The seeds of Dear Hannah were planted with the birth of my granddaughter, Hannah, six months before the publication of my first book, Dear Jane (EZ Quilting by Wrights, 1996).
For the Dear Hannah quilt, I decided to combine elements of the 1850 appliqué quilt with pieced blocks from Salinda Rupp’s quilt. Wanting a smaller quilt than Jane Stickle’s, I used an 11-by-13-block layout, for a total of 143 blocks. My friends, Gay Bomers and Rosemary Youngs, helped me select 72 blocks from the appliqué quilt. For the pieced blocks, I combined three dozen blocks from Salinda Rupp’s quilt with some of my own favorites.
The letters to my granddaughter about the twentieth century are a natural follow-up to the letters in Dear Jane about life in the nineteenth century. Hannah needs to understand the events that defined that time. I also want her to know the continuing development of quilting.
It is my hope that she will gain an insight into women’s history and the female struggle for equality that continues even today.
The letters are not to Hannah alone, but also to my grandchildren, Benjamin and Nathan, and to all of your children and grandchildren.
Your stories are equally as important. Please write them down for your children and grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Your journal is your greatest legacy.
Enjoy your journey!
About the Author
Brenda Papadakis, who has been making quilts since 1975, especially enjoys drafting and designing. She saw a photo of Jane Stickle’s 1863 quilt and became so enamored that she spent the next five years researching the life and times in which Jane lived. The book Dear Jane is the result of that labor.
In 1997, Brenda retired, after teaching math for 25 years, to devote her time to lecturing and teaching, throughout the United States, Japan, and Holland, about Jane Stickle, the Civil War, and nineteenth century history. Articles about the Dear Jane phenomenon have appeared in McCall’s Vintage Quilt Magazine, Ladies Circle Patchwork Quilts, as well as quilting magazines in Holland, Australia, and Denmark and Japan.
Visit Brenda at her website dearjane.com