I didn't go to work today. Instead, I went to a workshop with Penny Haren.
The long view of most of the class.
Demonstrating her technique.
As I was listening to her talk, something sounded familiar in her slight accent. I asked her where she was from, and found out she knows my aunt Glenna in Newark, OH! Penny taught Dear Jane classes at her quilt shop and Aunt Glenna was one of her students. The first time I saw Dear Jane blocks was when Aunt Glenna showed me hers. Of course, I thought those little blocks were crazy-fiddly and swore I'd never make one myself. Funny how things change.
Penny brought her Dear Jane quilt top and I got a couple of pictures.
She did a great job on it, but said she plans to take it apart because she doesn't like the sashing. Yikes!!
Today's class wasn't Dear Jane, it was Penny's Pieced Applique technique. A lot of what we learned can be applied to Dear Jane, though. These are the blocks I made today:
A lot of pieces are just glued on and still need to be stitched down. She uses monofilament thread and a narrow zig-zag to do her applique. I usually don't like machine applique and had planned to do all of my Dear Jane appliques by hand. That was before I found out about the arthritis in my right hand. It makes hand sewing painful, so I'm thinking about switching to the machine version.
The Dear Jane motto is "Finished is better than perfect" and my hand applique is far from perfect. I've been a little worried that some of the blocks won't survive a washing, and machine stitching them will maybe make them more secure *and* get them done in my lifetime. I figure I can practice on the blocks from class and decide. If I use the monofilament, it won't matter as much if I can't stay on the lines and I should get better over time.
If you're a quilter, Penny's book is definitely worth a look. Even if I do the stitching by hand, I'll definitely be using some of her techniques on my Dear Jane blocks. I might even spring for some of her fussy cut rulers. I resisted buying one for the class because I have a whole pegboard full of rulers (I think I have every size/shape OmniGrid makes, or very close to it) and didn't really want to buy another one. However, they did come in handy in the class, so I'll definitely keep them in mind.
Here's something you don't see every day:
Yep, all four of the "kittens" in the chair at once.
Now I'm going to go play in my sewing room....