I am mixing my backgrounds up as Jane herself did. I'm using high grade muslin. My main consideration is that any other fabric that is added blends well and is close in colour, and that the weave is fine- important for dealing with little tiny pieces of applique or piecework.
I have been plotting the blocks I make on a piece of paper and attaching a piece of the feature fabric I used so I know which fabric has been used where in the quilt. I am using perhaps 3 or 4 backgrounds and am not working in rows, but more randomly. So wherever my cream backgrounds end up they won't have a "row by row" look or change of colour that is stripey.
I think there could be lots of ways to handle background fabric but if you are using one only the advice generally seems to be, "buy more than you think you could ever need" especially if you foundation piece some of the blocks.
I'm using an off-white Kona muslin. It's so much nicer than the other muslins and I know I can get more. I also needed it for the longarm so I bought the 90" wide. I used 5 yds on the LA, so have 5 for my DJ. I'm sure I'll be buying more.
from the beautiful Hudson Valley of NY
Gammill Classic Plus w/IQ
A friend, quilt teacher and janiac, suggested that I use ecology cloth, much like muslin, but has been made the exact same the past century. It has a soft hand and is easy to work with. I got 9 yards and am considering ordering a bolt, just because.
Congratulations Sharon!!!! That must be such a thrill for you. I look forward to seeing you posted pics! I am so impressed that you did yours so fast!
Joyce, I have seen some photos of DJ's made with scrappy cream backgrounds and just love them!
I went to my LQS yesterday and bought 5 yards of unbleached muslin to get started. If I cannot match it when I need more, I will be fine with a bit of a miss-matched-scrappy look.
My hubby was with me and he was pleased, as he grew up in a house that was very history-antique oriented. His Mother had made all of the curtains for the whole house out of unbleached muslin. So that fabric is near and dear to him.
All of my fabrics have been washed and folded! I think am ready to get started! This will be quite a earning experience for me, I know.
Big Announcement!! I just finished all the 4 1/2" blocks!! YEAH!
I will post a pix on my profile. I started sewing the blocks together with Kona cotton which I used throughout the quilt. I also had a glass company cut some plexi glass for the triangle template border and they cut it for free.
I am so excited about finished the body of the quilt. I started in April and I know it has taken others much longer, but I am glad that part is finished, now on to the triangles.
Hi All, I haven't ventured into Dear Jane yet, but I thought I'd add a comment anyway. My preferred solid is definitely Kona. I keep alot of the white on hand always. It's easy to find at JoAnn's and they always have those 40% coupons, so it's not expensive.
Wow... your virtual design wall is terrific. And yes, I agree that not having the formated borders enhances your quilt. A wonderful idea. I am proficient in web design and formatting so I am going to see what i can come up with also. I will look forward to that. Maybe something that I can also print out and be part of a journal to accompany the quilt I am thinking out loud here. Thank you for the great idea!
Your blocks are just beautiful! And that Papa's Star block blows me away!
Thank you so much for the recomendation of unbleached muslin. I think that would be what I will pick as i am doing mine is Civil War reproduction fabrics.
I love a challenge, but may take me years to do this as I am quite a novice. One thing that does appeal to me is that every block is different which appeals to my short attention span..rofl!
I didn't use that site's instructions -- I designed my own site which is also a "Virtual Jane." I didn't like the Virtual Design Wall's table borders -- I thought they detracted from the way the quilt actually looks. It's really neat to see the quilt coming together using actual scans of my blocks. Here is a link to my "design wall": My Dear Jane Journey
Regarding the background fabric, I am using Kona ecru cotton, but in retrospect I wish I had begun using Kona unbleached muslin, which is lighter weight. It's a lovely fabric with a nice hand, and it's easily found in quilt shops and large fabric stores like Jo-Ann.
I am getting the software for the Dear Jane quilt. And I am so excited! It is such a beautiful quilt.
I have been collecting Civil War Reproductions for a while and finally know how they will be used! I hope I am up to the challenge... It may take me years I am now trying to decide on a choice for a background also. I am so glad to read what others have picked. Thanks!
Does anyone know a difference between Kona solids and Prima (Kauffman) solids?
In wandering around the Internet, I saw Dana's perfect Dear jane block at the Dear Jane web site...Wow! It was a thrill for me to see it there.
I also ran into something called a "Virtual Design Wall" for a Dear Jane quilt at http://www.smastbrook.net/dj/djvdwall.htm
It looks pretty neat. Has anyone used it?
Karen, who seems to have insommnia tonight :shock:
Yep ........I made my Dear Jane ten years ago and started out with about 8 yards of my background and ended up using 24+ yards :shock: I did a lot of paper piecing and probably could have been more saving. It was quite funny as time went along and I couldn't find more of the fabric. Brenda even helped me find it one time. I guess my advice would be to go ahead and buy 15 or 20 yards in the beginning, especially if you use something besides Kona which is always easy to get. My background was Marsha McClosky shirting with tiny groups of pindots....I guess that's why it was harder to find after a while.
I hope all of you enjoy making your Dear Jane quilts. It is such a wonderful project. I met some great people and have one of my dearest friends from Maine who I met on the Dear Jane list. Have fun!
Hi Mirkwood - I did visit the Newbie page, it was very interesting. I think they have got the Kona fabric on the Hancock's site - and the description did read 'heavyweight' which is why I wondered if it would be ok to use - thanks for your message x