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Thread: Oh, Dear Jane!

  1. #1
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    Several years ago, when I began quilting, I thought...once I am better at this, I will try that Dear Jane quilt! Well, I am better, although I wonder if I am really ready for this project!

    Nonetheless, I went ahead and bought the software, and pre-ordered most of the soon-to-be-released Dear Jane II fabric line. I thought that line could guide my colour choices (for my first and possibly last DJ, I thought I would largely copy the original, just pushing the colour range away from the browns and rusts and into misty blues and purples.).

    I browsed through some of the DJ threads already here and find I need more concentrated advice...forgive a noob!

    Before I start, I thought I would ask around for advice from Dear Jane veterans on how to approach the project.

    Which brings me to my first question:
    1. What is a good way to approach the fabric acquisition?
    (I read on this list that a good design approach to use is to work from the centre of the quilt out to keep the colours harmonized...makes good sense to me! I will start with H-7, Bennington Star, as I have been working hard on my HST skills lately!!...and I love yellow and white...)

    2. What do you recommend as the sashing/background fabric?
    I ordered Kona "Snow" but can change that if it does not work best with the DJ2 fabrics.

    3. The software calls for 16 yards of the sashing/background...is that for the front only or is that for front AND backing??

    4. I have seen white on white prints used as that background/sashing fabric...does that work better than a plain solid?

    5. What was your very favourite fabric that you used in your DJ quilt?

    Past those immediate questions, I would welcome any advice of the "wish
    I had known THAT when I started/wish I had done THAT when I started"
    variety!

    Thanks so much for any help or advice.

    Regards,
    Janet

  2. #2
    Super Member michelehuston's Avatar
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    I will anxiously be awaiting responses to this post! I bought the book and templates, and just keep staring at them! Thank you for thinking of all these questions!

  3. #3
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    If you go to Block of the Month/Week Section there is lots of info about Dear Jane.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I got my backing, sashing and inbetween tris, plus scallops all from 15 yards. I used Kona Natural for all of that.
    As for colour schemes, I deviated a lot, and did a trip round the world format using batiks, hence I called it Jane, Past and Present. I used a wide Kona for the backing (from Hancocks of Paducah)

    However, I stuck to the schedule that the BOM thread here used, so I had a diagram in a folder, coloured in to represent my various fabrics, in order to keep track of which fabric was needed for each block in the schedule as we got to it. I made the whole thing in less than 7 months, including hand quilting it.

    Jane, Past and Present
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  5. #5
    Senior Member NDQuilts's Avatar
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    Leslie

    The fact that you did DJ in so little time really astounds me. What a feat!

    Re fabric acquisition

    I colored in my quilt using the software and estimated a 6" square for each block. So for that has been good. I went overboard on ordering my background and will use the excess as backing. My color choice was centered round a Robyn Pandolph line - think spring country cottage.

    Kinda sad to see the sewalong winding up. My quilt has been in time out for a few years due to life circumstances. I was thinking about pulling it out again. We could hold hands and get through this. I'm only twenty block in and am handpiecing.

  6. #6
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    Check out http://thatquilt.blogspot.com for a blog that specializes in this quilt. Her old posts show each pattern and give photos and hints on construction. Well worth the visit.

  7. #7
    Super Member judy363905's Avatar
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    Plan on enjoying your journey. Do not get in a hurry. I did the one block and one triangle a week... this kept me going. I did this from the Dear Jane site.... It was fun. the bow and tow was posted Sunday night (as I remember) and you reported by Saturday if you completed them. With your software you can copy your completed blocks and triangles and keep them on your computer. I also counted the pieces I plan to include this on the corner block. You are lucky to have the new fabrics to start with. I did follow the color placement. Oh, now I must confess.... I and 225 blocks, 52 triangles and 4 corners neatly in containers with the name and piece count along with the copy of the block. I am now retired and plan to begin cutting the sashing, curved pieces for triangles and alternate triangles. I began my journey February 2, 2008 and finished piecing March 8, 2009. I plan to hand quilt when she is put together. Oh, I also used Kona natural for my background. Enjoy your journey :D
    Judy in Phoenix, AZ

    PS I forgot to say that I used a different fabric for every blocks, triangle and corner. I was in swaps for fat eights and that sure helped with aquiring lots of fabrics...these swaps were on the Dear Jane site.

