Facts about Dear Jane quilts and examples from the International Quilt Festival Chicago

Dear Jane quilts have been popular for over twenty years. However, I have always viewed them from afar; I was in awe at the workmanship but filed them under "quilts I will never make." Because of the International Quilt Festival I am motivated to know more about them. I decided to learn more about them and share some great photos with you. Aren't you pretty happy that I have some facts about Dear Jane quilts and examples from the International Quilt Festival to perk up the post?

1. Origins - Jane Stickle made a superb quilt in 1863 which appeared in the book Plain and Fancy by Donna Bickle and Richard Cleveland. Brenda Papadakis saw that photo and loved the quilt. She began drafting all the blocks and shares them on her rich and informative site.

2. Original quilt - Jane's original quilt had 5,602 pieces in it. That's a lot of fabric. You can read more at this Craftsy post. 

3. Fans - There are quilting fans and then there are Janiacs, fans of THE QUILT! This is further explained here.

4. Where - Jane Stickle made her quilt in Vermont during the Civil War. It is shown once a year by the Bennington Museum.

5. Blocks - Only 225 of them, yikes! You can read about an exhibit of Dear Jane quilts some of which took ten years to complete.


Ten years to complete. Let that sink in. In some ways it's like really cool, no pressure to finish.

In other ways it's overwhelming. But it could provide a little hand sewing for a really long time. I just don't think for me.

Then I perused the Dear Jane quilts at the International Quilt Convention in Chicago this past April. jane-re-4This one really caught my eye. It is obviously not a true Dear Jane quilt but rather an interpretation of one.

Its name is Frida Jane and was made by Laura Fraga. All of these quilts used the work of Brenda and Jane as their inspiration.

This next one really appealed to me as well. There were some terrific Dear Jane quilts in the twenty year anniversary show!

It should not surprise you that this quilt is called Rainbow Jane, perfect! It the jane-re-3work of Charlotte Hay who has my utmost respect.

The final Dear Jane quilt from the International Quilt Festival that lit up my brain was this beauty. You can tell I was drawn to the more modern versions.

The name is Dear Jane: An Out of Hand Experience and was sewn by Bonnie Robottom. The quilting was done by Sharon Blackmore and these two women produced a masterpiece! I am thrilled that I got my camera back with these pictures.

I am far from a Janiac but I sure can appreciate find workmanship. From the original creator to the love involved in drafting the blocks onto the modern copies, this quilt is a true statement of dedication. Hats off to all those involved.

Maybe ten years from now my own Dear Jane quilt?

Sew happy!

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I have fact posts before. Here is a link to my last one. The first time I saw completed Dear Jane quilts was in 2013 in Shipshewanna. Here is a link to that photo gallery. 

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at QuiltingSewingCreating@gmail.com

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