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.


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?