Monday, May 19, 2014

The Austen Family Album Quilt is Alive and Well

Never fear gentle readers, despite the lack of recent posts, work on the Austen Family Album Quilt continues apace!

The block called Village Square was included for Jane's brother James who became a pastor and spent his career in two villages. The block is similar to the one completed previously for James and Jane's father, also a churchman. This block does not have the central cross, however, and ideas were given for completing the square in the center. I opted for the more involved pattern and used two fabrics with the stripes hoping to remind the viewer of rows of plants that might be planted in the Village Square. I chose a plaid fabric for the corner squares also thinking of small plots of flowers, planted in a regular pattern.

The block for last week was chosen to commemorate the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. His rise to power, and the conflicts engendered affected the life of the Austen family in many ways. Read the blog post at: for more information.

The block is named Empire Star. I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce some purple shades. As
you can see, in addition to triangles, this block contains 4 trapezoids. There were times when the geometry threatened to overwhelm my bitty brain. I was happy with the finished block. I followed the pattern and did not change the positions of the dark, light and medium values. I think it's a really interesting block to make and to look at.

I was thinking recently that this project appeals to me because every block is different and allows for a variety of fabric choices.  I think I would go mad trying to make an entire quilt with the Empire Star. Actually I think that I have not made many actual quilts in the past because there is no charm for me in making a batch of blocks over and over, especially if the prints and colors remain the same throughout. Here, however, the one fabric of plain taupe remains consistent and the fabrics are all Japanese homespun type cottons. Other than that I have freedom and a weekly challenge of a new block.

This week's block, which was published in yesterday's blog post from Barbara Brackman is named for an Austen  family member I can relate to somewhat; Jane's Aunt Phila was a bit more of a free spirit, something I am accused of being from time to time.


  1. I love the choice of fabrics and am looking forward to seeing how you put all those blocks together.

  2. Those fabrics are a great choice. I am doing blocks with a variety of the same fabrics, just different layouts, each one of 9 is different. Lovely to think you have a connection to that one. Cheers, Jean