What a Journey!

My “Dear Jane” piecing battle is over! The top is stitched together, sandwiched and machine stitched in the ditch. I’m now going to hand quilt each 4” block and the border by hand, using simple quilt designs.

My journey started by purchasing the “Dear Jane” book by Brenda Mangues Papadakis, 2009 and soon to follow the Electric Quilt Company “Dear Jane” software, googling the net I found a blog called “That Quilt” by Brenda Papadakis, using these three sources of information, my journey started.

I want my quilt to be as close to original as possible, so some of the fabrics are reproductions from the era, many are not, they are all a 100% cotton and prewashed! All the fabric for the quilt was kept separate from my normal stash. This also helped as I’m not a prewash quilter.

My methods of piecing of the blocks were either using the paper piece method and all the appliqué block were done by hand using the freezer paper method, assisted by Glue-Baste-it by Roxanne, I don’t enjoy hand work so gluing down each seam and appliqué piece before sewing it down made my life so much easier! My machine sewing thread was Master Piece #502 3,000 yards # 151, Canvas by Superior threads, using a number 70/10 machine needle. The machine quilting was done with the same thread. All my hand appliqué was done by Silk thread, #100 by YLI, colour 242 using hand appliqué needles.

I decided to make each row starting with row A1 end with A13 sew it together adding the sashing then moving to the next row, sewing the rows together as I was going! I would choose each piece of fabric for each block in that row, spray starch and press piece each piece of fabric before I started sewing the row. The border was started with the top row sewing in a clockwise manner until all four borders were done and I sewed each border to the main quilt as I went. Each block was pressed and squared off before sewing it together.

I NEVER sewed the next block before the block before was finished, even if it had to be hand appliquéd! I found this method helped me to keep track as it took me so long to make this quilt!

The “Dear Jane” quilt maker was born Jane A. Blakely on April 8, 1817 in Vermont she married a Walter A. Stickle 1850 and lived her married life in Shaftsbury. We know that she finished The Quilt in 1863, during the American Civil War. Jane passed away on March 2, 1896 at the age of seventy-nine. She is buried with her brother and his family in the Shaftsbury Cemetery. The original “Dear Jane” quilt is on display at Bennington Museum in Vermont, United States

The American Civil War, also known as the War Between the States, or simply the Civil War in the United States, was a war fought from 1861 to 1865. Leading up to the American Civil War, quilts were made to raise funds to support the abolitionist movement. Then during the war, quilts were made to raise funds for the war effort and to give warmth and comfort to soldiers. The patterns were much like those made mid-century, but the purpose was different. Quilts connected to the abolitionist movement and the Civil War were made for a cause, many representing the relevant flag.

What a ride! What a journey! Will I ever do this again? Don’t know! It’s like giving birth after the first one you say “Never again!” Then two years later you sit with another baby in your lap!

So watch this space!


38 thoughts on “What a Journey!

  1. Congratulations! I’m following a few Dear Janes in progress, and yours is the first I’ve seen finished, so it sets the standard for all the others, and what a standard! It’s beautiful, and I love the background you’ve given about how you made it.

  2. Congratulations- what an accomplishment! I’ve checked this book out take the library several times now and have been tempted to make one for myself but all that applause scares me off.

  3. Hand quilting…good for your!!! I have completed some previously-started quilts and restored some quilts and was always told to hand quilt if that was the way they were started. It can be very time-consuming but well worth it.

  4. What a journey! I like the way you stuck with a block to completion before beginning the next. Now that your blocks are all joined and your quilting has started, you can stand back and be proud of your accomplishment! Well done!

  5. You tackled this a lot more methodically than I did. I grabbed a block and fabric randomly and sewed them together, often having several blocks in various states of completion. Machine stitching in the ditch is a clever way of holding it all together while you quilt the blocks. I hadn’t thought of that!

  6. the story of the original quilt is so beautiful, and your story layered over it makes this quilt extra special. The love and attention to detail, and the courage and effort to stay as true to the original – it’s just wonderful. I’m in love with the colour palette, and the applique work is simply exquisite. Thank you for sharing your journey with us 🙂

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