Dear Jane wants to come and play today!

After spending a wonderful evening in the company of good friends and fellow Dear Janer’s last evening – I’m declaring it a Dear Jane kind of day today in my sewing room.
This poor pitiful block has been sitting in a cute little basket for months now without any attention from me.  So first on the list is to finish this one today!
But while I’m sharing what I’m doing today, I’d also like to pass on a great tip if you are working on a Dear Jane also, or a Farmers Wife quilt or whatever.
Stay organized.  Our wonderful instructor for our Dear Jane group suggested a way to stay organized and stay on top of our Dear Jane progress.  When I saw her binder of goodies – I jumped all over this idea like a fly on honey in the summertime.
Keep everything organized in one of those big huge 4″ or 5″ binders.  Use plastic sleeves to protect your project pages, keep your templates organized or hold fabrics that have patterns traced on them.
Use these pages to store your blocks – protecting those fabric edges until you are ready to sew them all together for this quilt.
Sometimes I’ll pull a certain fabric from my stash and think – man this would make a great Dear Jane block.  So I’ll take that hunk of fabric and add it into whatever plastic sleeve for the block I want to use it in. (in this photo you can see that I’ve traced my template pieces onto the fabric already – I’m to lazy today to grab the camera and walk back into my sewing room and take another picture of just fabric stuffed in a plastic sleeve – so just imagine hunks of fabric shoved in this plastic sleeve – ok?)
More than likely, if you are making a project like a Dear Jane quilt – you will need two binders as you progress.  I find myself printing off inspirational blog posts from others working on a DJ, helpful tips, charts, inspirational sayings and random thoughts and adding those to this binder also.  That way I have everything together and can store it all and file it away when it’s time to work on something else!
This is a picture of my little cubby shelf that I store all Dear Jane items – I know right where to go when I need the patterns, freezer paper, plastic for templates and Carol Doak foundation papers.
This is a photo of the 2 little cubby shelf directly next to my Dear Jane items.  These fabrics, one side for backgrounds and one side is for the colored fabrics, that I just “have to” use in this quilt and have not decided what block they will be going in just yet.
This is another great idea from our fearless Dear Jane leader. A journal.
Now, I admit, I have not kept up with this very well.  I started off with the best of intentions and never followed through.  But at the beginning of this year I decided to use this journal not only for Dear Jane information, thoughts and things that were happening in my life on any given day I work on a DJ block – I’m also going to journal about the other projects I’m working on at the time.  The photo above you see the day I decided to work on Kathie from the Inspired by Antiques blog quilt design.  I printed the picture off and taped it to the page and information pertaining to where the pattern is (in American Patchwork and Quilting magazine!!!).  Sorry about the Miranda Lambert CD at the bottom of the page  and yes it is covering something else up.  That area holds a picture that a dear friend sent to me for inspiration of a block she is working on and I decided to piece that block also in my spare time.  You understand I’m sure, but I don’t want to blab on and on about what others are working on and were shared with me in confidence.
Also in this journal, I have my ideas for new projects, drawings and sketches, random thoughts that were running through my head as I worked on a project.  I also note special little moments in my children’s lives that pop up every now and then, so years down the road I can look back and read it and remember a little bit of the past!
With all these great tips shared, I urge you to visit your local quilt shop and take a class or join a club!  Not only is it wonderful to be in the company of others that share our love of quilting, it’s also a great time to learn new tips, tricks and techniques.  Everyone can learn something new!
If you do not have a local quilt shop – start a quilting bee – ask your friends to join you at home or a designated location – or run an internet quilting bee!  Never stop learning and sharing!
Now I must get back to enjoying my day visiting Dear Jane and listening to Miranda’s excellent CD!
Have a great weekend everyone!

4 thoughts on “Dear Jane wants to come and play today!”

  1. Those are great tips, Tara. Thank you so much. Those plastic sleeves are great for so many things, aren't they? Love them.I love the idea of journaling the many steps in our lives. I like making the journals 🙂 Maybe some day another will find the threads that made up our lives.


  2. Great tips Tara! I have yet to get a big folder for my DJ project, but how you have yours sorted is how I keep stuff together for certain projects too! Some of my folders are bursting LOL! I love the Journal idea too, and may adopt this in conjunction, it would be great to look back on in years to come – once it's finished!!!!


  3. I love all your suggestions and will use them when I start on Dear Jane. I used most of your tips while I was working on the Farmer's Wife, but now that I'm nearing the end on that one, I'm gearing up for Dear Jane and these suggestions will be a huge help!


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