Electric Quilt just released the Dear Jane Add-on for EQ. As I have been playing with the new software this week, I have also been reflecting on my Dear Jane journey. In this post I will share a part of that journey (and a few of my Dear Jane quilts). I will also share a really cool new feature from the add-on software in my EQ8 video tutorial.
My Dear Jane Journey
My love of Dear Jane began in June 2000 (almost 20 years ago) when a new guild was being started by JoAnn Atikins (now the owner of Four Seasons Quilt Shop)..
My original plan was to do a few blocks and make a small quilt based on the blocks in Brenda Popadakis' book Dear Jane: The Two Hundred Twenty-Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt.
I ended up creating my own layout, including thirteen original triangles and five additional blocks. There are a total of 174 blocks, 68 triangles and 4 corners – not including the unused duplicate triangles as a result of a tracking glitch. (I needed the new add-on software back in 2000.) There are 421 separate fabrics. Based on a purchase of a fat quarter for each fabric, I estimate the quilt cost $950 in supplies alone. All blocks were redrafted using Electric Quilt 4 to aide in my construction. The quilt took five years to complete.
Those in the Dear Jane Minnesota Quilt Guild became some of my closest quilting friends. One year we did a road trip to Shipshewana for a Jane Stickle retreat.
We also began doing our own retreats, in the winter at Four Seasons Quilt shop and in summer at St. Bens College. We also had numerous exchanges and challenges that had a Dear Jane aspect to them.
As I was writing this post, I attempted to track down some of my quilts inspired by Dear Jane. Here were the ones I could locate in my stacks of quilts.
In this exchange, each participant did the same block All blocks needed to be signed and dated. Each participant was required to produce a block that was representative of their larger “Jane quilt”. Since there were many different fabric themes, the biggest part of the challenge was figuring out how to put them all together.
For this exchange each participant picked a Dear Jane block (we eliminated many of the “easy blocks” from the options) and made 16 blocks (6” finished). These blocks were exchanged in May 2009 and by August 11 of the 14 participants had their quilts completed (in time for our first Dear Jane show).
Blue and Yellow Exchange
In 2001/2002 there were a series of exchanges with approximately 10-15 participants in each exchange. Each person chose a different block from Dear Jane and made one for each of the other participants.
This particular quilt was featured in the original Dear Jane software released by Electric Quilt in 2003.
Being a huge Dear Jane fan, I was super excited to hear that Electric Quilt was updating their Dear Jane software. The new version is compatible with EQ8 and can be purchased for either a MAC or a PC.
Dear Jane Project Tracking
My latest Dear Jane adventure is attempting the blocks at 2.25" finished size. I've been stalled on this for a long time (more than care to think about). I am not very happy about the quality of some of my completed blocks and trying to decide if I should redo some of them or possibly even abandon the project. But I pulled out my finished blocks and decided to use them to test the new Dear Jane project tracker feature included in the Dear Jane Add-on Software just released by EQ.
I laid each of my pieced blocks on a piece of foam core board and then just snapped individual pictures on my phone.
Everything else was done in Electric Quilt as shown in this video tutorial.
Dear Jane Add-on for EQ8
Electric Quilt has informed me that they have a special introductory price for the new add-on software through April 30, 2020 and gave me permission to share their offer with you. The regular price is $49.95. The introductory price is $32.47. You can purchase directly from EQ here.
I had a fabulous time at the Minnesota Quilt Show in St. Cloud this year. Most of the time found me teaching a variety of Electric Quilt classes. The students were great, and I even picked up a couple of new tips from them.
My favorite special exhibit were a variety of red and white miniature quilts completed by MQ member Ellen Carter and her sister Andrea Blackhurst. These quilts were inspired by the 2011 Red and White Quilt Exhibit held in New York City. My photography does not do justice to these quilts -- but let me share a few of my favorites with you.
Here is the quilt that won my faculty choice ribbon. It is a miniature Dear Jane. The blocks each finished 2" x 2". I've started a miniature DJ of my own. This has inspired me to get back to working on it. The maker of this quilt is Barbara Larson from Chaska MN.
Electric Quilt 7 Tip
This tip was shared by one of my students.
When you want to add the same size border on all four sides, you can type the size in one of the boxes and then just click on the slider button. It will change all the borders to this new size.
I historically did this by moving one of the slider bars. I definitely prefer the "type and click" method.
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I'm a member of a quilt group - Dear Jane Minnesota. We have been meeting for over ten years with the primary intent to encourage each other on the completion of a quilt (or quilts) inspired by the Jane Stickle quilt hanging in the Bennington Museum in Vermont. The quilt was made popular through a book entitled "Dear Jane" written by Brenda Manges Papadakis.
we have used her book along with the Electric Quilt CD to make our renditions of this masterpiece. Every couple of years we like to have a show to display what we have been working on.
These quilts are on display at Four Seasons Quilt Shop in Maple Grove Minnesota. They will be on display through the end of September.
The star attraction of our show this year is Sherry Perry's Dear Jane. The quilt is breath-taking and is definitely worth seeing in person with 225 blocks (every one different). She did a fabulous job quilting it on her domestic sewing machine.
Paula's Halloween Jane Quilt - This was from a challenge from a number of years ago. We each selected one block from the "Jane" quilt and made 18 variations. The variations were based on selected holidays/seasons selected by each member of the exchange. So for Paula, we each did our selected blocks in Halloween fabrics.
A year ago the group decided to have a challenge to celebrate our 10th year of retreating at St. Ben's College at St. Joseph Minnesota. We took each of the "10" blocks (the tenth block in each row of the quilt) and each received a random row assignment. The challenge was to design a quilt around that block. Some also incorporated the theme of ten in their quilts. Not everyone finished the challenge -- but here are those that are on display. Maybe we will see the rest in 2015.
JoAn S. A10 Quilt. Great use of a log cabin block for a setting for her quilt.
Erin Kennedy's B10 Quilt. Notice the B10 block in the house. There are also 10 stars, ten maple leaves along with ten leaves on the tree.
Kari's (i.e. my) B10 Quilt. I used the B10 block for my setting. The then included 9 other blocks from the "B" row in my quilt. 9 blocks plus the setting makes 10.
JoAnn's D10. She pieced four of the D10 block and set them together. This is classic JoAnn with her signature red and black civil war fabrics.
Sherry Perry's E10. Sherry has had a productive year finishing her "big" quilt and the challenge. I love how she fussy cut the eagles for each of the melons in this quilt.
Pam's H2. I'm not sure why, but I keep thinking fish when I look at Pam's rendition of this block.
Mona Harmann's J10. I would like to make this one. The white borders really make the melons shine. The applique looks perfect.
Diane Rose's K10. Diane combined both her love of redwork and her love of Dear Jane. The young woman is hand sewing a Dear Jane block, as Diane is doing her Dear Jane quilt by hand.
I'm wondering if this quilt will be in the redwork show as well?
Rose's L11. Rose had the most difficult block (at least in my opinion) in the challenge. She bravely managed to make three of them and incorporated in a wall hanging.
I hope you enjoyed the virtual rendition of our show. And if time allows, please check out the quilts in person at Four Season Quilts.
Electric Quilt Expert and Educator and Pattern Designer.
On Point Quilter