My Dear Friend and Teacher – “Dear Jane” and being a PPF

I remember when I started quilting in 2002.  I knew that needle turn applique would be my first love in the quilt world.   My goal was to be able to applique like the Applique Queens on Simply Quilts.  In fact, that is where I really learned a lot about being a “wanna be” quilter.  Recuperating from 3 back surgeries in 3 years gave me a lot of time to learn and dabble in starting my quilting journey.

I remember seeing the small blocks, the feathered star, the beautiful patterns from Sue Garman, Mimi Dietrich, Lynette Jensen, Pat Campbell, Robyn Pandolph, Eleanor Burns, Curtis Boehringer, Elly Sienkiewicz,  and  so many many others who inspired me to become a very serious quilter.  As do most quilters, I constantly purchased books, patterns, and more books and patterns.  Then it was the realization that fabric from Walmart was nothing compared to  the beautiful fabric from a Quilt Store.  In 2004 my “piecing journey” began.  I knew absolutely NOTHING about making a quilt, but when I was a teenager I had made all of my school clothes and later all of my work clothes – until the age of 30.  Since then I have never made one outfit and know for sure I never will again.

In my quilting journey, I strove for perfection and always wanted to make a Dear Jane, Dear Hannah, Feathered Star, Baltimore Albums, and many more.  I wanted to learn more about color, movement of color in a quilt, become a Master Appliquer and Quilter, even learning how to  paper piece.  So much to learn and so many quilters that I met along the way that have helped me.

I always shied away for tiny blocks (Miniature Quilts) and of course those pesky 3, 4, and 5 inch blocks – WHAT – who would be nuts enough to take that on? How about those tiny tiny pieces to applique on a Baltimore Album quilt?  I learned that most quilters used paper piecing to obtain accuracy in their quilts.  I have tried and tried, but have finally decided that the paper piecing technique is just not my bag. and I am a total PPF (Paper Piecer Failure)!  So I have continued to push myself to attain perfection in studying a pattern, cutting and measuring accurately and when I made a block and it did not turn out correctly I ripped that baby apart to see exactly what I was doing wrong.  This has taken some years to achieve this.  I do not mean to “brag” I am just thrilled that I have taken the difficult road to achieve the results that I want when I make a quilt.  This applies to quilts that I enter into Quilt Shows for judging,  a Utility quilt for a gift, or a wall hanging or quilt for a donation for a raffle or auction.

When had the opportunity arose for me to join the Austin Quilt Guild Dear Jane Bee, I jumped at the offer.  The Bee Keeper designates 4 blocks a month from the Dear Jane book for us to work on.  The first 2 weeks I just keep looking at those 4 1/2″ blocks and the tiny tiny pieces and saying to myself, “am I nuts”?   I decided that since I had signed up for the project I needed to stick with it and would start on the easiest of the 4 blocks this month!  Then I  would progress to the most difficult.  I even tried to do G-4 Shutter Bug that starts with  a 1/2″ square in the middle using paper piecing, but since “I AM A FAILURE AT PAPER PIECING”.  So I bit the bullet and I sewed the puppy by machine.  (I was going to hand quilt this entire quilt, but my hands have different ideas for me – so I am saving them for appliqueing).  I was so excited Sunday when I actually finished the block and it came out perfect!!!  Whew!  Over that intimidating challenge!

I took pictures of each step in making the Shutter Bug block.   This is the fabric that I used for the background.  Neat because it provided the different shades of beiges for the block.

Fabric for G-4 Shutter Bug
Background Fabric for Shutter Bug

 

Here are the steps taken to make Shutter Bug by machine piecing.

Shutter Bug 1Shutter Bug 2Shutter Bug 4Shutter Bug 5Shutter Bug 6G-4 Shutter Bug

I studied Coyote Chase and decided that I wanted to “cheat” and make this one the easiest way possible.

