Once a quarter we plan an All Day Stitchin’ Day with our Dear Jane Club at Quilter’s Dream. This month we proclaimed it a Party! Everyone brought food to share. But the highlight of the day was our special guest. Make that two special guests. One a famous author. And the other came all the way from England to meet the famous author. Up close and in person. And we all got to share in the fun!
Meet Brenda Papadakis – the author of Dear Jane! There is no way I can tell you how much fun she is. She shared so many hysterical stories with us that our sides were splitting with laughter. Now that’s some laughter when it causes your sides to split. I wish I could relay them all to you, but I couldn’t do them justice. We just need to have Brenda come back and share them again so more people can be there. And actually that might be in the works! A retreat with Brenda – in January if we can work out the schedule. So if you’re reading this and are interested, please leave a comment and I’ll get in touch with you about the details!
I’ll just share one story that was one of my favorites. Brenda has a friend who has been collecting old Tupperware colanders. Based on her description, I believe they are the ones that look like this:
Apparently this friend and her husband have been collecting them for years. They have a closet full of them. Why, you ask? To drive their kids crazy wondering what in the world they were thinking when they discover the closet after their parents are gone. One of the gals at our party couldn’t wait to tell her hubby the story. She was all excited to figure out what they could start collecting for the very same reason! What did you decide on, Jane? Can’t wait to hear about it next month!
This is Dot from England holding up her Dear Jane book as JoAnne looks on. Dot was very happy to meet Brenda. And we were very happy to see Dot again. I could listen to her talk all day. This is her 3rd time to visit our DJ group. And she is a joy to have around. We want her to move to Texas! She would love to comply. Just don’t listen to her talk and then tell her you thought she was from Australia. She will definitely roll her eyes at you! Dot brought all her DJ blocks with her in fancy photo albums so the fabric was very protected. She’s making hers in Christmas fabrics – you can see a green block in JoAnne’s hand. I can’t wait to see it finished, Dot. Come and visit us again next year!
We had loads of Show ‘n Tell at our gathering. Dear Jane quilts by the thousands. OK, maybe not quite that many. Here. I’ll show you……
This is Sandi’s DJ quilt top. That’s Sandi and Brenda hiding behind it. She is almost finished with her triangle borders – I think she only has one corner kite left to go. You can do it, Sandi! Finish this one so you can start another!
This is Del Jeanne with her cool teal & pink DJ blocks. She is not a regular in our DJ group. She came from Arlington to be with us for our party day. I hope she will join us again sometime. Want to come and retreat with us in January, Del Jeanne? I just discovered she could be called DJ like the quilt!
These are Barbara’s blocks. She came from Arlington too. I hope she’ll come back again.
Barbara brought a whole pile of quilts to show us since she’s not a regular to the group. We hadn’t seen her quilts before. And I thought you might enjoy seeing them too. This one she made using a charm pack (5 inch squares.) Very cute, Barbara!
This one is cute 3-dimensional purses. Brenda wanted this pattern. They are all little pockets where you could store things. Or your granddaughter could store things. Or in Brenda’s case, her grandson. She rolled her eyes when she told us that one.
How about this cute one from Barbara’s Jo Morton class? I love those little quilts from Jo’s Club.
Another one of Barbara’s. Did I mention she brought a big pile? But she wasn’t finished yet…..
Love this cool pineapple quilt too.
Nice appliqué on this one. Come back any time, Barbara. But if she brings that many quilts next time, I’m going to declare her the teacher.
Deb is a regular who always has a few stories to tell. She has a big pile of DJ blocks in front of her!
This is Jane’s DJ top. She’s been adding the tiny border around the blocks in preparation for adding the triangle borders. Good thing I knew this was Jane’s because you sure can’t see her. She’s hiding behind the quilt!
Aha! There’s Jane on the right, helping to hold up Charlene’s rows. These are the top five rows of Charlene’s blocks. Last month we saw the bottom rows. Now as soon as she gets the middle put together, she’ll have it finished! Aren’t these all just fabulous?
This is Charlotte. She has a big box of DJ stuff sitting in front of her. Her sister bought a kit to make this quilt and then decided she did not want to make it. So she passed the kit on to Charlotte who has also decided this is not the quilt for her. But you never know. Sometimes the DJ bug is a bit slow in biting. And if Charlotte keeps coming back every month…… well, you just never know what DJ block envy will do to a quilter. Might make her do things she didn’t think she was capable of. Like make 169 4½” blocks.
Carolyn has only been coming to our group for a short time. But she bought the DJ book a long time ago and even had it signed by Brenda when she got it. The bug just took awhile to bite her.
And she does have a few blocks already put together.
Denise forgot to bring all her blocks along and only has the one she is working on – and holding in her hand. She is moving along well in her Dear Jane Journey.
JoAnne is working on DJ quilt #362. Or something like that. This one is red, white and blue and very nice.
This is JoAnne’s “Balancing Act” DJ quilt. All hand quilted. It hangs in her sewing room and inspires her to make more DJ quilts!
This DJ quilt of JoAnne’s is made from fabrics that friends brought her back from their vacations. She calls it “Jane on Vacation” or something like that.
This one is JoAnne’s too. With just a few favorite DJ blocks. Didn’t I tell you she had a million DJ quilts?
Sherrill is also working on a red, white & blue DJ quilt. Her first DJ is finished, basted and ready for quilting. But now she’s stuck. So she just makes more DJ blocks. She does have a completed DJ in which she made the blocks bigger – oh, so much bigger. They are 6″ blocks. And very cool.
