Thursday, 19 June 2008

crazy little blue things

Dear Lene,

Apparently, with you gone for just a couple of days, I've totally lost steam. Yesterday I didn't manage to do anything on my third block (this in spite of the fact that it really is going faster without the freezer paper). I guess I need your presence to keep me going.

This morning I pulled out two piles of blocks that I had told you about. Started years ago - admittedly at a very stressful point in my life, when I really needed something to focus on.

These are the Dear Jane blocks I did - I think from about 2000-2002. I worked on them in the midst of a very stressful move from one apartment to another.

They're all entirely hand-sewn. I was able to have my handwork in one tiny work bag, and still keep sewing while my entire life was in boxes.

Somewhat unfortunately, I made them all blue. I'm not sure why I got going with that (other than the fact that my blue fabric stash is just enormous), but as you know blue is just not my color. Ultimately, I got bored with them and they've been living in a tin in the closet ever since. Every once in a while (like today) I take them out and think about setting them together. Somehow. I think that's the problem - they don't really move me, I have no idea where to go with them, and yet ... I put so much work into them that they really deserve a life outside of their tin.

The next set of blocks are from Linda Franz's Quilted Diamonds book.

These I actually like, but once again ... they live in a tin. Also all hand pieced. I obviously was on a teeny-tiny piecing kick for a while, but the fever seems to have passed and now I have lots of little blocks (and diamonds).

Just to show you that I've also been bitten by the English paper piecing bug:

hexagons [Edit: that would be octagons!] and squares - blue squares (maybe I don't dislike blue as much as I say I do?)

Stars in hexagons. Again... a lot of blue (but these have pink and purples too).

I really do like the fabrics in this one.

Now, can you please get back and keep me on track here? I'm afraid I might do something crazy. Or something else in blue.



Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

My dear Jane blocks weigh heavy on me to catch up to the others on the Dear Jane blog. Yours are darling. I want to see where you go from here. Nice job on all of it.

elizabeth said...

The first two and those diamonds? Fabulous. Maybe I should be taking fabric to the beach with me instead of mittens!

Jeanette said...

I like all of these! I'm not really a blue person either, but think these are really pretty.

How big are the hexagons and square in the 4th picture? I think I'd like to make one like this.

Sallie said...

I am totally a blue person, and I love the blue and white squares. They would be an awesome quilt.

pacalaga said...

Maybe you just need to make some more Dear Jane blocks in different colors to set off the blue.

beadlizard said...

I lurve the blue Dear Janes... Could you use some of your preferred colors in other blocks or the sashing???

regina said...

I'm not much of a blue-loving gal, but those blocks are just remarkably beautiful. That's a whole lotta blue or someone who doesn't love the color. Were they intended as gifts?

Jeanne said...

Have you ever visited the website with Dear Jane pictures? You may get ideas for an alternate setting with your blue blocks.
I love your diamonds, too. Unfortunately, mine are also sitting in a tin and a box waiting.... Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

I found your blog through another. Yours is a very interesting read. I will be back for more.
I very much like blue & white quilts but it is hard to work with just one color. My bedroom is in blue & white.

Diane said...

Wow, these blocks are wonderful! I don't especially like blue either, but blue and white is a classic combination. Have you thought about alternating each block with a plain white/muslin square? Perhaps it is not the "blueness" you dislike so much as the intensity of setting these block to block. Those octagons are incredibly gorgeous!

woolcat said...

I love blue! and those blocks are just exquisite. I think they'd look lovely with just a little visual space between them. They are quite different from the other quilts you've shown us.

When you hand-piece blocks like that, do you just need a running stitch? Not a backstitch? and how often do you need to press them? I love patchwork, but I remember in Girl Guides getting completely hooked on paper-pieced hexagons, and while the speed of machine piecing is appealing, I find that when I've tried it I don't necessarily like the process, much as I love the product. Maybe hand-piecing is something I should go back to?