Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Journey with Jane

 I started my Dear Jane quite a few years ago and was so eager to get started that I even bought the rulers and the CD package as well as the book. My decision was to make it in blues and white/cream/white on cream, reasoning that these are my favourite colour combinations (they were when I started but red and white seem to have taken over in the past few years. lol) and I want to enjoy the journey with Jane. I made 5 blocks! yes that's all as at the time I was overwhelmingly preoccupied with my need to make lots of quilts quickly. The majority of these quilts were donated and once started on this mission of making and donating lots of quilts, it's been difficult to wind it down. After 20 years though, and a health scare, I decided it was time for me to make quilts that I can spend time on and get back to my love of hand applique. I still make a few donation quilts but not in the vast numbers of the past. I want to work on my skills, perfect my machine quilting to a stage at which I am comfortable with free motion quilting large quilts on my domestic sewing machine, and to improve my piecing with more precision.
  I know that my journey with Jane will help me to achieve my goals in quilting; I was so fortunate to spend two days in a workshop with the "Divine Ms Brenda Papadakis" at Quilts in the Barn. Brenda is a delightful story-teller and a meticulous quilter who spent hours tracing the blocks and then presenting them in a form which will enable more of us to join in with the Journey with Dear Jane. Brenda is a very generous lady who shared her knowledge with us as we worked our way through some of the more difficult blocks.
   You can see the 6 blocks I made in the 2 days of classes and I really feel that, thanks to Brenda's help, I have a good chance of finishing this quilt, and even more importantly, of enjoying the process.
 The 5 blocks I'd already made prior to the workshops were- A-1, A-5, A-6, A-7, and J-4. Now I have also made A-8, D-3, E-5, G-3, G-6, and I have almost finished I-5. I am so happy with the centre of my E-5 block that I may not cover the joining points with the appliqued circle on top which will cover them- a nice bit of happenstance!
 Check out the tiny star in the centre of G 6- Papa's Star. I would have been very worried about tackling this one without Brenda's expert help.

I just have one more melon to stitch and I will have finished I-5 Maria's Majesty. I need to get busy prepping blocks while I have the momentum. I feel that the workshops have given me a real kick-start on this journey and I want to get going while I am so motivated and before life intrudes again.
A further benefit of taking Brenda's workshops is that I have learned new skills which I can use when making other quilts. The lovely ladies I met at both of the two day workshops also added to my enjoyment of the process with like-minded ladies. It was lovely to see Ginny again from Colleambly too. Ginny please let me know your email address so we can stay in touch.
  If you get a chance to take a workshop with Ms Brenda, make sure you make the most of the opportunity- you won't be disappointed as you will learn so much as well as have fun.
 I'd better get off the computer and back to stitching. I think I can hear Jane calling me!
Hugs, Jan Mac


Every Stitch said...

Great blocks! You will certainly be an expert at piecing and applique by the end of this project, and how fortunate to have got to the workshop :)

Anonymous said...

Love your blocks Jan and the colours you are using. Your Rising Sun is fantastic, I can see why you want to leave off the centre. Looking forward to seeing more.

margaret said...

these blocks are looking great. I bought the book a couple of years ago, it came with the templates but did not know there was a DVD as well. Have not been able to work out how to do the blocks, was looking at the book again on sunday but it went back on the shelf maybe one day I will be able to tackle it. Would like to do mine in green and white if I ever do it.