Saturday, 24 January 2015

Dear Jane

Some times you wonder what you have started! In my case, I have been doing shows with the Dear Jane Quilt book and every time I look at it I think "one day...." well now that day has arrived, and it's all my own fault!

With the regular Saturday sampler class at Bee Crafty coming to an end I thought what a great excuse to make the quilt it would be if I taught it. Not the whole 225 patterns, but a simplified version. Now I am addicted! 60 blocks in and I struggle to work on anything else because I just want to get going.
I have posted some of my progress on my Facebook page and lots of people seem fascinated with this particular quilt.  It has to be my most popular posting so far!

So I thought I would post my progress here and answer some of the more common questions.

After I have taught the blocks in my workshop I will post my instructions here as well so it would be worth checking back.

So here is the first Q&A session.
Q. How big are the blocks?
A. Trim your blocks to to 5 inches, the block will eventually be 4 1/2 inches square and you need to have a1/4 inch seam allowance all the way round.

Q. Do the templates in the Dear Jane book include seam allowances?
A. No. They are drafted from the finished 4 1/2 inch block.

Q. How do I add the seam allowance?
A. For some blocks, it is just a matter of adding 1/4 inch to the outside edges. For other techniques like foundation piecing you need to add a seam allowance to each section, and for piecing it needs to be added to each piece. I will cover this when I get to those sections.

Q. I have bought the book but don't know where to start. Can you help?
A. I know it can be daunting but don't worry. The best place to start is with a couple of the 9 patch blocks:
A -6 Uncle Homer
M- 10 Made Simple
M 12 - Hop Scotch
J 6 Granny Weaver
J7 Chicken tracks.
 These use squares, and some of the smaller squares can be made up as strips and cut shorter.
Then if you like applique you can try these melon shaped variations - I stitched mine by hand
A7, E1 & E2

Q. Where will I find the instructions that aren't in the book?
A. The quilt is so big that all the instructions wouldn't fit in one book! You can find more information on www.dearjane.com or just keep coming back here!

This is the original and world famous Dear Jane quilt, hand pieced and completed by Jane A Stickle in 1863.

These are some of my finished blocks on my design wall. I have just completed block number 62! So still a couple more to go!

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A few quilts

I thought I would take the opportunity to post a few pictures of some of the quilts I have made over the last year. As you may know I have been appearing on Create & Craft TV channel as a guest quilt demonstrator since last august, and I have now done over 100 hours of live tv. This has necessitated the creation of quite a few quilts!

The following quilts have all been created using EZ Acrylic rulers from Simplicity and I have enjoyed them all. Sometimes it has been a bit stressful with just a couple of days notice - these people don't seem to appreciate that I have a full time job :) however, I am happy with all of them!

Dresden Plate
This one was the perfect opportunity to use some of my much loved Japanese style fabric. I love it!

Easy Angle Acrylic
This ruler takes the maths out of half square triangles, and I  used it to create My Half Square Triangle Sampler - all 12 blocks use the same 8 HST and 1 square, but they are all different layouts.


Twinkle Star Acrylic and Easy Heart Acrylic
The twinkle star was for the blocks and the easy heart was for the applique and marking the free motion quilting shapes inside the blocks. Huge fun!



EZ Petal Ruler
This is so bright and summery, and perfect for my spare bed where it is destined to go between classes!