Saturday, September 25, 2010

An update... finally!

I think I promised awhile ago, that I would let everyone see what I've been up to... but I have been distracted. The first trimester of our second pregnancy is nearly at an end, hurrah, and hopefully I will regain some of my enthusiasm for... just about everything! I have been extremely tired and there has been virtually no crafting going on in any form.

However, I have finished the first row squares, and am in the process of sewing them all together. For better or worse, I have decided to sew the whole thing by hand, including all of the borders.

I've been uploading my individual blocks and some triangles to flickr (in fact, Katie caught me out - I did  it a little while ago, with the intention of posting here, but ran out of steam). I still have a few to add, so far I am pretty happy with how things are going. At least two of the blocks from 'A' row had a couple of mistakes (A-2 I turned an arrow the wrong way & A-11 I had a white centre square I had to change over - poo!). So that was a lesson in paying more attention! Onwards, and upwards! Anthea x

Friday, September 17, 2010

needle review...

I'm not sure if anyone will be as interested in this as I was but of all the reviews I have found so far this one seems to cover most of the main hand sewing needle brands... needle review
I am fed up with the clover needles I am using and just received some Roxannes to try only to discover they are even thicker and harder to work with! I know my fabric has a really tight weave but I can never get more than one stitch at a time without pliers to pull the needle through! lol
So I have ordered some piecemakers, as I read a good review elsewhere, but think I will definitely try the Jeana Kimball out.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I am definitely addicted now

Well I have now made my third block in three days. I watched a tutorial on YouTube showing appliqué methods this morning so had to have a go while it was fresh in my mind! I've done E10 and am happy with the result. I'm looking for some more "easy" blocks to try next. Still going with my plan of randomize colours, just choosing what I think will look good for the block out of my dozen or so fabrics.

Block number three

Freezer paper is the way to go! I'm having a go at appliqué tonight... E10.

Block number two

Here's a couple more hours of work! Thanks for the in home tutorial, it all makes sense now.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Don't be too shocked... I've started!

Well after several weeks of procrastination and avoidance I've finally bitten the bullet and started. Don't look too closely at my first piecing, I am kind of happy even though it's far from perfect. I'm learning as I go along and experimenting with different techniques. I am not following an exact plan or layout just a colour pallet in general of tea stained plain and gold / red / brown patterns I'm playing around with. I want to do the whole quilt but will see where I get to! It's square a4 I'm doing first and don't ask me why that is I just started with that one!!!! Two hours to do a third of one square!!!! Full steam ahead now.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Time for a post....

Hi All! Well the blog has been quiet for over a month now, and I guess that means that everyone is flat out busy with life in general, and hopefully finding time to have a bit of fun (and craft) in there somewhere.
I thought that I would give you some inspiration/a laugh and show you where I am at with the DJ blocks... Both my action plan and my method have changed as I have proceeded - typical. I started with A1, which incidentally took several hours, then did the easy blocks as recommended by Anthea. Then I decided that since the amount of fabric required is such an unknown I would do all the blocks of one of my largest colour ways and see how much extra I required - this plan I am sticking to and am in the middle of at present. So I am working my way through all my dark green blocks in whichever order I fancy.

Regarding the method I am doing freezer paper hand piecing with running stitch and initially was placing the freezer paper on the back, this didn't allow for fantastic accuracy though - as you can tell from my photos... The easy nine patch blocks I didn't use any paper at all just a pencil line to show seam edges. More recently I have been using the freezer parer on the front this allows the accuracy to be under a millametre and has the added bonus you can leave it on until you join the blocks to the sashing keeping them stable - this is a great find Anthea and how I am planning to finish of the remaining x blocks lol!

The first photo shows the fronts of the blocks I have done and the second the backs, the ones that look all white on the front are still wearing their freezer paper. The blocks are; A1, A4, A6, A8, B5, B13, E12, H1, H13, M6, M10, K4.

I'd love to see how everyone's blocks are going if you have the time to blog...

Take care xxx

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Finally a layout.........

