Sunday, 31 July 2016

Jane Austen Family Album [a finish]

I'm so pleased to call this a finish! I've been planning this quilt for a while, ever since I found the perfect fabric for friends who had dropped subtle hints for a quilt (thoroughly unsubtely...). We see these friends normally once a year only, and by the time I realise that week is coming up, it's always too late to start the quilt. This year, I remembered earlier, but still thought it was a long shot to make an 86" x 100" quilt between March and July, especially when I was due to have a baby in the middle of that time! But if I didn't start it, there was no chance at all.



The subtle hint went along the lines of "big enough for our [large] bed" and "coastal colours". So I had free reign over pattern, so long as it was big. I came across a weekly block programme by Barbara Brackman called the Jane Austen Family Album quilt. I quite enjoy a Jane Austen read, though mostly, TV adaptation, and the background that came with each block was fascinating. I love the variety of a sampler quilt, and the blocks were 12" finished so created a large quilt quickly. Perfect!

The fabrics are Sweet Serenade by Basic Grey for Moda. It's not a "me" fabric range, but I really liked it (I've stashed three metres of one print for quilt backing!). It has blue, like the sea; the terracotta is reminiscent of the cliffs around where they live, and the music notation couldn't be more perfect!

I made one block in March. I made a second but got the maths wrong. I made all the rest of the blocks in June: a mega cutting marathon, followed by a mega piecing session - 1 hour per block. Bam. Done.



Sashing is my least favourite part. I did it row at a time - one row per nap. Then basting. I took over the church hall floor as the only space large enough. Three years ago, nearly to the week, I basted a quilt of a similar size in the same way and felt dreadful afterwards - exhausted. Two weeks later I got a positive pregnancy test. I assumed the one was related to the other. But this quilt left me feeling just as exhausted and I can assure you I am not pregnant. Turns out basting king size quilts is just simply exhausting.

Two days of fighting it through my mother-in-law's machine (both of mine are refusing to free motion quilt at the moment) and it was quilted. An all over stipple in Aurifil 40w cream. With numerous thread breakages. I wish I could free motion quilt on a machine that just works. I did the binding entirely by machine and it was finished!



I even labelled it - can you see?!


All through making this quilt, this was the picture I had in mind - with a little assistance from "willing volunteers" we even stopped it flying off into the sea!

This is a Finish Along finish and I can't wait to gift it! You can find my original FAL list here.

4 comments:

Anthea said...

Jennie, it's absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations, your friends are blessed indeed to have this from you, especially given how busy your life is now!

Lin said...

Stunning! What a good friend you are. xx

Allison said...

A real beauty and it fits perfectly with the sea and the cliffs 😀

Archie the wonder dog said...

Were they thrilled?