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Friday, December 17, 2010

Dear Jane, More or Less?

Can you believe it!? Some three years after I began, I have completed my Dear Jane quilt top!! 
Maybe. :-)

A group of ten or so of my local quilt buddies got together back in 2007, each to work on our own version of this beauty.

After a few of us got started, it turned into a friendly competition to see who could stay "caught up" on the ten or so blocks we did each month.  I was the first to complete all my blocks!! (I HATE to be outdone!! LOL) But then, Paula finished hers, quilting and all! and I was left behind. 

Paula's FINISHED Dear Jane!!

And just lately, Norma put hers in the frame for hand quilting.

And mine languished in the unfinished projects pile while I deliberated over doing the pieced/appliqued triangles or not.

(At least I've come a long way from "Dear Jane, Why Are Your Mocking Me?" back in April of this year! LOL)


I decided, eventually!, not to do them; instead I will hand quilt the pieced/appliqued patterns on plain background triangles.  I like the less "busy" look of plain triangles.

When I auditioned the borders back in August, they "felt" too big for the small scale of the blocks.  I can't tell now, after they have been attached, if they are too bulky looking.  I kinda like how they enclose and protect the little blocks.  Do you think they are "too much!?"

I made the sashing larger -- quite a bit larger at 1 1/2" finished as opposed to the prescribed 3/4"! -- so that my hand quilting would show up better.  That's why the triangles have to be so big -- at least they have to be so big so that the points are centered in the sashing, see?

I could lop off an inch or two around the edges.  The background fabric triangles would lose their points -- so I don't love that idea (I lose enough points without deliberately sabotaging them!:-D).  And on a bed, the triangles would be part of the overhang and not necessarily affect the look of the blocks.

What to do!?!

Sometimes its hard to know what to "lop off" and what needs to remain to advance the best of the design.  John the Baptist, teaching and assuring his followers he was not the One, said of Jesus, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30, KJV). 

What a succinct and perfect analysis!! Even standing back, looking from a distance or through the lens of a camera, I can't tell what Dear Jane needs.  And it's like that in my walk with God, often.  I don't always know what parts of me need trimming, but I know that there must be much less of the "I" and much more of the "He."  If I spend any amount of time with Him, though, He gently tells me what bits of me need cutting loose so that He can advance the intricate and beautiful parts of me He has spent so much time perfecting!

It's a grand feeling to have completed this part of Dear Jane, and to anticipate the hand-quilting journey (another three year project, if my track record is any indication! LOL)... and like my time with Jesus, the best is yet to come!

Blessings!

33 comments:

John'aLee said...

Wow and double Wow!! Your quilt is amazing. Thanks for showing the others too. I am always amazed when I see one of these. The hours you must have spent on this....

Mimi said...

Procede with quilting as is. Your reasoning for what you did is valid. Perhaps you are just too condidtioned to the way "janes" look and something a litte different looks "off". And the quilting you have planned will pull it all together. Tis exciting, yes?

A Plain Path said...

Personally, I think it's beautiful as is and wouldn't trim anything off. Beautiful job!!

QuiltSue said...

That is just wonderful. I would never have the patience to attempt something like that, and even if I started, I'm pretty sure I'd enver finish it!

Carol said...

WOWSER! Mary Lou it is phenomenal...Love the plain triangles, love the wider sashing. I wouldn't cut off a thing. WOW! WOW! WOW!

Shelley said...

I like the changes you made! The bigger sashing makes the blocks more noticable :) Brave girl tackling this quilt!

julieQ said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I am so excited to see your Dear Jane!! Oh, wow...it is perfect, I wouldn't change a thing...lovely and perfect. Oh, how I love it!! I have five rows done....this coming year will be my year! Wonderful job, Mary Lou!!

Crispy said...

I LOVE the idea of quilting the triangle pattern on the white blocks!! I wish I had thought of that LOL. Nope I don't think the border overpowers the center but I would add the scallop border to soften them a little. (Hey, you asked for my opinion and I did tell you I love giving one LOL).

