I have heard that the 1863 quilt by Jane A. Stickle is the Quilt to beat all quilts. Apparently, if you can complete this handmade, intricate, mathematical quilt, than you have achieved the ultimate height of quilt-making. A Queen of Quilts. Or as I like to call it: the Quilting Olympics!
So I have become a Dear Jane girl at our local quilting store Village Fabrics. I was excited when I saw that a group was starting up as this is one quilt that has intrigued me for awhile, and I have always throught that I would like to give it a try. I know that it is a long term project - and if I want it to be authentic it all has to be hand-pieced, though as one of the ladies in my class said, there is no patchwork police hanging over our shoulders to check!
There are 7 of us in the ongoing class, and we meet every Sunday afternoon for a few hours to stitch our block of the week. We have had Ann Higgs teaching us the various applique methods for the first few weeks which has been educational! And then we get to choose the method we like best. I think I prefer the freezer paper and needleturn method of applique.
It has been fun to meet new people. Quilting ladies are always lovely, I find - and generous. When I told the class I wanted to do mine exclusively in French General fabrics, I was immediately plied with offcuts and scraps that the ladies had stashed in their cupboards that they swear they don't want anymore! How kind!
Look at this lovely bundle!
And so I begin the cataloguing of my tiny little 4 inch squares, and there is something rather compelling about them. I look forward to my class each week, and I'm enjoying the challenge. Because this quilt is very mathematical, it truly is a challenge for my non-mathematical brain. I expect it will take me years to complete this, and when it's all sewn together, there's the handquilting to do to finish it. But I like the challenge!
This Pinwheel Gone Awry is actually the first square in the book, but was our homework for last week, and there were lots of complaints when we turned up at the class this week! Nobody like doing this one - and if I can forget about how much I hated it, I might redo it at a later stage. But so far it is an exception - I've enjoyed all the other squares! Also, check out the lovely names of the squares. I love their romance!