The Dear Jane quilt: a hand quilting sampler

The Dear Jane quilt is a sampler quilt that consists of a total of 225 different blocks: I know right, lots! This does allow the Dear Jane quilt to use a lot of different techniques, which makes it very suitable as a sampler quilt. A sampler consists of a lot of different blocks, allowing the quilters to show of their skills. The Dear Jane uses round shapes, patchwork, applique and reverse applique to mention a few. The pieces are very tiny and most blocks very complex, so the Dear Jane is generally considered to be a remarkable achievement when a quilter finishes it. This makes it a very good quilt to practise one’s skills, and to proof to other people one has the skills.

Jane Stickle's Dear Jane
The original quilt made by Jane Stickle

The Dear Jane gets her name from Jane Stickle who made the original quilt. Another lady named Brenda Papadakis saw a photo of the original in a magazine and became fascinated by it. She decided to work out how to make the quilt for herself. Many events later this led to fame for the Dear Jane and many many quilters embarking on the Dear Jane journey every year just like me. The picture above is of the original Dear Jane quilt.

For me, this quilt is going to be a master test for my hand sewing skills and a way to get familiar with as many techniques as possible. My dream is to sell my quilts and patterns later on in life, and my Dear Jane will become an important proof of expertise. Additionally, it is vital to practise a skill such as hand-sewing to familiarise your hands with the movements in order to make them instinctive. When you sew a lot the movements become ingrained into your brain making them a part of who you are, which I believe will improve my quilting. Also, practically speaking, putting hours into your craft helps to improve it as well.

pattern background colours
Arrangement background colours

 As a colour scheme, I decided to go for only solid fabrics, which are fabrics without motif and of one colour. This is very different from the fabrics I normally use so it will be interesting to see how this turns out. Traditionally Dear Jane blocks consist of two different fabrics: a background colour and another one, which I decided to stick to for mine. For the background, I use four colours: red, green, yellow and blue, which I plan to order as visible in the picture above.

Schema 28-07-2018 Dear Jane quilt finishes

The picture above shows the design of the Dear Jane. All the coloured in blocks are finished. This is a great way for me to keep track of what I’ve finished. Also, it motivates to see a design like this slowly fill in. This picture will be updated when more blocks are finished. In later blogposts, I will talk about all the blocks that are finished and my experiences while making them. I’ll link to those blogposts below. You can also look at my DeviantArt account for the quickest updates on my Dear Jane process, because I usually post sooner there than here. At this point, I’ve finished five blocks and really love making my own Dear Jane so far. I am learning a lot, and my fingers are already slowly learning the sewing movements.

Finished pieces:

A-1A-3A-8A-9A-10A-11A-13
B-1B-2B,3B-4, B-8B-12
C-1, C-3C-4C-11C-12
D-4D-6D-8D-10D-12
E-1, E-2E-4
F-7
G-6G-8
H-8
I-4
J-4J-5J-12J-13
K-5K-13
L-2, L-3L-4L-5L-7
M-1M-3M-8M-9M-10M-12

More Dear Jane stories:

Design and colour choices of the quilt

Quilting techniques used

Quilting patterns used in the Dear Jane quilt

 

 

 

 

 

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See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: bella.g.bear.art) for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blogpost every Sunday or Monday.

 

10 comments

  1. Ahhhh. Yes, I remember this now from a quilting book that I read! (a novel) have you ever read the “elm city quilting” books by Jennifer Chiaverini? They’re books about a quilting camp run by a group of women. I read one of them that my dad gave me (it was book 12 or 13 in the series, lol! But it was actually still pretty good!) I feel like you might like them! 😄

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    1. oh thanks for the tip! I’ll look it up. A quilt camp sounds like an awesome place to be. Do you quilt as well by any chance?

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    2. I have found and read some of the books now! They are really lovely, but somehow also the kind of books I am a bit ashamed to like. Maybe because they are so lovelydovey and fluffy :-P. Still have read 3 of them now and I am on the look-out for the other parts.

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  2. Making dear Jane with solid colors is awesome. After making a few D J blocks, I find it difficult (different) to make a 12” block. Do you find that to be true? We have finished about the same number of blocks.

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    1. I totally missed this post! I’m sorry, December was hectic. What fabrics are you using?

      My blocks are smaller anyhow because something strange happened when I printed the blocks. I printed the book and use that as a template. I also really carefully drew the sashing so whenever I attach those it is a time where I can re-size any block that doesn’t fit. I have to admit that my quilting techniques are seldom very precise. I thrive on improvisation and on the spot adjustmenst :-D. Hope you workd a lot on this quilt in the meantime, I haven’t at all… Still have to find my way back to this project since I’m back in the Netherlands again.

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