On this blog you can find my ramblings about the baby Dear Jane's® (all 225 patterns).

I will regularly post a picture about the ‘babies’ that have been constructed. Each block is unique and belong to its maker, Jane A. Stickle, they are all derived from the original ‘mother’ quilt:

‘In War Times 1863 Pieces 5602 Jane A. Stickle’.

Dear Jane® Progress

Dear Jane Status

  A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 A-5 A-6 A-7 A-8 A-9 A-10 A-11 A-12 A-13  
  B-1 B-2 B-3 B-4 B-5 B-6 B-7 B-8 B-9 B-10 B-11 B-12 B-13  
  C-1 C-2 C-3 C-4 C-5 C-6 C-7 C-8 C-9 C-10 C-11 C-12 C-13  
  D-1 C-2 D-3 D-4 D-5 D-6 D-8 D-9 D-10 D-11 D-12 D-13  
  E-1 E-2 E-3 E-4 E-5 E-9 E-10 E-11 E-12 E-13  
  F-1 F-2 F-3 F-4 F-10 F-11 F-12 F-13  
  G-1 G-2 G-3 G-4 G-11 G-12 G-13  
  H-1 H-2 H-3 H-4 H-5 H-9 H-10 H-11 H-12 H-13  
  I-1 I-2 I-3 I-4 I-5 I-6 I-8 I-9 I-10 I-11 I-12 I-13  
  J-1 J-2 J-3 J-4 J-5 J-6 J-7 J-8 J-9 J-10 J-11 J-12 J-13  
  K-1 K-2 K-3 K-4 K-5 K-6 K-7 K-8 K-9 K-10 K-11 K-12 K-13  
  L-1 L-2 L-3 L-4 L-5 L-6 L-7 L-8 L-9 L-10 L-11 L-12 L-13  
  M-1 M-2 M-3 M-4 M-5 M-6 M-7 M-8 M-9 M-10 M-11 M-12 M-13  

Friday, July 29, 2011

It’s the end of the month – Dear Jane club meeting

Dear Jane,

It is that time of the month again. This morning I quickly did some necessary preparations, so that I would be able to start on the next baby Jane in case I pieced a little quicker than usual.

2011_07_29_DJclub Zutphen

After lunch I drove to Zutphen. Boy, was it busy on the roads. I think the traffic would freak you out. Summer drivers drive like mad nowadays. The traffic was bad today. Had some hassles trying to get between some trucks to get off the highway. And let’s not mention trying to get back onto the highway on my way home. I really don’t like this time of year. I hate it when truckers are caravanning and drive close together. I find it difficult to put my car between them. The space between them looks so small. But I hate people with caravans a little more. They really make it difficult for us drivers because of their slow pace. I can’t blame the truckers making some unpredictable moves just to prevent an accident. Silly of me, for wanting to go to Zutphen today. I know it is Black Saturday tomorrow, the busiest day of the year when many people go on holiday in the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium. I guess lots of people wanted to avoid this. You were lucky to have lived at a time that horse and carriage was the only means of transportation. Although I do realize I wouldn’t be able to go to Zutphen if I had to go on horse back. I wouldn’t survive the 60 kilometres (about 40 miles).

It was busy at Petra Prins Quilt shop too. As you can see there were a lot of quilters busy with their Dear Jane.

2011_07_29_DJclub Zutphen1

I nearly completed my Church Window - F8. Only have to do the outer border.

Petra Prins herself was also in the quilt shop. We were the first ones to admire her new fabric line ‘Josephine’. It is not yet available. If I listened well, it will be available sometime in February 2012. We Dear Jane quilters all received a piece of her own designed fabric so that we can make a baby Jane with it. This is going to be our homework for next month. Will also have to decide which block I’m going to use for this fabric.

Had a lovely creative and inspiring afternoon. It is great to see how each of us interprets your work.

I’ll be starting with my next baby Jane sometime this week. Can’t wait to see how F6 – Deanie’s Daisies turns out.

Warm regards, Helen

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another baby Jane

Hi again!  I’m baaaack!  I would like to present my adventures with the Dear Jane.

Wednesday evening I had a lovely time at Juud’s place. You can read more about it here.

2011_07_13_DJ bij Juud-flowers-boeks

The next day I completed this beauty. Isn’t it stunning yellow? I really like H7 – Bennington’s Star. Have to still look up why it is called Bennington. Will let you know if I discover something worth writing about.


As you can see the Dear Jane is coming along nicely. I’ve finally finished 5 baby Jane’s (blocks)!! As I’m on a roll I thought I would start with an other block – H8, Eaton’s crossroads. This little baby has a lot of appliqué in it.


Saturday I had a discussion with Karin about the colour of this block. She interpreted the fabric being brownish of colour. I though it was more purple. Do you think Jane would mind if it looks a little different to the one she made?

I’m slowly realizing I’ve undertaken a real challenge. One that will keep me busy for the next 5 years, and I think I’m only talking about completing the top. Let’s not contemplate on how many more years it will take to quilt this beauty. Did I mention that I’m hand piecing every block. No, sewing machine is coming near this quilt in progress.

Let’s not start nagging about how small the blocks are. Lets not go there. They are sooooooo small. Sorry, I love to nag once in a while. I think it is hard for people – not quilters - to imagine how small the pieces are. Sometimes you only need 2 stitches to fit two pieces together.

