Saturday, February 6, 2010

Insane Jane and Me

I saw at my local fabric store that they were going to be teaching a civil war era quilt. I knew my mom had purchased civil war reproduction fabrics with the thought of making a quilt someday. It seemed like a great opportunity to spend some time with her. So I signed us both up. The quilt is generally referred to as Dear Jane. It was weeks later that I looked at the quilt. I pulled it up on the Internet and about fell out of my chair! There are 225 quilt blocks/patterns. No block is the same and no colored fabric in the quilt is repeated. It is beautiful and overwhelming. But here is the kicker. It is hand pieced.
So Friday I spent four hours making one block. When I left class that day I told everyone they were crazy and I hoped I would never see them again.
But I really loved it and I spend tons of time waiting for kids in the car, etc. I always try to have a book or embroidery to help with my lack of patience but this will be so much more fun.
This is the most simple block in the quilt. I love the way it is so perfectly lined up. I even love the back and how all the little seams just knew exactly how to lay down. That woman was a genius I tell you!

Friday really was a great day. I got to spend time with my mom doing something I love, sewing. Then Ron and I went to the Chocolate festival. Downtown Glendale was all lit up and very romantic. We wandered the antique shops, another favorite. Bought some goat milk fudge, yummy. But chickened out and ate at a Mexican restaurant instead of soaking up the atmosphere and eating the street vendor food.
A few nieces spent the night and today I helped Holly and Alexa start a bunk quilt for camp. Alexa is coming with our ward this summer. She is a camp hopper, attending a different cousins camp every year. Holly just wanted to learn to sew, so that will be fun.
Tonight we had our monthly get together with the in-laws. After telling Ron's mom about my class she pulled out the quilt tops her grandmother had made. Amazing! One was grandmothers fan. But the other one was a nine-patch, like mine above but the squares were one inch! Each block was only three inches square! Both of the quilts were hand pieced. Now this makes one wonder, why?! She probably could have used a machine she died in the early 1960's. But this is the same grandmother who's children bought her an electric stove in her old age, and she never used it. She just kept cooking in her wood burning stove. Maybe they were really poor and she could not afford a sewing machine.
Most likely she took a class and some crazy person told her to hand stitch that thing!


  1. so you don't say - are you going to keep making your Dear Jane by hand or not :) I'm making my second one by hand and enjoy it immensely! thanks for stopping by my blog. I bet your m-in-law's mom just plain loved hand piecing. I find it so relaxing and you can take it anywhere with you. It is my preferred way of making a quilt.

  2. We went to the festival Saturday. Dave bought me this chocolate covered cheesecake with nuts on a stick. Can you say "Heaven"?:)

  3. I am trying to make my second block of the Dear Jane by hand but I am struggling with triangles! A little more tricky than just squares.

    I wish I had gotten that cheesecake! Chocolate would cure all of my sewing problems!