Nature in the Dear Jane sampler quilt.

Dear Jane quilt in the sun
Dear Jane quilt in the sun. There was such a lovely sunshine that day.

Spring is finally coming again! That means sun, warmth, new growth and going outside without freezing. To honour the coming spring here is an update of all the nature blocks of the Dear Jane sampler quilt I’ve finished so far. In the link, you find the introduction of the Dear Jane quilt. I took out some of my finished blocks to celebrate the nice weather with a photoshoot. The photo above is made on the dyke near the floodplains of the river Rhine in the Netherlands. I like to walk there when the weather is nice.

Dear Jane block E-4: Buffalo Treehopper

The first block is called after this insect:

Buffalo Treehopper
The Buffalo Treehopper

Looking at the block itself, that description is very apt:

Block E-4 of the Dear Jane quilt: The Buffalo Treehopper
Block E-4 of the Dear Jane quilt: The Buffalo Treehopper

This is such a cute little block with its little legs. The design is simple, but very effective.This is one of my favourites blocks so far. A design with few pieces can tell so much. The technique used for this block is patchwork and it also has some Y-seams. A Y-seam is where three pieces of fabric meet, and the seams form the shape of a Y. In this block that is visible at the back and front of the body, and where the legs meet the body.  A Y-seam is not as difficult as it looks when you use pins. To make a Y-seam you fold fabrics double to give yourself room to sew the last seam. I do love this technique because it always feels like magic. it is wonderful to see that when the fabric is folded open a piece of fabric is inserted between two other pieces.

Dear Jane block M-1: Dogwood Days

A thing I learned from the Dear Jane quilt: dogwood is the name of a shrubbery kind of plant species with flowers and berries. I googled the species, and it has lovely flowers!

Flowers of a Dogwood plant

And again the finished block makes perfectly clear why it is named that way:

Dear Jane quilt block M-1: Dogwood Days
Dear Jane quilt block M-1: Dogwood Days

This block is made with a combination of foundation piecing and patchwork. This was an experiment because I was not sure how the two techniques would work together. With foundation piecing an extra layer is added to the fabrics making it thicker. It turned out that the extra fabric did not intervene with the end result of this block. This is a great discovery, because a lot of Dear Jane blocks are a lot easier to make by combining the two techniques. Foundation piecing is often the best technique to use when a pattern has a lot of small pieces. I used that for the centre, which especially helped for accuracy. For the outside, it made more sense to do it with the patchwork technique. The two borders are a log cabin pattern, where you sew strips of paper around a centre square. In this block, I experimented by using foundation piecing and patchwork together.

Dear Jane block J-8: Justin’s corner

Another Y-seam block! I love the pattern of this one because all the pieces slowly evolve into a flower while you are sewing. In this block, I am also really happy with the colour combination. The green and purple work very well together. This block is made with a combination of patchwork and Y-seams. First, you sew two purple pieces together. After that, you sew one side of a green piece. Next, you fold the green and purple fabric over to be able to sew the other side of the green fabric. Pinning the ends makes this go right automatically. You continue this process in a circle until the whole block is completed.

Block J-8: Justin's corner
Dear Jane quilt block J-8: Justin’s corner

Dear Jane block B-8: Water Lily

It always seems to be the case that the technique one is least comfortable with one dislikes the most. For me, that’s definitely applique at this point. This block is done with needle turn applique, where you sew the fabric pieces on top of the background fabric. While you sew on the pieces you fold under the seams. This takes a lot of deftness, which I do not have yet. In this way, my Dear Jane is a very good motivation to practice techniques I would otherwise avoid. Besides the technique, I luckily liked the layout of this blog, which gave me enough motivation to finish it in the end.

Block B-8: Water Lilly
Dear Jane quilt block B-8: Water Lilly

So that’s it for this post. In the introduction post of this quilt sampler, you can read more about this project and the pieces that are finished so far. I hope you enjoy reading about my Dear Jane journey. Feel free to leave a comment when you want to know more or encourage me!

Buffalo Treehopper in the sun
My Buffalo Treehopper also wanted to enjoy the sunshine

See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: 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.


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