Jane Brownlow

By Cathy Skrypek

Jane’s friends affectionately call her “Damn Yankee.” A native of Ohio, she and husband Ben have two children, a son in Aiken, South Carolina with two sons and a daughter near the Twin Cities, Minnesota with two sons. Jane and Ben have been in Georgia for fourteen years, three in Roswell and then Carrollton. They followed Jane’s sister to Georgia. She lives with her three “girls” (cats), Oprah, Phantom and Tigger.

Ben is presently in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s and quilting has become Jane’s salvation. The West Georgia Quilt Guild is very supportive. Their Thursday stitch-in has been a support group as well as a place to congregate, to stitch and to laugh. She gives thanks daily for her friends.

Patterns, viewpoints and ideas are often exchanged long distance with a longtime friend. Jane recently attended the Shop Hop in Washington State where 27 shops participated. Can you imagine so many shops in one area? She really enjoyed the countryside – or was it the quilt shops?

Jane is well known for her beautiful appliqué. Her first appliqué pattern was purchased in the 1950s when the Ladies Home Journal had a Little Women pattern, her favorite characters. The pattern was ordered and lost in a move. Sadly it was out of print when she attempted to reorder. However, in 1986 while standing in a grocery check out line, she discovered Women’s Day had a knock-off pattern on graph paper. She immediately took an appliqué class and made the Little Women quilt. Jane surprised everyone, as bets at the quilt shop were that she would not finish. She discovered she really likes to appliqué figures.
One day, a friend asked Jane if she would like her 1950s pattern of Little Women. Need I tell you the answer? Jane redid the Little Women quilt and it won a ribbon at the East Cobb Quilt Show. Six years ago her exquisite 35 plus appliquéd quilts were showcased at Bulloch Hall. What an event!

Jane recently appliquéd a calendar quilt of blocks with her daughter-in-law’s favorite items and discovered “you don’t make a quilt for your daughter-in-law before you make one for your daughter.” Daughter Mindy chose a Piecemakers Quilt pattern. She and Jane planned the quilt via phone and US Mail, discussing colors and sending swatches. They had a wonderful time and Mindy loves her quilt.

Jane’s quilts have appeared in Quilt magazine in Winter 1997 and Spring 1998. Susan Fisher wrote the Spring ‘98 article.
Little Quilts is the setting for a folk art class she is taking from Fran House using her beloved Civil War reproduction fabrics. Jane decided to include her family genealogy in a quilt as her great-grandfather was with Sheridan and Custer. Their flags were incorporated as well as the birth dates of her great-grandparents. Jane is named after her great-grandmother, Rebecca Jane.

Her sewing room is the entire house. She and Ben keep and enjoy her quilts and he hung many of them. Jane has attended the Quilters Rescue Mission in Toccoa for the last three years. As she is self-motivated, she enjoys sewing on her own. She has been quilting for eighteen years and considers quilting a wonderful addiction. Like many of us, Jane wishes she had started when she was younger. One can only imagine the additional wonderful quilts she would have completed.

February 2003