Thursday, January 12, 2017

Dear Jane...the adventure begins!

Dear Jane...
I think every quilter has heard about and seen pictures of Dear Jane. If you aren't familiar with Dear Jane go here
I recall seeing pictures of the quilt or the book at various times over the last few years. Sometimes stopping to consider it, but realizing it would just be a challenge I didn't want to undertake when there were faster, easier quilts to make. 

If you've read my About Me page, you'll know that I slowed down. And if you followed my previous blog and previous incarnations on Instagram, and compare them to the last year or 2 you will realize just how much I have slowed down. I only make something if I want to make it, and work on it when I want to work on it. And if I don't want it, I let it go. (Thanks minimalism/Joshua Becker/KonMari!) Sometime I might talk more about all of that, because I've always intended to, but for now lets move on to the start of this great adventure!

I didn't set out with a plan to make the Dear Jane quilt, I was scrolling through instagram and came across @lilabellelane working an English Paper Pieced (EPP) Dear Jane quilt and I though 'wow what a great way to make a Dear Jane!' So I followed the hashtag trail and discovered that PaperPieces.com put together a whole program for EPPing the Dear Jane quilt. I debated and debated, and finally signed up for the 18 month program. (Note: if you do this, they started in December and they will catch you up.) I'm awaiting the delivery of my first 2 months and the book anytime now.

Selecting fabric was surprisingly easy, and surprisingly outside of the norm for me. I've never used batiks, never particularly cared for the look of them. And I don't recall ever purchasing a Kate Spain fabric, but the moment I saw this bundle I fell in love! And I knew that I wouldn't be so worried about what the actual patterns of the fabric were because they'll get lost in the tiny pieces, but there is variety and depth of volume, and that will be very important with this project.
Kate Spain Latitude batiks
I ordered from Starlit Quilts on Etsy she offered a great price on the bundle, has great shipping costs, my order arrived quickly, and she threw in a mini charm pack!
Seriously - look how gorgeous!!
Having never used batiks, but knowing they are hand dyed I did some research, trying to figure out if I should pre-wash them or not - I didn't want to take any risk with my Dear Jane! I found this fascinating video from Moda about how batiks are made - if you've got 17 minutes watch it, appreciate it! And I found a lot of forum discussion that lead me to decide to give them a quick pre-hand-wash, and boy am I glad I did!!!!
SOOOOO MUCH BLEEDING!!!!!!!  I washed/soaked them in the sink with my regular detergent and HOT water and a zillion Color Catchers. I did a rinse in vinegar ,then a final rinse in my washing machine, so they could spin, followed by a short tumble in the dryer. And finally I pressed them the rest of the way dry.
Another note - batiks smell horrible! Pre-washing them for that reason alone is probably a good idea, but oh the bleeding! Now they smell lovely and all the excess dye is left on this pile of Color Catchers, which I'm thinking my girls and I will turn into some sort of spring flower craft, because, why not?
So now I wait to begin. And I'm going to go slow. I do not anticipate catching up with the shipment program, I'll just focus on a block at a time, like my other quilt-a-longs, and enjoy the process and seeing it grow, and sharing it with you. =)
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