Thursday, June 26, 2014

A New Favorite

Sometimes when I see the new block for the week my immediate response is, "I like this one!" Sometimes after I get it put together the song changes to, "...hmmm. I guess that'll do." This time I thought, "I might really like it when it's finished."

So, now it's finished, and I like it. However, it almost looked quite different. I think that I have mentioned that usually, choosing the fabrics for each block is the hardest part. My original concept for the colors for this block was that the larger corner triangle would be the sandy seashore, so I did it this way.

I really don't know where my head was. The very light fabric is a muslin that was on my cutting table from another project. The Japanese taupe in the smaller triangles is the lightest shade I have used so far in this series of blocks. The muslin was really too light and out of place. 

So I looked at it again and tried different fabrics out and finally decided that I preferred it if that corner triangle was the deeper sea instead. So I replaced the triangle with another fabric in darker blue. This is how it  turned out.

This block is called Waves of the Sea for Francis Austen. Another of Jane's brothers, Frank had a naval career. You can read his story on the Austen Family Album blog at:

Actually, if you look at this block the right way it looks like a fish, I think.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

...or a facsimile thereof. Can you believe it? Here's another block done in the Austen Family Album Quilt - along series! And it's only Tuesday. I attribute this feat to a couple of things. One is that I was totally caught up on Sunday when this block was introduced, so was not playing catch up before starting the new block. The other is that this block has a very familiar look to it.

Cross Within a Cross
Compare it to the block for Jane's father called Cross Within a Cross.

Village Square

Then look at the one for Jane's brother James called Village Square.

Not to say I didn't make any mistakes along the way, but they were mistakes of not paying attention rather than because of difficulty.

Friendship Square
So, here it is, the Friendship Square in recognition of Catherine Knatchbull Knight's friendship with the Austen family and her status of benefactor to Jane's brother Edward, who she and her husband subsequently adopted and left their fortune to.  The story is found in last week's blog as well as this week's which can be found here.

So, I'm done - till next block. Oh, yes, I just remembered, I haven't done my homework for tomorrow's sewing group at church. So, on to the next task.

Comments are welcome on this or any other of my blog posts. What do you think?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Two new Austen Family Album blocks finished!

On Monday this week I got the good news that my dear Sensei in Japan had shipped the solid taupe fabric I needed. She said it would take about a week to get here. Both of us were shocked when it showed up here in Florida on Thursday! So I've been busy with the two blocks I needed to make to be caught up when the next block which should be announced tomorrow.

The London Roads block was named for Jane's brother Henry who had at first planned to be come a pastor like his father and brother, however he found a second career in the army and then on return to civilian lifeAusten Family Album Quilt.

became a banker in London. Jane spent a lot of time in London with Henry and his wife. He acted as her agent. You can of course read more detail in the

In this block I used lots of the taupe fabric which lets the street arrows really stand out.

Edward Austen, another of Jane's brothers, led a bit of a charmed life compared to some of the others and the block Good Fortune is for him. please check out this blog entry to get the whole story of the twists and turns in his life.

As you can see, these blocks are simple in comparison to some of the others. they went together fairly easily, with just the usual matching of points and seams to attend to.

Let's see what tomorrow brings with block #11 in this quilt block of the week adventure.

Which is your favorite so far?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Oh, the Shame of it!

Gentle readers, you may know that I have been aware from the beginning of this project that the possibility of falling behind loomed each week with the issuing of a new block. It has happened. I am now one block behind. (Covers her eyes with the back of her hand.) Sniff.

I did complete the Philadelphia block on time. If you look at Ms Brackman's blog that elucidates her reasons for dedicating this block to Jane Austen's aunt Philadelphia Hancock here. I felt a bit of kindred spirit with Aunt Phila and if you read about her you may be able to see why.

The following week, Eliza's Star was presented. it is named for Jane's cousin and sister-in-law, the Contesse de Feullide aka Mrs Henry Austen. She is portrayed as being lively, if unconventional. You can read more about her here. This block presented me with my biggest challenge so far. The inner square is bordered by a "frame". After reading the instructions, looking at all the examples, and cutting out the pieces I had no real concept how this piece was to be sewn together. I made an attempt and ended up taking it all apart again. It finally struck me that these seams I was struggling with were the quilter's nemesis, "the dreaded Y seam" multiplied by four.

I did find some help online by way of videos and step by step illustrations posted there by various quilting gurus. I gave it another try. It was marginally better, but my seams didn't match as they should. I was discouraged. On Wednesday of this past week I took the pieces to a friend at the Wednesday Morning Sewing Group at church. She was able to give me some guidance and advice.

Today I have finally completed this block.


However, that still leaves a block not even started, the one introduced last week called London Roads. Named for Henry Austen, another of Jane's brothers. This block looks like fun. You can see it here, but alas not here on this blog till next week. Oh will I be able to face you again if this task is not completed in good time? Tune in next time!