Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dear Jane night

Tonight was my monthly Dear Jane meeting. I organized this group a year and a half ago to try to keep me motivated on my Dear Jane quilt. It worked pretty well for a while. I was making all kinds of progress, and I even participated in a holiday block swap. Then I got burned out and haven't really done much since May. Well, check it out:


I finished a block tonight!!

Keep in mind that my printer/scanner isn't the best at reproducing colors. It also has really crappy ink and one of these days I'm going to replace it, but I digress. Anyway, the block actually has a *black* background, not a sickly olive/baby poop color. I had the 9-patch-y part done already and just added the black piece around the edges. I machine/strip-pieced the layer underneath, then reverse appliqued the background on top. It's not perfect, but the "Mother Quilt" isn't perfect and as the Dear Jane rulers say, "Finished is better than perfect". Amen!

I'm not *quite* ready to say the Dear Jane dry spell is over, but at least I'm not completed stalled. When I got home, I pulled out the bag that has the block and triangle that I have to re-do in it. I might work on those this weekend to get "caught up" with the right numbers, then I can post the full accurate numbers, including piece count on goals section.

I also got some crappy cell phone pictures of the other ladies' completed Dear Jane tops. Here is Jeri's:

If I'm counting right, she did 81 of the blocks, all in different fabrics, I think. We thought she was crazy to piece together all those squares for the background, then she pointed out that the seam lines will help her mark the quilting pattern she wants to use. Good thinking, Jeri. She plans to have this done in time to enter it in the guild's quilt show - April 18-19 at Westlake High School - so I'll get a better picture of it then.

Here is Linda's Christmas Siggie quilt top:

A siggie exchange is another form of insanity. You make a 4.5" finished square-in-a-square block (which is D-13 in the Dear Jane quilt), with your name in the center, for everyone who signs up for the swap. If I recall the emails on the Dear Jane list, there were 128 participants this time around. These ladies do all sorts of things for the centers. Some of them write their names with fabric pens, which makes my hand cramp just thinking about it. A lot of them use rubber stamps (some of which are custom made for this purpose). I think some of them embroider their names, either by machine - or by hand(!). I saw at least one with a tiny button sewn on. I'm sure some had hot-fix crystals, too. Amazing! If I ever do a siggie swap, you can be sure I'll be making full use of my embroidery machine! I wonder how many of those center squares I could fit in my big hoop?

I also got a chance to take a picture of the chemo cap I knit for Linda:

This is the first meeting she's been to for a few months and I was really glad to see her. She looks great and still has her hair, more than half way through her treatments! I'll keep my fingers crossed that it stays that way. She wore the cap on the way out, which made me happy.

One of the other ladies in the group has several rows of blocks put together already, but she didn't bring them tonight. Next time I'll get a picture of those, too.

In wildlife news, a deer crossed the road in front of me on the way home from the meeting tonight. It was well ahead of me and was in no danger of being hit by me or anyone else, thankfully.

Also, I'm beginning to doubt Emma's assertions that she hates kittens. John was working from home yesterday and sent these two pictures within 15 minutes of each other:

She really gets around, doesn't she?

That's half a pink, fuzzy, formerly-dumbell-shaped cat toy behind her head in the second picture. The kittens have destroyed at least two of them so far. When a local PetSmart was going out of business, I bought 3 more, since they seem to like them so much. I haven't pulled out any of the new ones yet, since they still seem to like this one. Blue liked to play fetch with it, though lately he's been partial to the fleece-y mice. I thought he might have out-grown his fetching habit, but he's been doing it a lot lately. He's an odd little puppy-cat.

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