Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Jane A. Stickle Quilt

So yeah, what's really fueling this whole thang is I'm finally starting on "the quilt." I'm talking about the famous "Jane A. Stickle" quilt aka the "Dear Jane" quilt. It was made by one woman during the civil war and simply, poignantly signed “In War Time 1863. Pieces 5602. Jane A. Stickle.

quilt is known for its originality and many, many tiny pieces. Bajillions of people all over the world make reproductions of this quilt so there's a lot of great info and camaraderie out there. It's a community tradition to give your quilt a name. Surprise: mine is called "Jane's Addiction."

The original Jane A. Stickle quilt

225 unique, pieced blocks - no repeats.
  • 169 pieced 4.5" square blocks
  • 52 pieced triangle and
  • 4 pieced corner kites

The intention to make a recreation of this quilt has been there for years. In fact, a few blocks have even been made - mainly because I absolutely couldn't help but to make them. The jane-driven compulsive fabric-hoarding peaked a few years ago already, declined and eventually leveled off. In the meantime, a huge stash of civil war reproduction quilting fabric was accumulated. Binned for longer than I'd like to admit, it's been freshly reorganized by color. ::little old lady adam sandler voice:: "Oh, I love touching my fabwic!" Well, that was embarassing - but honestly, that's how I get.

And of course, I had to redesign the whole layout of the quilt. I love the individual block designs and the overall color of the original, but being all graphic designery and edity all the time I decided what it really needed was to be reorganized by block style, value and color. Three years later... (just kidding). As I am student of 'creative process' I will share photos of that progression at some point. There's a book. There's software. There are 100s of patterns to be printed. There are 1000s of pages of tips and advice to reference. And I haven't even mentioned yet how lucky I feel that my favorite quilt shop finally started a 'Dear Jane' group for those of us who've been wanting to take on this project. Suffice it to say a lot of work has gone into this and I haven't really even started, ya know? But I love this quilt so much and am dying to get up to my neck in it proper. Since this is such a large project I wanted to document it. A lot of people seem to do that and I am getting on board. Block by block I want to take notes and keep track of details (how many pieces, how much time it took, fabric used and method) and other ephemera.

As for scope, I'm not yet sure if I will limit my posts to "Jane's Addiction" but I'd like to think general musings on the pursuit of happiness would be welcomed here as well.

- JanesAddicted.

Begin the Beguine.

I love the scene from 'A River Runs Through It' where the beleaguered home-schooled kid is forced to edit down his essay - again and again... "Again, half as long..." barks the dad. When he finally gets it good enough, he's freed and tears out of the house with fishing gear in hand, running off through the tall grass in the direction of his passion. While no one ever successfully taught me how to write with economy, I can relate to the feeling of keeping your joy and passion at bay. A million must-dos cue up in front of those elusive heart-and-soul projects. Why can't we feel free to dive into what really makes us happy? Why do we allow all the other nonsense to stand in our way?

Well, after years of waaannnntttting to take on this project, and kinda sorta starting it but not really, and perfectionistically planning and tweaking my way out of ever actually making a go of it, I'm really for sure for realsville starting it this time. Yeah, did you notice I didn't commit to finishing it there? : ) but for me, the joy is in the _____________ <--?


- JanesAddicted.