Saturday, July 9, 2022

Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell

Today is the last day of the show and tell for the Jen Kingwell quilts. We're working on one more (Green Tea and Sweet Beans), but that won't be finished until the end of the year. Yes -- FOUR Jen Kingwell quilts in one year! And I'm contemplating one more -- My Small World, which is considerably smaller and looks less intense. I'll see how my sanity remains as the fall approaches. Leave me a comment if you're interested. Did I just write that? 

This is the SECOND time I have taught the Long Time Gone quilt. It's one of the most intense of Jen's patterns as there are LOTS of small pieces, and it definitely fits into the puzzle quilt category. It was the second time for some, and it was nice to see some of those quilts finished. 

This one was also hosted by Thimbles and Things over nine months. Thanks to Sue and Paula for making that happen, and we have NEW quilts that we'll be hosting in the fall. More details on those another day. 

Hopefully, you had a chance to review the BOHO Heart quilts, pick your favorites, and understand WHY those are your favorites. And it's an even better exercise to understand which ones are your least favorite and understand WHY they are not your favorite. 

And there are the Wanderer's Wife quilts to give you more fun at picking and understanding your favorites. What I love about this type of class (the ongoing classes held over an extended period) is that we ALL learn from each other. We get to see color combinations that we would never have dreamt of, new friendships have been formed, and I've met many people. 

Can you believe that I've been doing that class format for almost TWENTY years, and considering that some years I'll do up to five or six in ONE year, you can imagine the number of quilts I've taught! I've become much better at finishing them, but there are a "few that need a bit of work. 

If you have discovered that you LOVE someone else's quilt better than your own, do NOT abandon yours. Instead of lamenting that you should have picked a different colorway, use this as a learning experience, take that colorway that you adore, and use it for your NEXT quilt. Don't even think about remaking these quilts or abandoning what you have started, as it's just not worth it. 

I know that many people feel they can't just make a quilt - they have to have a purpose for it or someone to gift the quilt to. I don't believe in that at all. Let's face it - makers want to make! It's good therapy, and when the quilt is done, and you don't need it or don't like it -- donate the top. Who cares how much the fabric cost --- how many HOURS of entertainment (never frustration) did you get? That is WELL WORTH the price of the fabric. Compare that to other forms of entertainment -- I bet making the quilt is much cheaper than going to the movies! 

Most of us learn by doing, and if you don't, you won't learn. I remember this from The Minimalist book I read recently: We learn X% by observing, then we learn more by doing, and so on. I will try to find that quote. But 95% of what you teach, you RETAIN. Imagine that, which is why I've become relatively knowledgable about quilting because I've been teaching full-time for over 20 years. I couldn't agree with that statement more. And I was NEVER afraid to teach something that someone asked me to! Sometimes, I had to do some research to keep ahead of the class. 

Anyway, enough of the philosophy stuff. If you forgot my color and value exercise guidelines, you can go back to the BOHO heart link and review them. Sit back and enjoy and start thinking! 

The pattern booklet - Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell

One thing to note in this pattern -- the sashing plays a HUGE role in the end result of the quilt. In some instances, the sashing worked best when it was dark; in others, a much lighter sashing color worked better. That's the importance of sometimes leaving that choice near the end so you can audition. And the same thing with the borders -- I waited almost one year before I put the border on. 








The borders for Kelly's quilt










This is the same quilt as above  - the picture was taken inside, while the one above was taken outside. Amazing how the light can change the color!!! Be very careful of that when choosing fabrics!






And here is my quilt. I did NOT make a second quilt as I had all my notes ready from making it the first time. Mine was made entirely from my scrap boxes. My task before this second class ended was to get the border on. I added much more sashing (orange) than the book called for, and those extra checkerboards I removed became part of the border. I have the backing chosen at home and need to get that, and the binding completed soon. 

My version of Long Time Gone

WOW   --- This was the second time I taught this quilt, so we had fewer people in this class than in BOHO Heart or Wanderer's Wife. I believe there are 20 quilts, which is AMAZING as this was an INCREDIBLE amount of work. 

Again for ANYONE who is currently working on one of these quilts and doesn't have the motivation to finish it on your own, there will be a "Jen Kingwell makeup" class starting in the fall or January. You don't even need to have been in my class to attend. All that is required is proof that you have started! And a fee, of course! But watch the blog for more details on that. 

And that wraps it up for today. I'll be sharing what's been going on at the sewing retreat (well, some of it) tomorrow. But all is good, and I'm being super productive! I'm happy, and I've been walking LOTS as well. Plus, I've been up since ridiculous o'clock this morning, so I'm going to get loads accomplished before the rest of them even get out of bed! 

Have a super day!!!



  1. How about her “Baker’s Dozen”?

  2. OMG I love them all! How awesome is this variety added to our class last year. I would NEVER have thought to do the 2 tone grey checkerboards. What a creative design-it is stunning and looks like a completely different quilt.

    Ya'll did a fabulous job!!!!!

    1. Yes -- so many clever little details. I wish there was time and space to highlight them all!!!

  3. How gorgeous! And how different they all look!

    1. Yes --- all those Long Time Gone quilts are amazing. The group did an amazing job!!