Sorry it's taken me so long to post anything, but here it is my layout..............Have also decided on the material; Black with White dots, Pale Blue with Darker Blue dots, and plain white. I am trying to be as organised about this as I can, so i have printed off all the blocks and sorted in a folder and that's about as far as I got before my little girls got sick again. Just over pneumonia and now some virus which has Amelia covered in a rash. Am hoping to get a few hours this weekend for my first attempt at quilting, there maybe a few calls to Anthea for help.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Useful Links


Just been surfing for some other piecing methods, and found this freezer paper method that might be useful for the blocks that are appliqued. I found it directly from the Dear Jane site, and the tips on individual blocks are very helpful there too - A-G & H-M.

Some eye candy:
Happy quilting! Anthea x

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hand Piecing - the Anthea Way

Hi there everyone! Sorry I haven't done this any sooner, it's been very busy around these parts hosting birthdays and with a sick bub, but here it is... the hand piecing tutorial - the Anthea way! This is not necessarily the only way it can be done, and indeed might not be the 'proper' way. I taught myself, and through some trial and error - it works for me.

Step 1
Print out the block pattern onto a piece of card (does not need to be too heavy). Number each pattern piece. I draw a quick sketch of the layout - particularly important when the pieces are more complicated. I've also been noting which block it is: M-10 for this example.

Step 2
Cut out each piece. (Pretty straight forward, I grant you).

Step 3
Cut out your fabric. I allow about 5-7mm all the way around. Then fold the allowance around tacking as you go. I usually have the thread knot on the 'good' side, as it makes it easy to remove later.

Step 4
I use Gutermann quilting thread which is a bit heavier than regular cotton. I tie a single not in it as shown.

Step 5
I start by inserting the needle directly through the corner (from the back behind the seam fold) and out of pieces 1 and 2.

Step 6
I then secure the corners together with a stitch.

Step 7
Then it is a matter of over stitching the pieces together. It just needs to be caught on the edge (you don't stitch through the card). They need to be stitched in order, the M-10: pieces 1, 2 & 3 together. Then 4, 5 & 6, then 7, 8 & 9. When the three strips are sewn together, they then can be sewn to one another. Ensure that each junction meets up with the corresponding one, by easing if necessary.


7, 0, 0, 93

I hope this has been helpful. Let me know if anyone needs further info on certain steps - sometimes when you've done something for so long it is easy to overlook an obvious step. How is everyone else going?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vicki's Layout!

Well after many hours of frustration both today, yesterday and the day before, I finally have a layout to offer. My software has some issues, it crashes, will not always zoom and continually adds lines around the border every time you click away from the worktop!

So after a huge whinge to Katie(Sorry!) and a lot of help from Anthea(Thanks!) I've decided to suck it up and post this anyway. Its the OCD in me that whispers "but its not perfect"...

Opinions and Suggestions are welcome!

I also got a new laptop today so I am going to load the Dear Jane Software on it and see if I have the same problem or if it is just my old dinosaur.

Vicki. x

Hurrah! ... and updates!

Hello! I can't tell you how frustrating the last hour has been! I have been trying to leave comments on the last few posts, to no avail! I am not sure why it isn't working for me, I've used Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer - all to no avail. I can only imagine (hopefully) it is a temporary glitch with Blogspot.

Anyway... I'm really happy people are getting involved with the blog and we can 'hear' how everyone is going. After Katie posted her tally I went back to mine and counted all of mine up...

6, 0, 0, 84

I agree with Katie that hand piecing (for me anyway!) is the way to go. It's transportable also, allowing me to move around occasionally fitting some in during the day here and there around Miss Ruby.

For anyone not sure of which quilt design to use...

It can be confusing working out how to get the pattern ... that is the Classic Dear Jane. Go to:
File > Project Wizard > Start with pre designed Dear Jane > Next > Classic Dear Jane... this will give you the classic Dear Jane layout, each square block is approximately 4.5 inches square. To print individual blocks, click on the block you are after, then go to Print > Block > Brenda's Pattern - this will give you the 4.5 sq layout.

Instructions are not on the blocks, but you can get details off the Dear Jane website (mostly if you are machine or foundation piecing). If it would help, I can do a tutorial of how to do hand piecing - let me know if anyone would like me too!

I have been labelling the blocks on the back with their location (ie. A-6, B-12 and so on). I have also been marking off a plain template as a visual reminder of which one's I have done - hopefully this will be terribly satisfying soon ; )

Vicki, the Barely There fabrics you have chosen from Northcott look lovely, very pretty blues. Will be nice to see them sewn up!

Finally (can't I blather on!), no-one panic about time or (lack thereof). I can see us all ebb and flowing with this project - and yes, I am sure that we will all be expert quilters by the end!