I also ponder whether I should blame Jane or Brenda for this tedious undertaking. According to Brenda not all the baby Jane’s were that small (11,5 x 11,5 cm).

Saturday I travelled with Juud to her sister Karin, who lives in the east part of the Netherlands. It was about an hours drive. I had a terrific time. We worked on our baby Jane’s. Karin also showed her other works. There are so many. You can read about it on my regular blog.

2011_07_16_DJ bij Karin

I brought some brownie cookies. Boy, were they delicious and filling. I had a whole one!! Karin made some soup for lunch. She adapted her recipe to make it a low-salt vegetable soup. She remember reading about it on my blog. I was very surprised that she had been reading my other blog for about 3 years. She finally met the real Helen and it seems that the virtual Helen doesn’t differ much from the real one. 

Juud had some difficulties with Papa’s Star! That makes me soooooo happy. On Wednesday I was sure she would piece this baby together faster than me. But Saturday she noticed when she had finished piecing this baby that it just didn’t look right. I won’t go into it too much as I’m sure she will write about it on her blog. For the observant reader I’m sure you can see what I’m talking about.

Had a great day and looking forward to the next one. In September the quilt circle will take place on a Saturday. My dream to realize a Dear Jane circle will finally come true. I just have to be a little more patient in the future. All things do turn out for the best in the long run.

Helen, the quilter

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Progress with the G8 – Justin’s Comet

The coming weeks Juud and I will be working real hard on our Dear Jane Quilt. We might even make some real progress. It is so much more fun, stitching together. And, it becomes even more fun when others join, virtually. Juud is real ‘vet cool’ (Dutch youth slang) & a very ‘hippe’ woman. See her here twitting with her sister who was showing her progress on her Dear Jane?


Juud is into social media even more than me!!  image‘LZ’ has completed the first route and even put on the sashings!! Some pictures were exchanged. Who would have thought that these modern women would enjoy practising such an old craft and also love using social media.

Recently Updated4

As you can see, looking closer to my hands we are not getting any younger. Lots of wrinkles appearing!! But we act young!!


As mentioned in the header I started on the G8 and have nearly completed this little baby. Another hour and I can show you her.

We were so enthusiastic that we started (dreaming) planning on finishing this quilt. ‘’Imagine if we made 5 blocks a week, we would have this quilt finished next year July. No, no, this is a too unrealistic goal. How about 4 blocks a month? Yes, that is attainable. But this would mean we would have our Dear Jane completed in 4.5 years!! No that can’t be right. Back to math. Yes, the math is correct, it would really takes us that long.’’ So after a little discussion, I regret to have to inform you, that you will be reading about our progress for a long time. But any way, to speed up the progress we planned some extra bee’s for the summer. We don’t want to fall too much behind, as LZ (Juud’s sister) is on a roll.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don’t you just love….. Civil War Quilts?

I’m absolutely smitten with the quilts from this era and how stories are kept alive through quilt patterns. If you haven’t guessed by now I’m talking about the American Civil War 1861 – 1865. Almost all the inter-regional crises involved slavery. This led to a division in The Union along the Mason Dixon Line into the North (free of slaves), and the South, where slavery remained legal.


But it is not just the quilts that inspire me. I’m also interested in the history of this period. Would love to read more about the abolitionism movement, the women of the American Civil War, and Woman's Christian Temperance Union.  Many quilts were made for both fundraising and for the soldiers' bedding during the Civil War. The soldiers' quilts were generally made with basic fabrics and very simple block patterns. Time was always an issue, so the faster the quilts could be made the better. I know from experience that Jane Stickle didn’t keep all the patterns in the Dear Jane simple. Some are a real challenge. Maybe this provided her a much wanted distraction. To keep the mind from wondering and the hands busy.

Do you want to read more about the different patterns and get a quilt block free? Visit the Civil War Quilts blog that Barbara Brackman publishes. I’m very appreciative of her effort and in awe of the inspiration she provides.

It pleases me that I’m not the only one who is fascinated with the Dear Jane and other Civil War quilts. Cathy from Willow Valley Store (Australia) has also started on the Dear Jane. Do check out her blog. Through Cathy’s blog I surfed on to Marian’s blog (Marian Edwards DreamWeaver). Marian has made some beautiful blocks. You have to see the amazing fabrics she is using for your self, just click on the hyperlink. 

For those who read my blog, if you have any suggestions on books I should read about  this era just send an e-mail with your suggestions. It is very much appreciated. If you happen to know of other quilters who are fascinated by civil war quilts and are in the progress of making a civil war quilt, please provide me the URL of their blogs. Would love to follow their progress.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Drum roll please!!

And than all of a sudden this baby Jane was born (finished). I’m amazed. I puzzled my wits to construct this baby. The middle part – about the size of a 2 €uro coin – was the hardest part. At the Dear Jane Club I all of a sudden saw how I had to fit every thing together. Some things seems to take time – si deve accettare questo! (by the way – I don’t speak Italian, got a little help from Mr Google translator). It sounds nice though.

2011_07_01_DJ-club1-1It was another great time at the Dear Jane club. I’m so happy I joined. Great ladies and great laughs. I finally met LZ!


At the Hema (a Dutch store) you can get these Petits Fours. Gerda treated us.    imageThe pink one with the flower on top was delicious.


It was so good I had to try the chocolate one too, with my second cup of coffee. It was a very successful afternoon.