As Quilters we all have quilts to make on our bucket list. I personally have probably 2 pages of bucket list quilts to make, but I just don't seem to have the time, which is fine. I am happily busy quilting quilts for folks and that is such an honor and joy. I love being able to work from my home and spend the summer with my family. I quilt in the morning and go to the pool after lunch. Not a bad gig.
Well, lets talk about the Dear Jane quilt. The first time I heard about this stunner was in 2006. My husband was deployed to Iraq, I had 3 kids in diapers and I was new to quilting. I was in the obsessive phase of making quilt after quilt. I made them for all my friends and family and I haven't really slowed down since. I was part of a quilt group with my church. At the time I was in my late 20s and the rest of the group was all easily double or triple my age. They knew SOOOO much! I am so blessed to have fallen in with them. The leader of the group was working on this amazing quilt that was made up of a zillion tiny squares and whenever she would bring it to the group all the older ladies would stand around it and murmur words of awe and adulation. It was almost a holy thing. I, not knowing much at all about the whole process and how FREAKING complicated it was, fell in love with this quilt. Judy patiently told me about it and explained what a Block Of the Month was and that there were Online quilt shops that would send me the fabric to make several blocks each month. All I had to do was pay them a little money. I was hooked. As soon as I got the kids down for bed that evening I booted up my computer and signed up for the next Dear Jane BOM which would begin in a couple months. It would be a 24 month project. I was so excited and being newly out of the Army I was such a task oriented lady, I just had no doubt at all that I would easily keep up with the program.
Well, my husband got home from Iraq and we moved to Alice Springs, Australia and the blocks kept coming....and coming and coming! And I got behind. In 10 years I have only made 33 blocks. They really are maddeningly fussy. Especially since I have broken up with precision piecing.
Fast forward 10 years. I am quilting day in and day out. Each quilt fabulous in their own way. I received an email from a client who wanted me to quilt her Dear Jane quilt. All I could think was what a motivated lady she must be to have the intestinal fortitude to power through all the blocks. Susan sent her quilt to me and it was just stunning. I had such a blast quilting this beauty. And now, since I quilted one Dear Jane quilt I figure I had mark it off my bucket list right? Or maybe I should drag the sack of organized BOM blocks in ziplock bags out and get to it.
I knew there would be miles and miles of stitching in the ditch and that alone would probably be fine for this quilt , but I wanted to do a little more...but not too much. I did a great deal of echoing the blocks and some tiny feathers here and there.
I made melons into wee little Welsh leaves.
Tiny corner blocks and pearls were quilted in as well as mini piano key borders.
After I found my stride it was just so fun to quilt this quilt. I didn't rush it and did about 2 and a half rows a day.
The corner diamonds really threw me as to how to quilt them. I had to physically force my self NOT to swirl them. I am trying hard to rein in the swirling.
Susan is going to bind the quilt with a traditional scallop so that will look lovely right beyond the pearls.
I quilted a little bouquet of flowers in the basket, but they are hard to see in this picture.
I had such a good time quilting this quilt. I hope Susan loves it even more now that it is ready to be used.
What a masterpiece. What are you working on? Is a Dear Jane on your bucket list?