Anthea x

Nothing To See Here...

Hi Ladies, just thought I'd say a quick Hello. I've nothing to show you I'm afraid, I'm still working on the layout for my Dear Jane and waiting on background fabric. I'm using a range of Northcott Fabrics called "Barely There" for my blocks They are so soft to touch and I'm hoping, not too subtle...

Everybody's layouts are looking great. Anthea, a big thanks to you for setting this up, its fun to look and see how everyone is going, hopefully soon I'll have something to show too.

I'm so far behind already but I figure this way, if I need any help, I'll know whom to ask! :)

Hello everyone

Well here I am probably the only quilt virgin in the group and very nervous but excited!!! I haven't got all my fabric yet so will be practicing a few easier blocks on some fabric I have here. I do have a few questions hopefully someone can answer for me:
1. What size are you making your blocks, as I see that you get an option to adjust sizes?
2. Are there instructions for making the blocks or just the printed templates / rotary cut diagrams etc?
3. Do you label your finished blocks so you know what they are easily and do you keep them aside until all the blocks etc are finished?

4. Am I dumb or overly ambitious... I should be good at quilting by the end of this!

Thanks to Vicki and everyone else for letting me be a part of the adventure!

I have decided to start with A6 as it seems straight forward to my novice eyes!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hi all, not sure if I am doing this right we'll see! LOL well have decided how I am going to tackle Jane - I'm going to give it 2 days a week (around normal activities not solid time!) and depending on the difficulty will determine how many blocks I get done. I am definitely thinking that hand sewing is the way - some of the pieces are so tiny!
I have been timing myself on blocks now and the easy ones are about an hour, A-4 took a 2 a half hours - and its not completely perfect. Anyway as per the typical tally sheet I am (6,0,0,89) 0r 6 blocks, 0 triangles, 0 corners, 89 pieces :)
How are you guys going?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Katie's 2nd Layout

This is Katie's second layout, using white as all of the plain triangles... she's after more opinions!

Any suggestions?

Alyssa's Layout

I finished the layout of my Dear Jane yesterday... Very exciting picking colours and getting going in the last couple of days!! I chose grey, white, peach, navy & yellow.

Here is my layout:

So far I have finished M10 & A6 (Simple Simon & Uncle Homer). More to come...

Anthea's DJ Layout

I've chosen four fabrics for my Dear Jane. I'm using a dark grey for the outside plain triangles, with a white background and yellow and light grey pattern features. Here's an image of the layout I'm working on:

I've done a couple of the simple one's now. A-6 & A-8 (Uncle Homer & Florence Nightingale). When I've made a couple more I will post them! They only took about an hour each... soon I want to try a trickier one!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So it begins...

Some of us have had a chance to play around with the Dear Jane pattern and have come up with some colour schemes. Katie and I thought that we could officially start the challenge on the 1st of July, with an aim of completing two blocks per week. People may do more if they choose (or less) but that is what we are aiming for.

There are 225 patterned blocks in the quilt. If we only do 2 a week, then it will take a bit over two years to complete the blocks. However, some are very easy, and should only take an hour to complete, so I suspect in some weeks we'll do lots and possibly none in others.

It is not a race, so no-one need worry about how long they are taking, or how much time they can devote to the quilt. I have a million projects going on at any one time and suspect that my making will be sporadic.

On the official site, it is suggested in the Newbie information, that there are some simple blocks that it is worth starting with for beginners. Pieced blocks: M-10, A-6, A-8, B-13, D-13. Appliqued blocks: D-3, C-9, B-1, E-10.

This is Katie's first colour layout, which is lovely:

Isn't it looking beautiful? Katie has another one using white around the edges as well which she'll post for feedback.

I have chosen my colour scheme, but have yet to save a picture of it. I will get it up later today hopefully!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Welcome Friends

This is the quilt that we are going to attempt! There are 225 patterns for the Jane Stickle Quilt, which she completed in 1863. So far there are 5 of us on the adventure - myself, Katie, Vicki, Sarah & Alyssa. It was Katie's idea to have a crack at the pattern.

This blog will help us communicate with each other, inspiring each other to keep going (on what could be a long adventure)!

We are organising the patterns and will get going soon!


If anyone else would like to join in our blog, please let us know or go to the official website for more information and start your own!