New Orleans House Project

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Austen Family Album: Wrapping Up The Story

I have been working on Barbara Brackman's Jane Austen-themed BOW since last April.  I had fallen behind in completing the weekly blocks (which concluded in early December), so one of my January goals was to finish the remaining blocks and at least get started on setting the blocks into a quilt top.

I chose to use a fabric line from several years ago called "Curio" by the Moda designers Basic Grey.  Most of the fabrics in the line were lovely, but there were some drawbacks to the choice.  There wasn't a lot of contrast in the fabrics, so I added several light neutral fabrics to bring some spark to the blocks.  The sampler blocks often called for a central print to be highlighted, and the fabric group only had one large floral print (in several colorways) that was suitable.  So, I wound up purchasing some traditional floral fabrics to mix in with the Curio fabrics.  Finally, the colors crossed a broad spectrum, including pink, yellow, green, brown and pumpkin.  I went ahead and used all the colors, but perhaps I should've narrowed the field a little.
The blocks are all complete, so now I'm deciding how to set them.  I have a large piece of a neutral Moda Grunge fabric that would work for sashing.  I also have a fabric in mind for an outer border, if I can still purchase enough of it.  That would be a fairly quick and painless proposition.

On the other hand, now that I have the blocks arranged on the wall, some of the darker blocks really stand out.  I'm wondering if I should split the blocks into two piles, one light and one dark.  I'd need to make two additional blocks to get a 4 x 5 setting for each separate quilt.  I could even set the blocks on point, which is what I originally wanted to do - but 36 blocks on point would make a huge quilt.  By making two quilts, I'd have one for myself and one for my English major sister!

Either way, I really enjoyed participating in this BOW.  Barbara Brackman provided a treasure trove of historical information about Jane Austen and her life and times.  I stretched out and played with fabric and color choices, which was a great experience for me.  I think I'm done with sampler quilts for awhile (this is my third one in as many years), but I'm glad I pushed myself to try new things.

I have an unexpected day off from work tomorrow, so I'm hoping to have some time to play with arranging these blocks some more.  I definitely DON'T want to put them away for awhile, since my goal for 2015 is to finish Works In Progress!


  1. this is a lovely finish to all those blocks--I have never made a sampler quilt...but would like to someday...I like the colors a lot...hugs, Julierose

  2. It's a wonderful range of colors! Looking forward to seeing what you do with this.:)

  3. Gorgeous colors, good luck on the set.

  4. wonderful blocks. I like that there are some darker ones. Keeps the eye moving. great selection of fabrics!

  5. I came here from the RSC blog. I didn't know there was a Jane Austen themed block of the month project! I might not have joined in, but what a cool idea. Going to have to check out Barbara Brackman's site again (it's been a long time).

    You make a good argument for making two quilts instead of just one. The dark blocks will add interest however. You might want to think about how you could arrange some of each in two quilts.