear Jane blocks. I mean, how could they, with the blocks taking so long to finish and there being so many of them? And how long did it take Jane to finish the original quilt? Besides that, when you're old and immobile (which we hope is never!) you'll have time to sit and hand stitch all those beautiful blocks. And the last thought is this: by taking years to complete the blocks you can prolong the pleasure of working on them and really celebrate when the quilt is finished. I'll celebrate with you!

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