I fell in love with your crazy, beautiful quilt when I first saw it two decades ago ago. I bought the Dear Jane book (by Brenda Papadakis) a few years later, dreaming of my own version. Then I started collecting fabrics for it, especially lots of grey fabrics because I’d decided that is what I wanted it made with. And there it stopped. Well, except for the fabric collecting. You know how that is; any excuse to buy fabric and I’ll do it. But the idea of actually making the quilt was put on pause.
So now six, seven years later, this lovely little company called Paper Pieces decides to release a paper pieced version of your quilt using Brenda’s book. The Dear Jane 18-Month Quilt Along should be a title that would keep me away from doing it, but I’ve been so enamored by that quilt I just couldn’t help myself. You know how I am, Jane; I signed up right away.
I got the first set of paper pieces for Row A at the end of December, but didn’t dare open it up and look for a few more days. And honestly when I opened it and poured all those itty bitty pieces out, I nearly cried. But then I remember you, doing this all without your Kai scissors or special paper piecing templates or good needle and thread or probably even decent lighting, and I pulled myself up from a fetal position on the floor and decided to give it a go. I’m only two blocks in (just 223 to go!), but I’m really going to try, Jane. It will be my magnum opus. My quilt to keep.
Row B showed up two days ago and I’m not even looking at it yet. One row at a time, right? It may end up being a three-year project for me, but so be it. I will finish it or die trying.
Thank you, dear Jane, for your beautiful work and the inspiration to venture into an overwhelmingly large project that will eat up my evening for years to come. I hope to make you proud in the end.
All the best,
P.S. If you want to follow along with my very slow process, you can follow me on Instagram: @teresacoates. Search for #dearjanegoesepp for others’ beautiful work, too.