Monday, May 5, 2014

Sundays with Jane

I have been spending my Sundays with a most congenial companion--the British author Jane Austen.  It started in April, with a block of the week on a site called Austen Family Album, designed by quilt historian Barbara Brackman.
Each week, Barbara writes a short article about something in Jane's life, and accompanies that with an appropriately named quilt block.  The posts appear on Sunday mornings.
This is the first block, for Jane herself.  It's called Bright Star.  I used some really fancy fabrics from my reproduction stash.  This must be what I've been saving them for.

Block #2 is Sister's Choice, for Jane's sister Cassandra, which I've pictured at the top of this page, with a book I borrowed from my eldest daughter.  Here's a detail, showing a woman in the toile background.

Block #3 is for Jane's father, who was a clergyman.  Its name is Cross within Cross, which certainly seems appropriate for a minister.

Block #4 is for Jane's mother, Cassandra Leigh Austen.  It's called Thrifty, and she certainly had to be, with 8 children on a minister's salary.  I used more of the toile in the center, this time with a picture of a house, since her home was the center of Mrs. Austen's life.

Yesterday was the fifth week.  This week's block is called Village Square, for Jane's brother James, who also became a clergyman like his father.  I used some of the same fabrics in this block as in Rev. Austen's block.  The center square is a toile from Judie Rothermel.  I'm using it to represent the church being at the center of James' life, but it's really supposed to be Independence Hall and George Washington.
Because of this wonderful block of the week, I've been reading Jane Austen's novels.  I had sort of read Pride and Prejudice in high school, but I really didn't have the background knowledge to know what was going on, or to appreciate it.  I'm saving it for last, as I read the others.  The library has all the books, and I'm finding I really enjoy them, even to the point of reading when I "should" be sewing.
It's not too late to get in on the fun.  All the instructions are still up.  There will be a total of 36 blocks, and only 5 have been presented so far, so there's plenty of time to catch up.  You can post pictures of your blocks, and see the ones everyone else has done.  Quite a few are being done in modern fabrics, even some really wild and fun stuff.
All of this is totally free!
Here's the link:
Austen Family Album
This will take you to the most recent posts.  To start at the beginning, just click Older Posts at the bottom right of the page.
Happy Quilting!

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