Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Block K11 Columbine

Dear Jane Quilt - Block K11 Columbine
Dear Jane Quilt - Block K11 Columbine
Here is Dear Jane block K11 Columbine enjoying the Rhone wine region in France on our recent holiday.  As I said before plenty of stitching got done on our trip and now I am back am struggling to find time to get down to as much Dear Jane sewing.

Dear Jane Quilt - Block K11 Columbine
Dear Jane Quilt - Block K11 Columbine
 Draw 32 is a series of Dear Jane star blocks, though this one not so pointy.

Techniques: English Paper Piecing
Pieces: 25 pieces

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Draw 32 - D8, G8, K11, K13 - featuring the Butterfly Quilt


Wash Day - Butterfly Quilt
Wash Day - Butterfly Quilt
Despite the predicted rain, this Bank Holiday weekend has turned out quite pleasant.  An ideal day to get a large quilt washed and dried.  This is my Butterfly Quilt.  This is the first epic quilt I ever hand stitched and hand quilted and is the quilt which is on the bed for most of the winter.  The details can be found in one of my early posts.
Dear Jane Quilt - Draw 31 - Border Triangles LR6, LR8, RR6, RR8
Dear Jane Quilt - Draw 31 - Border Triangles LR6, LR8, RR6, RR8
It is Slow Stitching Sunday over at Kathy's Quilts.  I am still working on the Nearly Insane quilt on my long arm machine.  If 'slow' means not going fast enough, then yes, I am doing slow stitching. Like Kathy I have a chart marking off my progress and I am enjoying crossing each square off.

So this post is a bit of past, present and future.  An old quit, one approaching a finish once quilted and the ongoing development of the Dear Jane blocks which will one day be a completed quilt.  Draw 32 is back to square Dear Jane blocks, but we are sticking with Yellow.

Draw 32
D8 - Dee Dee's Delight
G8 - Justin's Comet
K11 - Columbine
K13 - Brandon's Star

This draw will be in Yellow
 

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block RR6 Tumbling Blocks

Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block RR6 Tumbling Blocks
Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block RR6 Tumbling Blocks
A lot of excitement was generated by the mention of the Nearly Insane quilt yesterday. I am working on it constantly over the next few days as I need to get it finished.  Already my head is working out how I will quilt the Dear Jane and I have a host of other projects I want to do.  I guess I have moved on from Nearly Insane, but a quilt is not a quilt until it is quilted.

Meanwhile the construction of the Dear Jane quilt continues. Dear Jane border triangle, RR6 Tumbling Blocks is not your regular 'tumbling blocks', but it seems anything goes with this quilt.

Techniques: Applique and English Paper Piecing
Pieces: 17 pieces

Friday, 27 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block LR6 Suzie Q

Suzi the cat
Suzi the cat
Today is the start of a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK. Rain is predicted.  Suzi the cat is pleased as it is an opportunity for her to look adorable and for me to be around to give her more attention.  I have a long weekend on my long arm quilting machine ahead of me and regular followers will be interested to know that I have finally started quilting my Nearly Insane quilt. 
Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block LR6 Suzie Q
Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block LR6 Suzie Q
As for Dear Jane - I had such a good run stitching blocks on holiday that I have tried to keep up the pace on my return.  So far, so good, but I can see that same old chestnut arising - not enough time in the day.  So here is the Dear Jane block LR6 Suzie Q.  Lots of triangles and an appliqued melon.

Have a great weekend!

Techniques: Applique and English Paper Piecing
Pieces: 25 pieces

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block LR8 Northern Lights


Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block LR8 Northern Lights
Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block LR8 Northern Lights
This is the Dear Jane block LR8 Northern Lights, otherwise known as Frances' Folly.  

Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block LR8 Northern Lights
Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block LR8 Northern Lights
 When I was cutting it out I spent a bit of time trying to work out how I was going to construct it.  The picture above shows the English paper piecing I did and then the remainder of the block was done using applique, including the 'neutral' triangle.  After waxing lyrical about my sudden love of applique, I realised after battling with those itty bitty triangles that there is an minimum size which is suitable for applique.  I think they took as long to do as the rest of the block!  When you struggle like this you start to wonder if the block actually needs the triangles and it is at this point that you ask yourself - why am I slavishly following the pattern, especially when the final result is not the most attractive of blocks?