Your Jane is a true beauty :0)

Crispy

Stray Stitches said...

Congratulations on finishing your quilting top. At first I, too, didn't like the big triangle border. But the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. And like you said, they would be hanging off the edge of the bed. I also like your use of the bigger sashing. It helps to set of each block individually!

Lori said...

I would leave it and start quilting! I've been quilting on mine now for it seems 10 years!! I think last winter I started on the triangles though so at least I know it shouldnt be another 10 years...or... LOL

Sarah Craig said...

I think it's perfect the way it is - uniquely yours! God didn't make each of us identical, so why should our quilts be??? Thanks for your lovely "devotionals" in each post - I really enjoy them!!

Quilt Hollow said...

NO cutting off a thing...it's a beauty just the way it is.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I got to see the Dear Jane quilt at the Shelbourne Museum a few years back and just stood in awe. I bought the book but can't even bring myself to think about doing it so I greatly admire what you've done. I think it's truly beautiful. blessings, marlene

AMKreations said...

It's beautiful and I love the story behind it and how you all kept each other motivated. =)

LuAnn said...

I love it Mary Lou; it's beautiful. I agree with Crispy. I would add the scalloped edge to soften the triangles. Personally, I like the quilts that are scalloped over two triangles instead of over every triangle. I need to get busy quilting mine, too. Great job on finishing it!!!

Cheri said...

Mary Lou it is great! I really like the border and I would leave everything like it is. I have ignored this quilt for years and then a recent find in an antique store (a notebook full of the Dear Jane patterns-complete with a block or two) has brought it to my attention. I am thinking maybe...
I must say I also have always thought the border triangles make it look a little busy, but your solution is very appealing.
maybe, maybe.....
Cheri

Linda said...

Mary Lou, Your quilt is gorgeous! You did an incredible job :)

Karen said...

I do like the plainer triangles. Sometimes things have to stew a while before you can make a deicision on how to finish a project.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

It's very lovely.

Billie

krisgray said...

Wow! I would not change a thing! Those triangles are pointing to all the pretty little blocks. Beautiful!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a fabulous design! Just breathtaking! ♥

Marit Johanne said...

WOW! Your Dear Jane is beautiful! I am deeply impressed!
I am visiting from the Holly Jolly blog's blogg roll.
Merry Christmas from Norway!

Needled Mom said...

That is the project in my dreams!!

Carrie P. said...

Congratulations! I admire you quilters who take on that quilt.
Merry Christmas.

Wendy B said...

I think it looks absolutely wonderful....Dear Jane, would be very impressed!
Visiting from the holly jolly blog roll.
Christmas blessings and sugary hus
Wendy :O)

Patty Sumner said...

It is beautiful......

Karen said...

This is such an amazing quilt! This is my first visit to your blog.....I'm from the Holly Jolly blog roll.

Merry Christmas!

Karen

Barb said...

Hip Hip Hooray!
It looks fantastic!!
You must be so thrilled and proud, I know I would be.
I think the triangles are perfect and I like the wider sashing as well. The quilting will be this a masterpiece that you will enjoy and be proud of the rest of your life -

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

I love the way you floated these 'miniature masterpiece' blocks with the wider sashing. Well done! The border is perfect, you described it well as "protecting", it does indeed do that without being our of proportion... don't worry. I am amazed and impressed by your stick-to-itiveness.

grami said...

Hi! I am visiting from Holly Jolly Blog Bingo, Blog Roll. Your quilt is amazing. Wonderful work!!
Happy Holidays.
grami
gramisews at gmail dot com

Diane E W said...

WOW! what a beautiful quilt, no way would I be able to finish. I am visiting from the Holly Jolly blog bingo game.

Rose Marie said...

It is beautiful and any quilting will bring this beauty to life ... it is perfect as is!!!

Teresa said...

Don't change a thing! It's beautiful.