Visitors to our recent Open Days were treated to a glorious spectacle, one which we think should be enjoyed far and wide. This magnificent Dear Jane Quilt is the handiwork of Anne Underhill, a member of the local Montpellier Quilt Group, who made it entirely using our Oakshotts. Anne shares her story with us.
The original Dear Jane Quilt was designed and sewn in 1863 by Jane Sickle in Vermont, USA. She made it without the aid of a sewing machine or electric light...
...and definitely no computer software. Her achievements put mine in the shade.
Anne embarked on her project in November 2015 and finished in November 2017. Her blocks are a mixture of paper piecing and hand appliqué, each one 4 1/2" square. One block consists of a staggering 49 pieces.
She found the scalloped binding/border easier than expected and she departed from the original design only to add the 'melon' or 'petal' shapes to the border, which she felt would otherwise look too plain. The quilting is Anne's own work using a domestic sewing machine.
The biggest challenge was attaching the corner blocks. This required complete silence and several glasses of wine.
I enjoyed making Dear Jane enormously. Every aspect of my quilt making improved as I progressed downwards: the bottom row of blocks is much better than the top!
Anne used Dear Jane software from The Electric Quilt Company to print out the foundation pieced blocks or templates for appliqué. She scanned each completed block into her computer, enabling the software to create a 'virtual quilt' as she went along. The piecing took five months, the joining together one week and the quilting three months.
The amazing Oakshott colours have made this traditional design look very contemporary. It was a total obsession!
We're wondering what Anne's doing now with all her free time!