Techniques: Applique and English Paper Piecing
Pieces: 17 pieces


 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block RR8 Love Forever

Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block RR8 Love Forever
Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block RR8 Love Forever
There are several hearts within the Dear Jane quilt and this is the border triangle block, RR8 Love Forever.  I stitched this one on the journey to a wedding, so quite appropriate.  I will say that I am very pleased how my appliqued hearts turned out.

Techniques: Applique
Pieces: 6 pieces


Monday, 23 May 2016

Holiday time, French Quilting and Malvern Quilt Show 2016

I have been away on holiday in France for the past few weeks enjoying the simple pleasures of life, which they do so well over there.  We went off in our campervan and managed to travel from Brittany down to the South of France and back again.  Plenty of time for Dear Jane stitching which I will update you on in due course.
French patisserie in Puy en Velay
French patisserie in Puy en Velay
We take in the sites and enjoy driving on the quiet French roads.  The most challenging part of each day is choosing which cake to have for tea.  You will find the delights of French patisserie in every town and village, which in the UK you would be hard pushed to find in all but the top London restaurants.  So I made the most of it. 
 
Fabric purchases - May 2016

On the other hand quilt shops in France are less prolific. On this trip I found two really good ones.  'Martine Tissus' in Issoire - this little shop in the middle of France has probably been going many years as it had a really good selection of old and new prints.  If you were looking for something special, it would be there somewhere.  The other was Tissus Amethyste in Valance.  This is a huge shop selling all type of fabrics, but at the back there was a very large and pleasing selection of patchwork fabric.  How do I find these shops?  I have downloaded the Satnav app from the Cosman website which will 'take me to the nearest quilt shop!'

Tips for patchwork fabric shopping in France. 
- Check the shop exists, they tend to come and go a bit in France
- Check the opening times before you make a special trip
- Many shops do not accept credit cards, so have plenty of Euros in your purse.

Magic Patch Quilts Japan
Magic Patch Quilts Japan
I also take time to seek out French quilt magazines.  My favourite is 'Magic Patch Quilts Japan', which I have never seen sold anywhere besides France.  Each time the magazine focusses on one type of quilt, this time it was Drunkard's Path (le chemin de l'ivrogne') and usually the quality of the work and the projects are better than any I see in any other magazine.  Truly inspirational.

'Dear Jenny' by Jenny Williams, Pembrokeshire
'Dear Jenny' by Jenny Williams, Pembrokeshire
So after a pleasant trip across the channel, I got home just in time to visit the Quilts UK Malvern 2016 show where I managed to seek out a few Dear Jane quilt variations. Firstly this red, black and white quilt made by Jenny Williams which is a combination of 'Dear Jane' and personal blocks set in an Irish Chain design.  Jenny had quilted it beautifully on her domestic machine and deservedly won a few rosettes.
'Nearly But Not Quite' by Patricia Storey, Shropshire Dear Jane Quilt
'Nearly But Not Quite' by Patricia Storey, Shropshire

The next one is 'Nearly But Not Quite' by Patricia Storey.  Patricia managed 100 blocks to make her Dear Jane wall hanging in blues, purples, reds and greens.  Once you are on the Dear Jane journey it is lovely to see other quilts and spot the blocks you have done.

I also found out that if you are interested in starting the Dear Jane quilt as part of a group in the UK, The Patchwork Basket in Newent has just started their second Dear Jane Club on Saturdays twice a month.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Draw 31 - Border Triangles LR6, LR8, RR6, RR8

Dear Jane Quilt - Draw 30 - A10, J1, J5, J11
Dear Jane Quilt - Draw 30 - A10, J1, J5, J11
These blue Dear Jane blocks from Draw 30 seem to go together nicely.  I am starting to long to put these quilt blocks together, but I just don't have enough yet to get that moving.  Considering that the next draw is more triangles, I suspect the borders will be going together sooner rather than later.

