Monday, March 21, 2011

Jane Austen quilt, part 2

Scroll down to the bottom of the page on this post to see the beginning of my journey to make a Jane Austen quilt.  No, not the Dear Jane quilt but Jane Austen's quilt. :-)

For a refresher, here is the original Jane Austen quilt:

 I'm not making a replica, but "an inspired by" version.  That way, I'm not going to get all hung up on the precise details nor will I become unglued if the Vintage Quilt Police harass me.  :-) 

As this quilt is intended for Dear Daughter #2, whose color is purple, my intent is to make the quilt entirely of purples.  While I do have a nice stash of fabric, my selections of purples is not extensive.  Solution: my good quilting buddies of's Quilting forum to the rescue!  I put out a request for any and all purples, fat eighths or scraps about 4"x4".  In exchange, should they want, I would send back to them an equivalent amount of fabric of their choice, provided I had such fabric in my stash.

They responded with such enthusiasm!  Some had fabrics they would like in return but many essentially said, "don't you dare send me anything back ... I'm glad to reduce my own stash!"  :-)  The sheer number of fabric that came in was absolutely overwhelming.  Quilters are simply extraordinary generous people!

sashing for Jane Austen quilt
Although I received all the purples throughout February, I couldn't start cutting until the sashing fabric had been approved.  I had a length of suggested fabric .. a mottled white/purple/blue ... that awaited a Verdict.

It wasn't until mid-March that DD#2 made a Personal Appearance at the homestead.  To my relief and delight, she liked the fabric I had pulled for the sashing.  :-)

As I was going through all the purples, sorting them into light/medium/dark piles, I realized that some definitely felt as though they had not been washed already.  Some pieces *did* have notes to that effect.  The fabrics from my own stash *had* been washed.   At that point, I realized that I would really need to wash all the forum fabric; you simply do not want to mix washed and unwashed fabric in the same top.  So, load by load, into the washer, then into the dryer they went. 

I learned something valuable ... I do not need to wash the fabric on the regular setting!  That setting tends to unravel the cut ends, as well as twisting and knotting the fabric lengths together.  It's annoying to need to straighten everything out before they are put in the dryer.  It occurred to me that ... I don't need to wash them as though they are *dirty* .. I just need to get the manufacturing chemicals, sizing & surface dirt/dust off the fabric, as well as shrink them as much as they are going to.  I tried a 'delicate' setting .. and by golly! no hanging threads, no twisted lengths of fabric!  It was wonderful!  :-)

purples from Quilting members
But, with the washing/drying comes the ironing.  Some larger lengths of fabric (real yardage) might not need to be ironed .. a simple smoothing with your hands will suffice.  But I didn't have yardage; I had short lengths and scraps.  They wrinkled.  I spent the better part of a day ironing all the purples. 
They look so purty.  :-)

Finally, at long last, I can start the cutting process!  I have been so antsy to start!

from H.D. Designs
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I think the center medallion part won't take terribly long.  It's just long seams of diamonds with sashing, set on-point.  

Oh .. hmm .. I gotta remember to put in that center space at the appropriate time.  Instead of Broderie Perse, DD#2 wants her initial in applique.  I just happen to have a pattern that she likes.  :-)   This applique is from H.D. Designs, their "Quilted Letters Applique" pattern.


  1. The quilt will be beautiful. It's going to be fun watching your progress. =)

  2. Hi Pirate!
    Did you ever complete a Jane Austen Quilt for your Dear Daughter #2? I searched your blog and can only find procrastination... I'm dieing to see it if you made one and I just can't find it! Best of luck, quiltinginmi!

  3. Hiya, QuiltingInMI .... sadly, nope, no further progress. It turned out that after I got 3 of the 4 corners done .. and it's being displayed on my design wall, DD#2 studies and asks if it's possible to rearrange the purple diamonds in a different layout.

    Uh, no. Those diamonds have *already been sewn*. There's no way I am going to rip everything out. I was peeved enough that I wrapped everything in a sheet and stuffed in a corner. There it sits. Very low man on the totem pole.

    But, upon reflection .. hmmm .. if DD#2 wants that alternative layout badly enough, *she* can rip everything out. Yeah ... I'll run that suggestion by her. Heh.