Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jane Austen's Quilt: Finished (Finally)

Oh. My. Goodness.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Jane Austen Quilt is FINALLY done.
Can you believe it?!?!


Five years in the making, and it is finished.  You can't imagine how relieved I am about that.  Considering the fact that I can't measure and cut evenly, and very few of my little squares match up, I don't think I screwed it up too badly.  I did have a little trouble with the surgeon's knots that hold together the front and back fabric.  After I washed the quilt, I noticed that a good many of them had come untied.  I think my problem was that I cut the strings too close to the knot and they came loose when tossed around in the wash.  

Throughout the process, I was terrified that my part of the quilt would look even worse next to Margie's part, and somehow cheapen what she did.  But, in the end I'm happy with my scrappy little quilt.


In case you want to follow the back story, here are the links to part one and part two of the quilt making process.  But I have to give you some updated links to the original inspiration.... THIS was the article that led me to the quilt obsession.  HERE is a write up or "pattern" of sorts from JASNA about the quilt. And HERE is an amazingl, well researched blog called 1812 War and Piecing that covers all of the details of the quilt with some great close-up shots of the fabric used...please read it, you will be glad you did.


I bound the quilt with the same fabric that I used for the backing.  Most of the quilt is machine sewn.  I whip-stitched the binding on by hand, tied the surgeon's knots at each corner of each diamond by hand, and I hand stitched around the basket and each flower and leaf in the large center diamond just for fun.  I have an even greater respect for Jane Austen (if that's possible) than I did before...and, well, for any woman who has ever hand made a quilt...I can't imagine sewing all of those tiny little squares (Jane's were diamonds!) by hand.  If it took me 5 years to complete the quilt (granted...I procrastinated a LOT) how long did it take Jane, Casandra and their Mother?


In between the backing and the top is a layer of cotton batting.  This is a deviation from the original.  I wanted mine to be a very warm and cozy quilt.  Now that spring is here, it's almost a shame to think I will be putting it away for the coming warm season.  If only I could have finished it before this past winter...it was a frightfully cold one, and I could have made good use of it.


Will I make another quilt in the future?  If it's like this one, the answer is "NO."  But, I might try my hand at something or other at a later date...something less mathematical.  For now, I'm eager to return to costuming.


Two of our three cats approve of the quilt.  The third is more interested in my lap and shoulder than the quilt, and she is curled up on me as I type. 

*I apologize for Owen's creepy eyes.  He doesn't usually look so demon possessed.* 

2 comments:

Kleidung um 1800 said...

Okay, you already HAVE the best approval of your work: the cats love it!!!
And I know why! The quilt looks very beautiful and five (!) years - wow - there's a long story woven into it!
All the work & labour & determination definately created a cosy and stunning piece, that will be loved for the next decades to come.
I love the coloured backing very much and to my eye there's no mis-matching of the little pieces.
Very well done :)
Sabine

ZipZip said...

Dear Jenni,
The quilt reminds me of gems, and a gem it is. Let's see, it must be Zimu who's in your lap because it appears Owen and Sabine and happy on the quilt.
Very best,
Natalie