Draw 31
LR6 - Suzie Q
LR8 - Northern Lights
RR6 - Tumbling Blocks
RR8 - Love Forever

These border triangles will be in YELLOW.
 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Block A10 Which Points West


Dear Jane Quilt - Block A10 Which Points West
Dear Jane Quilt - Block A10 Which Points West
Do you recognise this block? This is A10 Which Points West and is remarkable similar to J5 John Jacob's Windmill which I showed you in my last post, but with an extra appliqued melon in the middle.  I guess Jane Stickle liked this one a lot.

Techniques: English Paper Piecing and Applique
Pieces: 14 pieces

Monday, 16 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Block J5 John Jacob's Windmill

Dear Jane Quilt - Block J5 John Jacob's Windmill
Dear Jane Quilt - Block J5 John Jacob's Windmill
Presenting Dear Jane block J5 John Jacob's Windmill.  I am enjoying working with the Kim Diehl blue fabrics.

When I post these blocks on my blog I think nothing of the fact that the photo shows the tacking stitches are still in place holding the papers behind.  It might be months before they are removed.

Techniques: English Paper Piecing
Pieces:  13 pieces

 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

French Boutis

Boutis panel 17" x 17"
Boutis Manon panel 17" x 17"
My Doll swap partner, Heather has a blog where she shares her interest in the French quilting technique, boutis.  It reminded me of a boutis project I did several years ago which I have resurrected to show you here.
Boutis panel  - detail
Boutis Manon panel  - detail
I bought it as a kit from a French stand at the Festival of Quilts, Birmingham and they had all the boutis bits and pieces including this pre-printed panel.  I haven't seen them at the show lately but you can still get hold of the kits in France at www.boutis.com . I have just been over there and started drooling over the other kits they have - they are SO beautiful.
 
To get the effect of boutis you stitch just two pieces of fine white batiste cotton together with no wadding or stuffing in it.  With the kit I was able to follow the lines on the pre-printed panel and after a lot of hand stitching you end up with a piece of fabric with a lot of stitching on it.  But then the magic happens.  Using a stiletto or cocktail stick and the special soft white boutis cotton, you start stuffing the pockets of stitching and suddenly the work you have done comes alive.  Once stuffed you give it a wash and the pure whiteness of it really looks beautiful

Boutis panel  - detail
Boutis panel  - detail
In the photo above I am holding the piece up to the window where you can see the pattern, but it really shows that the quilt is stuffed rather than quilted as three layers.  It is a beautiful effect, but for practical use maybe a bit lumpy and a bit heavy.  Saying that it is one of the pieces I have made which I seem to constantly have out around the home.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Block J11 Twin Sister

Dear Jane Quilt - Block J11 Twin Sister
Dear Jane Quilt - Block J11 Twin Sister
This Dear Jane block, J11 Twin Sister, is totally applilque.  I think I am starting to like applique.  Obviously the size and shape of the piece will influence your feelings about it and these were just about right.

Techniques: Applique
Pieces: 6 pieces

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Block J1 Joseph's Jonquil

Dear Jane Quilt - Block J1 Joseph's Jonquil
Dear Jane Quilt - Block J1 Joseph's Jonquil
This is Dear Jane block Josepha's Jonquil, J1.  Jonquil is a word I am familiar with but not one which I really knew what it meant.  A quick check on Wikipedia says JONQUIL is a shade of yellow, the shade of yellow which you will find on the Jonquil flower, which is very similar to a Daffodil.  So looking at the shape of this block that all makes sense. 

It is just that I did mine in blue.

Dear Jane Quilt - Block J1 Joseph's Jonquil
Dear Jane Quilt - Block J1 Joseph's Jonquil
I did this appliqued Dear Jane quilt block whilst travelling on a car journey.  Here you see me with a teatowel on my lap holding all the bits and pieces.  Yes, I am still able to thread silk thread through a needle whilst we move along and I am enjoying this whilst this is still the case.  Early on in the project the applique was proving so mind-blowing that I needed to be stationary and be giving it 101% concentration.  So from this I am pleased to say that my applique skills and applique confidence are improving thanks to the Dear Jane quilt.