  8. #8
    Senior Member katybob's Avatar
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    I've made about 20 blocks, too. I'm using civil war fabrics and muslin, although I'm kind of regretting making that choice. So much of the civil war fabric is drab and a little depressing -- but I've started it and I'm plowing ahead! I really recommend getting the software as well as the book. The lessons gave me a lot of confidence. And I don't think I could do it without the "thatquilt" blog! But I'd love to join a group that's just starting and depend on the kindness of Lacelady, Klue, Sandpat, and the other active members of the Dear Jane thread when we need help!

  9. #9
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    I've not finished mine, but I had a ton of scraps and I'm going with a scrappy look. I'm not doing any particular color scheme. The only same fabric that I'm using is for the background fabric. Every block and triangle I've done so far has had a different fabric. For most of the blocks, I've found that a 6"-8" square of fabric is all I need.

  10. #10
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    I have a bunch of Kona "Snow", which is kind of between white and natural...I will see how it works with the DJ2 fabrics when they arrive and will change if I have to.

    I considered a subtle white on white but most of those are either too light or too dark for what I want, and I was worried the design on the background would fight the fabrics and the quilting.

    I loved the photos of a Kaffe Fasset fabric based DJ at Green Fairy Quilts:
    http://greenfairyquilts.blogspot.com...dear-jane.html

    Regards,
    Janet
    who is now learning to appliqué and foundation piece!!!

  11. #11
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    Lesley, your quilt is awesome.

  12. #12
    Kas
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    Holy moley! 16 yards? How big is this thing? That is an aweful lot of fabric.

  13. #13
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    That is a beautiful quilt, but it frighten me to death. Can't wait to see what others say. I am nowhere that good to challenge this.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Darlene loves Chocolates's Avatar
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    oh Dear Jane....

    why....oh why...is there no movie about you?

    why....oh why...do they keep you a secret?

    All over the world!

    There are Dear Jane Quilts with memories of today and yesterday.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kas
    Holy moley! 16 yards? How big is this thing? That is an aweful lot of fabric.
    Too true. I ran the yardage estimator in the EQ Dear Jane software and am finding it hard to believe that the top alone takes 16 yards of sashing/background fabric. Surely that is impossible!?!

    And yet, in the Newbie Info on Brenda Papadakis' Dear Jane site, she says:

    How much background do I need?

    In the book , I suggest 5 yards for the entire quilt. This is an error on my part. If you are hand-piecing, you will need about 8 yards. If you are machine piecing, I recommend about 15 yards. However, if you are foundation piecing, you will need about twenty. This information had been graciously provided by those who have made the top.


    Things that make you go hmmm,
    Janet

  16. #16
    Super Member DottyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetana3
    Check out http://thatquilt.blogspot.com for a blog that specializes in this quilt. Her old posts show each pattern and give photos and hints on construction. Well worth the visit.
    This is a brilliant site to learn a lot from. Anina has worked very hard to put all the tutorials on.
    I am doing my DJ in Christmas material (Click on my link below to open it up if you would like to see my progress) I have just finished my 100th block !! I have no particular scheme, just random and using different backgrounds with a seasonal theme.
    I have no idea about amounts to buy - I just buy a yard of material for backgrounds when I see fabric that will work and I have lots of FQ of Christmas fabric.
    Good luck with your journey.

  17. #17
    Senior Member NDQuilts's Avatar
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    Re background fabric quantity: these estimates are good. With this quilt the pieces are small with some having more fabric on the underside in seam allowance than what shows on the top. The method used also effects the quantity. With hand piecing, since one sews seams "on the line" seam allowances can be scant. Keeping a 1/4" is not as critical as sewing on the seam line. To the other extreme foundation piecing uses larger chunks and then cuts to size producing waste. Over a quilt with so many individual pieces the differences add up.

