Jane Austen, Quilter
A Jane Austen Quilt
I returned home from my recent trip to Charlottesville with a Jane Austen quilt!
Actually, it’s a replica of a hand-sewn quilt made by the Austen women, Jane, her sister Cassandra, and their mother. This one was made by my sister using her sewing machine and long arm quilter:
I wasn’t high up enough to get a full picture, but isn’t it beautiful? If you can zoom in, notice the piping she put around the central rectangle. I love that creative detail!
My sister made this using a quilt kit from Riley Blake Designs, which in turn was a copy of Jane’s quilt on display at Chawton Cottage in Hampshire.
The Art of Hand Quilting
As I mentioned, Jane’s quilt was hand sewn; there were no sewing or quilting machines in the Regency.
But hand quilting didn’t go away with the invention of the sewing machine. My sister and I come from a long line of quilters, and our lady ancestors hand sewed every block and quilted the final product by hand.
I have a closet filled with beautiful bed covers hand-pieced and quilted by our mother. When she died at the age of 92, we removed a partially finished quilt from the frame my uncle had made for her, and my sister recently finished that piece.
The quilting frame came home with me and sat in my garage for fifteen years, but I recently found a home for it with a quilter looking for a frame for a project.
I didn’t keep it because, yes, I don’t quilt. Quilting is as demanding an avocation as writing books and I just don’t have time for it. I’m the knitter in the family.
The backing of this quilt is special too!
Here’s a closer look:
This is repeated text from a letter Jane wrote to her sister Cassandra. The fabric is available from Riley Blake Designs.
Are you a fan of quilts? Would you use quilts in your home decor?
They’re not so popular among the sleek and all gray or white minimalists, but maybe with the new “granny-millennial” style gaining popularity, quilts will be back!
Last Week to Pre-order Claims of the Heart
A quick reminder: don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Claims of the Heart for only 99 cents. Release day is April 12, 2022.