Monday, March 12, 2012

Jane's Addicted to Process.

...of course i had to redesign it.
Once I decided I wanted to make this quilt, I wondered if there was a way to keep the overall look and feel of the quilt - to faithfully reproduce (most of) the blocks, but tweak the block placement to emphasize the "trip around the world" pattern at the heart of the design...
So here's a picture of the original Jane A. Stickle quilt. Isn't it beautiful?
I traced over the concentric diamonds that create the "trip around the world" pattern.
Since there is a wide range of values in the blocks, especially since many of the fabrics have faded,
the color scheme of the "trip" effect is a bit hard to see at first.
An easy way to check the "value" of something is to neutralize the color...
I converted all the blocks in the dear jane software to one single color
so I could see the light/dark (value) more clearly. Squinting helps, too.
With the color gone, the motifs start talking to you.
Hello, circles and diamonds, light and dark...

solids and 9-patches, and X'es light and dark...

central motif (applique), asymmetrical, stars, etc.

My worksheet:  testing out a new layout using repositionable colorless blocks... (I printed out and cut up the blocks and hit the backs with a scrapbooking adhesive and it worked great... a little the worse for wear now...) Once I had a good sense for the motif groupings and values of the blocks, I started playing with a new layout based on motif and value. e.g., there are approximately x# of diamond blocks - where could I place those that would make the most sense?
Lightbulb. the blocks with a diamond motif could
form a giant diamond and the X blocks could form a giant X.
At this point I was starting to think all my geeking out on this was starting to pay off.
close up...
A clean version of a redesign... This shows the general block placement I'm going with, but not color scheme (for example, all the diamonds will be in blue.) Since I love the overall color balance of the original quilt and want to try to keep that feeling, I am using a lot of tans and browns, pinks, blues and greens... Some other plans... I'm "righting" the basket, (I actually think it's adorable on-end, but it keeps making me want to turn my head sideways...) I'm boldly replacing the blocks I think are ugly... (blasphemy), and trying to keep the block design as close to the original as possible without reproducing "mistakes" (blasphemy). There's an elements/symbol thing running down the center column: there's  rain, snow, star, earth, sun, and moons. I am using shirtings for  background which could potentially ruin any increased balance I'm achieving with rearranging the blocks... So we will just have to wait and see how it all turns out!


  1. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I loved reading yours and now look what you did - you've inspired me to try to pick up my Jane again today for a little bit. I am also rotating that basket and adding more blue and making those blocks stand out in my TATW.

  2. Haha!! I love it. :D Quilt Geek par excellence!

  3. I love this posting! I spent so much time ruminating over these options. Had I seen this posting many years ago, I might have followed your lead. In the end, I caved in and used Jane's arrangement, but I really love what you are planning. I will follow with interest!

  4. Thanks, all. Considering the hours it took me to work this up (several years ago now) I figured it deserved at least a blog-entry... Nothing like a blog to hang your triumphs and insecurities out to dry... : )