  18. #18
    Super Member jillaine's Avatar
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    DottyD, your piecing is exquisite. had you already lots of paper piecing experience when you started DJ? I have never paper-pieced and this is what is keeping me from starting my own DJ (that and I haven't figured out what color/fabric approach to take).

    -- jillaine

  19. #19
    Super Member yolanda's Avatar
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    my friend made a stunning dear jane using all kaffe fabrics... she recommends ordering all the solid fabric at once because the lots can be a little different.... she used kona snow also

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine
    I have never paper-pieced and this is what is keeping me from starting my own DJ (that and I haven't figured out what color/fabric approach to take).

    -- jillaine
    I wonder if we should choose one representative block suitable for paper piecing (and learning paper piecing) and I will do a little photo-blog of tackling the construction as a noob paper piecer?

    From the DJ site:
    Suggested pieced blocks to start with: M-10, A-6, A-8, B-13, D-13 Applique blocks to start with: D-3, C-9, B-1, E-10 (the background is pieced, but this is a good place to start practicing your "melons").

    What block would you experienced DJaner's recommend?


    Regards,
    Janet

  21. #21
    Senior Member katybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WesternWilson
    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine
    I have never paper-pieced and this is what is keeping me from starting my own DJ (that and I haven't figured out what color/fabric approach to take).

    -- jillaine
    I wonder if we should choose one representative block suitable for paper piecing (and learning paper piecing) and I will do a little photo-blog of tackling the construction as a noob paper piecer?

    From the DJ site:
    Suggested pieced blocks to start with: M-10, A-6, A-8, B-13, D-13 Applique blocks to start with: D-3, C-9, B-1, E-10 (the background is pieced, but this is a good place to start practicing your "melons").

    What block would you experienced DJaner's recommend?


    Regards,
    Janet
    H-7 is a good one. And A-2 or A-5 (But I'm far from experienced!)

  22. #22
    Super Member DottyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jillaine
    DottyD, your piecing is exquisite. had you already lots of paper piecing experience when you started DJ? I have never paper-pieced and this is what is keeping me from starting my own DJ (that and I haven't figured out what color/fabric approach to take).

    -- jillaine
    Thank you so much for your kind reply, I had not done much PP before Dear Jane and avoid it if there is another way to do that particular block !!!!!. Sometimes though, you just have to - I had done some PP in a class I took - with bigger pieces of fabric - but my little grey cells find the "mirror imaging " difficult on some of the blocks i.e F8 Church Window. The outside border has to be turned !! But, as with most methods, practice makes it better. I only asked on here the other day about applique, and how to get sharp points on melon shapes, and got some really helpful replies.
    Thanks again and I hope you soon decide on colours and start you journey, you really will be glad you did !!

  23. #23
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    Brenda Papadakis is teaching a week long class at the Empty Spools seminars in CA next year.

  24. #24
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    I attended an Empty Spools this year. I hope Brenda Papadakis does what some instructors do, which is close the class to repeat attendees. The seminar I took was great, but filled with "groupies" who were taking the class for second and third times. It made things crowded and tough on beginners.

    I am working my way through a first attempt at paper piecing using the "sew along the paper fold" method used by Judy Mathieson (there was a Quilt Show episode in Season 7 (707??) featuring her method and it looked sensible. Might help with the "reverse and upside down" thing that I also do not do well.

    Gosh, that DJ posted above...beautiful!!!

  25. #25
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    Ok, I have finished my first Dear Jane block!

    I made it in a black and white floral print (by Mary Englebreit, "Attitude Girls" below) and Kona "Snow". I thought that would show up mistakes better, and now it strikes me how lovely a black and white Dear Jane would be.... ;-)

    I used Judy Mathieson's paper piecing method where you fold the freezer paper back and sew beside the paper fold (that way you do not have to rip the paper off the finished sewing lines after as you do not sew through the paper).

    Verdict...pretty darned nice (lousy phone shot below)! I did bury three of the four points just by a hair, likely sewing too close to the paper fold; I will make it again (relaxed this time) and see if that fixes things.

    Regards,
    Janet

    Attitude Girls
    Name:  Attachment-211441.jpe
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    C-5 First Dear Jane block
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Size:  40.8 KB

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