Sherrill also brought along this little quilt to show. She won this one in the TVQG Quilt Show’s Silent Auction just a few weeks ago. Very nice.
Sherrill also brought along her Ugly Fabric Challenge quilt to show and drop off at the shop. These challenge quilts will all be displayed at the shop next week for customers to vote for their favorite. And I bet if you play your cards right, you’ll get to see all of them on this blog. But you need to come by the shop and vote too!
Susan came by on her lunch hour and brought her rows of DJ all in a roll. We’re glad she got to join us for a short time!
And Jenni dropped by too – just to be inspired and motivated.
Sheri always wears her latest DJ blocks well. We love to see what she’s doing!
Then we opened up the big suitcase that Brenda brought along and were inspired and motivated some more! This quilt was made for Brenda by gals on the DJ list. They decided she was never going to have a DJ quilt of her own unless someone made one for her. It’s all hand quilted and everything. And it’s beeeauuuutiful!
Brenda also made this one. With Baltimore Album blocks woven in with DJ blocks. And some big appliqué too. What a great quilt!
We pulled this quilt out and laughed and laughed. It’s a quilt that the DJ list made her out of reject blocks! Many were writing to the list about blocks they had made that just weren’t quite right and were going to be rejected from being in their quilts. So along the way someone decided to collect these blocks and put them together into a quilt for Brenda. I even sent in a block for this quilt. And Brenda read for us a little saying on one block, “My middle is crooked, I’m not quite square. My corner is backwords, but I don’t care. ‘Cause somebody wants me in U.S. of A. I’m going to be in a Real Quilt one day!” It was made by a lady in England. And Dot knows her!
Brenda also pulled out this appliqué block that she’s working on using the back-basting technique. Then she was required to explain that technique to everyone. Beautiful block!
By the way – please notice the small Christmas DJ quilt behind Brenda. Made by (don’t faint – you who know her) Beverly! She picked out the setting fabric and border and stitched it together over the weekend just for the special DJ Party! And it’s quite fabulous!
The food was quite wonderful too. Including these fabulous chocolates that Dot brought all the way from England. They were scrumptious!
And because I can’t start your day without making you hungry, here’s a picture of my plate of food. It was all very delish! And I filled my dessert plate and ate it so fast, I forgot a picture. Just imagine cinnamon cream cake, brownies and Krispy Kremes alongside Dot’s chocolates.
Brenda and Dot – our two special guests on a very special day. Come back again and we’ll party some more, you two!
And so you don’t think I’m a total slouch who will never finish her DJ quilt, Sandi grabbed my camera and snapped this picture of me as I was just getting ready to thread my needle. And I actually sewed 6 or 7 seams before the day was over. At this rate, I’ll have the quilt done in no time. Not.
And finally….. here’s the cute sticker that Brenda brought for us all and our motto for the day…….
I am SO INSPIRED by all of the DJ quilts! Wow, what have I done…made 3 DJ blocks and decided it was too difficult…I love Brenda…I took her class at TVQG…perfect for me since she used to be a special ed teacher (I think)….that’s what I need to guide me along. Thanks Barb for posting!
Barb, I am so inspired! I may start my Jane again. What a great group!
Barb it was really fun reading your blog and admiring all the quilts, especially Dear Jane. Thank you so much for sharing. What a wonderful group.
At least 5 times a year I take my DJ book off the shelf and flip through the pages saying, “One of these days.” Maybe since there’s a DJ group at my LQS I should get with the program. The hardest part for me so far is deciding on a color scheme. I’ve seen so many 2-color DJ’s and I really think this is the way for me to go, rather than the totally scrappy DJ. What a treat to meet Brenda and share your lovely quilts with her!!! And a RETREAT! Oh, boy!!! Will this be part of TVQG’s annual retreat or something apart? Curious.
Bertha, it’s time! You even have a support group! 😉 Love the 2-color idea!
Wow! Wonderful show ‘n tell!!!!
This is wonderful to see so many beautiful quilts. What an amazing group of sewers.
Barbara and I had so much fun being with y’all for a little while–wish we could have stayed longer! We’ll aim for doing that another time. Yes, Barb, I am often called “DJ” for short, so I’m thinking if I ever finish my DJ quilt I should call it “DJ’s DJ”!
Wow, I really admire all of everyones work! I do not think I could do that. I do have a question about one of the quilts in the background. It is the striped quilt behind Brenda and Dot. What is the name of the pattern? Thanks
I met Brenda P. at a dj retreat near San antonio. Had an enjoyable 4 days there. Learned a lot, laughed a lot more. Wonderful lady with so much knowledge. hope to attend another retreat with her. thanks for sharing your site.
I am getting ready to start my Dear Jane quilt. I just finished my second cathedral window and decided I needed different long quilting project to work on while my husband watched his “Car” shows. He’s really a great guy and after 37 years we still love each other. I was wondering if someone had a drawing of the whole quilt so I could use it to lay out my color placement?
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m almost organized! Discovered Dear Jane on a Women On Wheels motorcycle Croozapalooza ride from Baton Rouge, LA to Coldwater, MI. Meet a “Janiac”. After chatting with Jeanne over lunch and seeing her cute travel organizer with some developing squares, I guess you could say I’m hooked. So, on my 1200 mile ride home, I stopped at numerous quilt shops to buy 1/8 yd, fat quarters, and cute little supplies. I’m only sorry I didn’t take a photo of all the wonderful shops and a final photo of my waterproof bag of fabrics on top of my motorcycle luggage. So, “Riding With Jane” was born….. Linda