Dear Jane - a long and windy road

Sometimes I ask myself, "Why did I pick a Dear Jane Quilt as a project?" Especially, why did I choose to do a Dear Jane fully hand-sewn. I don't know if this is normal, but it takes me sometimes a day to finish a block. That is, I pick out the fabric, I study  how others have done it, then I trace the pattern out of Brenda P's book on to freezer paper, then I start the arduous process of sewing/cutting/ironing. Phew, it's going to take me forever!

If you look at my previous posts, ha, I am talking to myself here :-) then you can see that I actually started this project about 2 years ago. I now have 8 from 225 patterns done. The finished blocks - ok, they are not finished, they are only assembled - aren't even perfect.

So, again, why am I torturing myself? What is the fascination with a Dear Jane anyway?

Here are my reasons:

  1. I compare this type of quilt to a marathon quilt. There is a certain amount of satisfaction knowing that I am attempting something that takes patience, perservation and, yes, skill. I am building muscles in my hand. Or, I am getting bursitis, I don't know at this point. I have done sprint kind of quilts. Those are fun, too. You choose easy patterns and you get satisfaction in the way the colors of the prints come together. But Dear Jane causes you to build up those happy hormones once the momentum builds up. 
  2. There is a social aspect. My quilting mentor Suzie, I don't know if she knows that I call her that, what a responsibility, turned me onto the idea. She gave a course on the topic and she has almost finished hers, after 5 years. I want to join this exclusive club of Janiacs. 
  3. It's almost like meditation. The pace is slow. It is quiet - inside my head, too. I sometimes think of Jane Sickle. What was she thinking? How was she coping with the War in 1863? And gee, I was born 100 years later. How is that for time/space continuum.
So, that's enough seriousness for now. I am going to pop into town and buy some more fabric, because the round that I'm doing is still in the reds and I need a couple more swatches. I am not following the original color scheme exactly, but I am trying to stay in authentic colors. I have traditional flowery reds and burgundy. I might go with pastel pinks, greens and yellows. Well, I'll see how it goes. I am in for a long adventure with this project.

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