Monday, September 10, 2012

jane becomes jillayne

i've been feeling at a bit of a loose end these days, easily distracted
so today i parked myself in my sewing room and decided to work on something that's been nagging at me for a while

in august of 1991 we found ourselves in bennington, vermont and one of the things we did while we were there was go to the museum
where i saw the jane a. stickle quilt
i was in the early days of my quilting journey and i was dumbfounded by her quilt

many years later i began to hear people talking about the "dear jane" quilt and eventually i realized they were talking about the quilt i had seen all those years ago
all i really remembered about it was that it was not a very big quilt but had about a million little pieces of fabric in it!

then i saw this book and the next thing i knew i was joining a group that were making their own versions of jane's quilt

but i must admit, i was struggling with the whole idea
firstly, because i'm so stinking busy and the last thing i need to do is start on something else
and secondly, because if i was truthful, i really didn't like the quilt all that much - too busy for my taste, with all those 4" blocks

 so i've been mulling it over and while i was doing that i found some beautiful, softly shaded, yarn-dyed fabrics that i fell in love with
and in no time i at all, i decided they would be the perfect fabrics for my own jane quilt

and in even less time i decided that i would use linen for the background fabric (which should be really interesting to work with!)
and that because of my love of needlework and samplers and such, i would incorporate period-appropriate needlework into my design
and finally,  i wouldn't make all the blocks, only the ones i really liked and i would change the layout to make it less busy and allow space for said needlework

and then i lost my way

 the linen i was able to get was too creamy for my yarn-dyed fabrics and then i remembered a tablerunner i had made for my mom out of some different old-looking fabrics
so i rooted around, found the left-overs and went off on a new colour scheme, finding all sorts of pretty fabrics that would work, some embroidery thread and was ready to begin

except i just couldn't get excited about it, and so it all sat

yesterday i thought i would get a binder organized for the project - i wanted to cut the book apart and put it in a binder so i could easily trace and make the templates i would need (yep, i'm hand-piecing it)

the only binder i could find was hideously ugly so i decided i would recover it but when i took the plastic cover off, it all fell apart

so now i am covering it as if i was making a book from scratch
i'm using a lovely worn piece of hemp fabric and decided to pull out the yarn-dyed fabrics and use them to embellish the cover

and then i was happy
and i realized the only reason i deviated from my original plan for the quilt was because of the linen I chose for the background fabric

 into my suitcase of beautiful old linens i went,  and decided there were some that would work just fine for the background fabric,
and go perfectly with the yarn-dyes

in just a few minutes more i found a whole range of fabrics that would work for the blocks

and swapped out the embroidery thread for new colours in silk, linen and cotton threads

i probably won't use them all, but the colours will inspire me and i like having lots of choice!

soft colours and brighter ones
much, much better

and so with that all sorted out, back to the cover i went....

 simple french knots around the hexagons add even more texture

 and pretty lazy-daisies

this binder i am making will hold all the book pages plus i'll make pockets on the inside covers to hold the rulers

and just so i don't lose my way again i will spend the rest of this week working on some design pages with needlework notes and fabric swatches, sketches and ideas as they come to me

 i already know the name of my quilt - it's also the post title

"jane becomes jillayne"

i want this quilt of mine to be a reflection of both jane that first drafted all these little blocks and carefully stitched them all together,
and me, with my style and my interests

her block designs, with the needlework and sampler stitches that were my first love

 it's also a fitting name because
my name was made up from jill and jayne

 at least, that's the plan today

stay tuned....



Wendy said...

I love your thought process and how the project evolves, I work the same way. Pick some fabric for a project, decide the fabric would do better as something else, start to make that, decide the fabric's not right, swap over, think the original fabric would work for the original project. then make something completely different with some completely different fabric!

I look forward to watching this progress if the binder cover is anything to go by!

suziqu's thread works said...

I really don't know,amongst any of my friends, who, once in the creative process, don't start with an idea and stick with it to the end.
I love the way you have expressed your changing journey here - I love it and that is how I create also.
Our best results come from an inspiration that we take and make it our very own.
The ideas, fabrics, shades and different chosen threads reflect who you are.
Looking forward to where this leads!
x Suzy

Diane Kelsey said...

A much better plan to make the quilt your own. Maybe in years to come people will be making a 'Jillayne quilt'.

Marj Talbot said...

I will definitely stay tuned for the next posting of this project. Totally interesting and exciting to see things come together. On that note, I think I"ll go to my sewing room and have a browse.

FlowerLady said...

Wow, this post has inspired me. I love your color scheme and look forward to more posts about this.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

karen said...

this is gorgeous! and I adore the colours.....I am so pleased you worked your way through the dislike phase. and butty box is Northern English in origin. It's what the men call the box they put their sandwiches/food in for lunch!

Dorthe said...

OH Jillayne, your Jane/Jillayne quilt, will (for me also) be so much more beautiful, than the original one... I love the peace of the colours you choosed -and not all those red bussy ones... I love you leaves open spaces for little embroideries and sweet buttons, and I love all your wonderful embroidery threads-wow so many you have :-)
in lovely colours,too.
I wish you joy and happines going on with this gorgeous project.

FredaB said...

This is going to be great to watch this evolve. Your own touch to it all will mean it is yours and not Janes.



Createology said...

Making something just because you are supposed to is not nearly as fulfilling as your plan of Jane to Jillayne and making the quilt as you really want it to be. Your fabrics and colors are serene and delicious all together. I like the binder cover you are creating to keep it all together. This will add such an integral part of the heirloom treasure you will be creating for yourself and future generations. Blessings Dear...

Alisa Noble said...

I loved reading how this project evolved for you. And I agree with how you are proceeding. I always end up ditching projects when I can't work out a way to put myself into them.
Looking forward to more evolution posts on this!

Mosaic Magpie said...

I am always surprised by the turn of events certain projects bring about.....Somethings we work on seem to flow from start to finish. Then there are other projects we fight with all the way along. It is though our inner muse is trying to help us find our way, but we are not listening. Finally something clicks and we realize all the materials are to be found in our stash, the project speaks to our hearts and sings it's special song. You found the perfect colors to work with.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jillayne,

How exciting, I love the process you are going through to make your Jillayne quilt.
Your choice of fabrics, gorgeous colours of the silk threads, will make a beautiful quilt. The little French knots around the hexagons are lovely.
Also that is neat how your name came about, have never heard of another Jillayne, pretty name.

Enjoy the week

Becca said...

I LOVE the soft colors here Jillayne! I think linen is beautiful to work with. The french knots around the hexagons is such a unique idea! Very beautiful! Hope you are feeling a bit better.

Tina @ TinyBear Studio said...

Your quilt project looks wonderful Jillayne. I love that you use old linen as backing. Just what I would do too. Love all the colors on your fabric and thread. Looking forward to see your finished Dear Jillayne Quilt.

Susan Elliott said...

I have always wanted to do my own Dear Susan quilt. I think the appeal is all those small vignettes...telling a story...Not too overwhelming to think about 4" blocks.

You're colors are beautiful and the use of linen is sublime. I love it already.

Bead and Needle said...


Creative Grammie said...

I love watching projects evolve, can't wait to see your finished project.