Dear Jane . . . we have a love hate relationship

16 comments
Dearest Jane,

How are you? I am fine. You will be happy to know I'm up to date on my baby Jane blocks. It feels good to be done before next week's blocks are introduced. Anina is keeping us on schedule and doing a fabulous job with holding our hands. Here are my latest blocks Jane. I am actually semi proud of them! Believe it or not.

So I have some good news. You will be proud of me Jane. I think I've conquered my phobia of paper piecing, mostly. I know, I know, I've been kicking and screaming at you for weeks now. You've been very patient and encouraging as I look at the blocks and finished baby Janes on the Dear Baby Jane Blog. But this week I had a breakthrough. Thanks to my friends. Jane you know how horrible I am at reading instructions. So I read as much as I could on different blogs about paper piecing including Anina's posted tutorial at Horizon Quilt Patterns and also T's tutorial at Purple and Paisley. I also went to Broadbent's, a local mercantile/quilt store, and Laurie there did a fast brush up show and tell on paper piecing. Thank you Laurie, she was very patient and seeing her method helped me move through my mental block. And Jane, I'm now doing my own combined version of paper piecing using various aspects of all the methods. I knew you'd be proud.

But Jane, I do have to scold you some. What were you thinking when you made this center piece for block B-10????? The total size of the middle piece shown above is 2 1/4" finished! I put the bobbin and flower pin next to the block so my readers can see the difficulty involved in that block. Jane! Why would you do that to me? I nearly gave up the night I sewed this center and there were some very unkind words in my head for you. I hope you'll forgive me but I was really quite mad you. Luckily it worked out in the end but in my frustration I put the wrong color on the outside corners. I'm sure you noticed that right off. And actually I noticed it and could have unpicked it before I joined it to the rest of the block. But I was so annoyed that you would make such a teeny pieced square that I left it just to be defiant! So there. I am feeling better about it now that it is finished and that makes me somewhat forgiving to you right now Jane for the torture of sewing that square.

And Jane I hate to tell you this but (brace yourself) I'm not going to be a Dear Jane Quilt purist. Hard to believe I know. (ha)

Jane really? Set-in corners? Really? I haven't done that since sewing class in HS. And if it wasn't for modern day spray starch, trust me, this block would not have laid down flat. And yeah I'm sure you noticed the crooked center. Oh well.

This triangle block went together pretty fast Jane. But again I was defiant and put the darker color on the edges. And that was totally on purpose.

Edit (written humbly)- After looking at the triangle blocks in pictures last night I realized you are right Jane. This block has to have a light color on the outside of the "teepee". I picked it out and redid the edges in the light color after all. And I forgot to mention those Dear Jane templates I bought are very helpful for trimming and construction.

Jane this block looks like a weird jack-o-lantern to me. And yeah I know, its not really straight or lined up in the center square. I tell myself that some things will just have to "quilt out". Now be honest Jane, weren't there blocks you told yourself the very same thing when you were working on them? Now tell the truth!

Goodnight Jane. It's been a long day but I promised myself I would finish these tonight so I could move into other things I need to do. So I guess I'll see you next week again Jane. And don't tell anyone, but I'm starting to kinda sorta look forward to my next block.

-your friend, Nanette

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16 comments

jen said...

You go girl! You're a better woman than me--stickin with it like that! :-)

Ginger Patches said...

O.k. maybe I need to try Dear Jane cuz I have a paper piecing phobia too! Your blocks are beautiful! For now I will just paper piece vicariously through you lol!

purple and paisley said...

wow, there is no way i could tackle those...great job! and you're right...some things will just "quilt out" or be okay once they're thrown into a washer full of sudsy water...*giggle*...thank you for mentioning me...so sweet...

Stephanie said...

Can't wait to see the quilt when it's finished! Love how you're writing your Dear Jane portion of the blog.

Anina said...

Absolutely lovely! Congratulations. Isn't it great to learn all kinds of new techniques? We'll be expert quilters when we're done with this one.

Darlene said...

I don't paper piece either! grrrr! Do you suppose your friend Jane could help me?

Your blocks are looking fabo!

Jeanne said...

Wonderful blocks! Keep stitching. Glad you are almost over your fear of paper piecing. The more ways you know to make a block the easier it is.

Mary said...

I love paper-piecing, but it never ceases to amaze me how long it takes.

The method I use (and teach) involves a piece of cardstock ... I think I learned it from Valorie Wells book ... but I can't be sure. It's foolproof, I tell you.

I believe you are happy with your blocks.

Stacy A. said...

Nanette, Oh my goodness, I was just about to post about the crazy tininess of B-10 as well. I started it last night and definitely had moments where I thought I was completely insane. I put the wrong color in a few places as well. I had to leave the outsides til today, that center done wore me out. I am so proud of you for sticking with it though. I have a feeling there will be many more moments like this to come. Yikes! We can do it though. Love Stacy

Lola said...

Wow!! Wow!!
ps. I like the crooked center, that is how others will know it is handmade! ;)

Erin said...

Nanette,

I came in late...Er...Who is Baby Jane exactly and you have nothing to be afraid of...your work is beautiful!!

Lily Boot said...

Oh Nanette - I laughed so hard the tea cup shook! I so understand your feelings towards Dear Jane - I share the same exasperations with the Civil War Quilt Diary - they are sometimes *perverse* Good for you for perservering! Have a lovely weekend!

Jo-Anne said...

I am very impressed with your blocks! I look forward to the finished project. It will be beautiful, I'm sure!

Busty LaRue said...

Wow. Those blocks definitely took some patience and dedication, two things I sure don't have. I would've given up. Good for you for sticking it out! They look beautiful!

eileen said...

I am loving your Dear Jane letters. ;)And your quilt is going to be so sweet.
I guess I'm glad I'm not the only one with a paper piecing phobia.

Jodi said...

I can imagine a look of surprise on Jane as she's lookin down from Heaven, at all you quilty wonderful's! I'm sure she never thought in her wildest dreams that her quilt would be so famous someday. And I LOVE your letters to her!