I also sent Cherri this email on May 7th. At that point, I had 27 blocks. As I look at these blocks, I see why I made them so quickly, as they are less complex than some of the blocks to come. My text is in blue, and Cherri's response is in red.
I wonder is there is anyway to post each block pattern on the Ning website and other interested people (me) could play along too?
I've got so many blocks in my brain, I can't quite think about posting things on the web just yet, but maybe some sort of flicker group? Here are the rules I've been following:
1. No applique
2. No paper piecing
3. No specialty rulers
4. No hand work (meaning, no work that can't also be done by a machine, like hexagons)
5. No finished component under 1/2 an inch
6. Use the quarter inch as a guide (no 1/8 inch cuts)
7. Finished block is 4 x 4, unfinished is 4.5 x 4.5
8. No wonky blocks.
My thinking is that it each block should be very accessible, needing only a rotary cutter, ruler, fabric marking pen (which is sort of optional) and a sewing machine or needle.
Side note: I should have included two more rules. They are:
9. No Y seams
10. Two colors per block
I'm deliberately excluding wonky blocks. I know they are a big, big part of modern quilting but, to me, they seem very personal. No wonky block is the same as another, and to try and write a universal pattern with them seems difficult (I think it's a personal thing though...). I would think that if someone else wanted to have wonky looking blocks in their quilt, they could choose blocks that would lend themselves to wonkiness and have it.
I don't really have written patterns for these blocks, just vauge scribbles in my notebook. Once I shake all the ideas out of my head I'll start getting them down on the computer. Some of them you could make just by looking at them and others need a bit of explaining.
By the way, if you want to make one that uses a 3 x 3 grid, just add a half inch (finished) border, and use the inside 3 x 3.
We could all add our block patterns there and give them a number/letter code so we can keep track of each block. How many blocks was the original Dear Jane quilt?
The original Dear Jane was a 13 x 13 grid (not counting the triangle border!), which is 169 blocks. It will be a challenge to come up with that many!
I read somewhere that she used a book of fabric samples that a salesman might use when calling on a dry goods store. That's why the original size of each block was little and the quilt had so many different kinds of fabrics. Can't you just see a whole roomful of modern Dear Jane quilts all with the same group of block patterns and yet each in unique color combinations? My, oh my! Oh yes, I am loving this whole idea!
Thanks so much for being my sounding board! Ever since we had coffee I've been sort of obsessed with this idea. It's nice to have someone to tell about it. :) I hope this isn't too cheesy, but I've been naming each quilt I design after a woman I know. Since I came up with the idea for this quilt when we had coffee, I've been calling it "Hey Cherri" which is how I would address an e-mail to you. Why not have a modern greeting as the name? Or, if you prefer, "Hey Cherry" so people say it right (at least, I'm pretty sure that would be right...) and it makes it a little less obvious that you're the namesake...
So there we are! A name is born. I'm glad that Cherri went along with it, as that's what I had been calling it in my head.