MVC-384S

MVC-385SMVC-387SMVC-388SMVC-389S

I-11 Coyote Chase
Coyote Chase Block

Justin’s Comet took me awhile.  I decided at first to  hand piece the block but did not like where it was going.   So I tried 2 other times to machine piece it before I got it right!

G-8 Justin's Comet
Justin’s Comet Block

Now Springbrook Park was a “small” challenge.  I printed the pattern on pre-cut freezer paper, cut out the pieces, and prayed, closed my eyes and here is the result:

K-8 Springbrook Park
Springbrook Park Block

 

In December (I think) I started a quilt for my friend Wanda.  She wanted a lap quilt with the Ladies with the Umbrella’s.  I finally finished them and now need to decide on the setting for the quilt.  Not sure where I will go with it, but maybe it will come to me soon.

Belle of the Ball Ladies
Belle of the Ball Ladies

As a quilter, it is such a wonderful feeling to finish a “segment” of a project.  I seemed to be in a “funk” with my quilting with my back problems, so I am thrilled that I have accomplished the Dear Jane blocks and ready to work on the Ladies quilt setting.

Thursday I will have the RF treatment in my back and hoping and praying that when they carterize the nerves in my back that my pain will subside.  After all, how can I possibly work on all the wonderful projects I have ready to go.  I received my Stonefields pattern about a week ago but when one is not feeling up to par, it is not time to select fabric for a project!

From now on, one thing that Dear Jane has taught me is to not let a small little block like Shutter Bug intimidate me!  LOL

So until next time,  I hope that all stay healthy, quilt all the time, and enjoy winter time because we are fast approaching Spring.  I am hoping that we do have a cool Spring and maybe just 3 months of the 100+ with 100 % humidity………..Now if we have a lot of rain, that would not bother me either.

 

 

 

Results of the Austin Area Quilt Show – 12-14 September 2014

This is the first time I have entered the Austin Area Quilt Guild Show.  I was so lucky to enter my 3 quilts in the show on the very last day!  This is unusual for me because I normally try to submit my entries at the very first of the entry time when I enter a Quilt Show.  But this year was different so I was very happy to be able to enter my work in the show at the last-minute.

Here are my entries with the Ribbons – I received 3 Honorable Mentions – a Ribbon for each quilt entered.  I was very pleased.   I was not sure if my Jacobean in Batiks and Floating Stars would yield any Ribbon as they did not fair well in the 2013 San Antonio Quilt Show.

My Lone Star now has a Blue Ribbon from San Antonio 2013 Quilt Show and an Honorable Mention from Austin.   I used Debbie Maddy’s HST pattern and changed the border to 52 Floating Stars – The stars are not paper pieced.  I also added another 5 inch light border to give the Lone Star the effect of floating.

Large Lone Star Over the Rainbow

 

My Jacobean in Batiks consists of different embroidery designs and inspiration came from Pat Campbell Jacobean works.  I designed the Setting.  Why in the world I decided to do 5 Medallions is a mystery, I just thought it would be pretty – did not think about all the hard work.  I needle turned all the pieces (no glue) and then went around each piece with embroidery thread – what a chore but it makes the applique really stand out.  I quilted this quilt after spending 8 days in the hospital with Cat Scratch Fever – YUP – Cat is G-0-N-E!  I had 6 weeks to finish it before the 2013 San Antonio show.  So needless to say I was thrilled with the Honorable Mention.  I am not sure where the wrinkle on the bottom left corner came from – Humm guess it happened while in the bag.   The quilt is hand quilted about with a 1/4″ spacing on the outside Medallions – not sure I will do that one again!

Large Jacobean In Batiks
Jacobean in Batiks

 

Floating Stars is a pattern from Far Flung Quilts.  I made this quilt in Batiks.  I had problems with the cutting directions and had to spend some time to do the math to correct them.  Again, I am thrilled that I received an Honorable Mention.

Large Floating Stars
Floating Stars in Batiks

Have a great day – and thank you for visiting my Blog.