For a few months I have been giving thought to making a long term hand pieced quilt, the Dear Jane Quilt, originally made by a young woman Jane A. Blakely Stickle during the CIVIL WAR out of the tiniest scraps of fabric imaginable.
For more information you can check out www.dearjane.com. It is absolutely fascinating but be fore warned if you are a quilter this subject can be very addictive and you may wind up making plans to start piecing your very own Dear Jane, after all that's what happened to me, I was reading a friends blog and something caught my interest and before you know it a few clicks later as always seem to happen I came across a Dear Jane quilt.
Who would have ever imagined that young Jane’s quilt (made in 1863) would be replicated by women the world over so many years later. There is something about this quilt that elicits awe and wonder. I am sure Jane never dreamed that something like this would happen.
The amount of work that went into making it is almost inconceivable. This quilt wasn't planned with computer software or sewn on a sewing machine. She didn't have plastic rulers or rotary cutters. She didn't send it out to be long-arm quilted. Instead, she sat in her farmhouse (perhaps on the front porch) and planned the different blocks and cut fabric and pieced them all by hand. The fact that this quilt was completed in 1863, during a time of war, likely with only fabrics she could scavenge and pieced by hand just makes it all that more of a challenge. She sewed the 80"x80" top together by hand. She quilted it by hand. She bound the scalloped edges by hand.Jane Stickle lived in Vermont and completed this truly magnificent quilt in 1863. She was 46 at the time. The quilt consists of 169 four and a half inch blocks, 52 triangle border blocks, and 4 kite-shaped corner blocks made from 5602 pieces in total. One corner block is embroidered with “In War Time. 1863. Pieces 5602. Jane A Stickle”. The quilt now lives at the Bennington Museum in Vermont and is displayed in September and October every year.
The quilt was made famous by Brenda Papadakis who saw it in the book Plain and Fancy: Vermont’s People and their Quilts as a Reflection of America by Richard L. Cleveland and Donner Blister. She was so inspired by what she saw, she drafted the patterns for all the blocks and border pieces and then published them in the book Dear Jane, The Two Hundred Twenty-Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt.
here is a site with several Dear Jane quilts in various colors like the lovely quilts in this post.
I am in search of a long term hand pieced quilt project and Dear Jane is at the top of the list, for me long term means about two years in the making, I have a few other quilts in mind and will be writing about them in future post.