Monday, October 6, 2014

Dear Jane: It's Not You, It's Me...

Do you ever find that at the end of the year you start looking at the list of WIPs and working out what you can complete and check off before the new year rolls around? That's where I'm at right now. I'm trying not to feel guilty about the number of WIPs I still have hanging around, and instead I'm concentrating on finishing them up.

One of the things that has always been at the top of my WIP list, under 'Long Term Quilts In Piecing' is the Dear Jane quilt I started way back in, ahem, 2002. Once upon a time I had grand plans of a hand-pieced, reproduction masterpiece that would take pride of place on a wall somewhere in my house.

Then life got busy. We built and moved houses a couple of times. I had another baby. I discovered scrapbooking with a vengeance. I went back to work. I rediscovered quilting, this time modern.

Occasionally I'd pull my highly organised Dear Jane box out from under my bed, complete a few blocks, then get over it. Fast forward twelve years and I've done 32 blocks out of the 225.

At this rate I should get it done when I'm about 120.

Or I can rethink and accept that I will never, ever get it finished. I don't love the whole concept any more, I don't enjoy this kind of hand piecing. I admire the amazing workmanship of anyone who's ever made a Dear Jane, but it's just not for me.

I pulled it out again today and took a look at what I'd done. For a moment I was all sentimental about how wonderful it was, then I realised how much more work there was to complete this quilt.

I've made the decision to use what I've got to create a mini-Jane. She's not going to be as spectacular as a full Dear Jane, but she's still going to be beautiful. It's a very manageable amount of work - I have two more blocks cut out that just need piecing, and then I need to put it all together. Hand quilting it will also be manageable due to its size. I used to panic about how I might possibly ever hand quilt it after I finally finished it. You know, my fingers will be pretty arthritic when I get to 120.

Once I'm done I'll sort the fabric reserved for this project - a small amount will go into my colour stash, some will go in my art quilts stash, and I expect a lot will go to a friend who loves reproduction fabrics.

And then I'll be able to check another project off my to-do list and take a huge weight off my mind. Sometimes quilting with no guilt is all about finding solutions.