Techniques: Applique
Pieces:  6 pieces


 

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - the Halfway Edition!

Dear Jane Quilt - the Halfway Edition! Frances Meredith
Dear Jane Quilt - the Halfway Edition!
As promised here is the latest update on my Dear Jane quilt progress.  I haven't pulled out the blocks since the last update in February and it is like meeting up with old friends.
Dear Jane Quilt - the Halfway Edition! Frances Meredith
Dear Jane Quilt - the Halfway Edition!
I don't lay them out in their correct order because it is so incomplete, but the Electric Quilt image below gives an idea of how it is going to go together.  The eagle eyed will notice that their placement is not the same as the original Jane Stickle quilt either.  That is the plan.
Dear Jane Quilt - the Halfway Edition! Electric Quilt Software
Dear Jane Quilt - the Halfway Edition! Electric Quilt Software
The white blanks are slowly filling up and some of the lines are nearly complete - it's just like playing BINGO! If you pop back to the post in October 2015 you can really see the progress I have made in the last six months. On the sidebar you can see this image updated regularly, but I like to capture a snapshot in these progress posts for a sense of progression.

Dear Jane Quilt - the Halfway Edition!
Dear Jane Quilt - the Halfway Edition!
From the pretty piles of blocks above and the statistics in the table below you can see that I have yet to do a PURPLE block, which will hopefully pull the final colour scheme together.  You can also see that I have added those little extras to the data below - the sashing, the cornerstones and the alternate triangles.  It all has to be done and then I have to think about putting it together and removing those tiny bits of paper.


Blocks

Triangle

Red

13/29


4/8


Purple


0/12


0/8


Blue


12/20


4/8


Green


8/28


4/8


Yellow


16/36


4/12


Orange


40/44


8/12


TOTAL


89/169 (52%)


16/56 (42%)
Sashing
17/312
(5%)
Cornerstones
28/144
(20%)
Triangles
5/56
(8%)

I have spotted other bloggers out there working steadily at their Dear Jane quilt. UKCityCrafter is building up a lovely collection of Dear Jane blocks in blue and white, the contrast is going to be stunning when it is put together. 

Friday, 6 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Draw 30 - A10, J1, J5, J11

Dear Jane Quilt - Draw 29 - Border Triangles TR6, TR8, BR6, BR8
Dear Jane Quilt - Draw 29 - Border Triangles TR6, TR8, BR6, BR8
Here are some more Dear Jane border triangles. Sometimes I feel that these Dear Jane block posts can be a bit repetitive and only hope that they fall into your regular routine, in a reassuring way, as they do mine.
 
Personally, I like to document the projects I am doing and with a blog I find it easier to refer back to them easily. However, I have definitely noticed that it is quieter in blogland over the past year.  It appears that lots of bloggers have migrated to Instagram and Pinterest.  Over the past four years of writing my blog I have accumulated 266 Followers and I know from my stats that there are certain posts which people all over the world refer to on a daily basis.  Saying that, without really doing very much I have now reached 293 Followers on Pinterest.  I am not sure what all this means, but I hope you enjoy you visits and thank you for all your encouraging comments - that includes you Jocelyn.
 
Back to business ...

Draw 30
A10 - Which Points West
J1 - Joseph's Jonquil
J5 - John Jacob's Windmill
J11 - Twin Sister

This Draw will be in BLUE.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block BR6 Frank's Ric Rac

Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block  Frank's Ric Rac
Dear Jane Quilt - Border Triangle Block  BR6 Frank's Ric Rac
This is the final Dear Jane border triangle for this Draw, BR6 Frank's Ric Rac. 

BTW The 'code' for the edge triangles is different in the book versus the software.  I don't know if there is a wrong or a right, and frankly neither are of any use to me,  I just keep looking until I find the one I want.

Not the most straightforward block. The tiny pointy triangle at the top of the ric rac needed a bit of a fiddle to make it fall into place properly, but sometimes when you are working so closely to something I think the problems get blown out of proportion.

Onwards and upwards.

Techniques: English Paper Piecing
Pieces: 26 pieces