I am caught up once again with the blocks for Barbara Brackman's Austen Family Album BOW. I have been enjoying all the stories about Jane Austen's circle of family and friends. There is also a Flickr group associated with the BOW, and it has been fun to see how different stitchers interpret the blocks.
The Lucky Pieces block is in memory of Jane Austen's Aunt Jane Leigh-Perrot. Aunt Jane was accused of shoplifting some expensive lace and held in prison until her trial. If she had been found guilty at trial, she could have been executed or sent to the penal colony in Australia. Fortunately, she was declared not guilty when evidence turned up the shopkeeper and his assistants may have planted the lace in hopes of blackmailing Aunt Jane. Lucky indeed!
The block Water Wheel commemorates Jane Austen's uncle and Aunt Jane's husband - James Leigh-Perrot. Uncle James suffered from gout and spent a good deal of time in the English city of Bath, "taking the waters" in hopes of a cure.
Indian Star is meant to remember Austen family friend Warren Hastings. Mr. Hastings was Governor General of India when Jane Austen was born and continued to have a close association with the family throughout his life.
The Cross Patch block was chosen to represent Mary Lloyd, an Austen family neighbor and later Jane's sister-in-law.
Martha Lloyd, Mary Lloyd's sister, was also a friend to the Austens and later became a housemate to Jane, her sister Cassandra and Mrs. Austen. Her block is called Best Friend.
The West Wind block was chosen to remember Cassandra Austen's fiance, Tom Fowle. Mr. Fowle became acquainted with the Austens when he attended the school run by Jane and Cassandra's father. Mr. Fowle became a minister for the Church of England, but he initially had no parish and no job. He sailed to the West Indies as a chaplain, but died of a fever before he could return and marry Cassandra Austen.
The Austen Family Album series will have 36 blocks when complete. The current block is number 21, so the end will be here sooner rather than later. I have been reading novels other than Jane Austen's - I shall need to redirect my literary steps in that direction!