36 free quilt blocks, one a week with a guide to Jane Austen's England and posts about the people in her life.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Austen Family on Holiday

1809 Fashion for a seaside holiday

Denniele's finished top
See her album on Flickr here:

While you readers are putting your blocks together, the blog is going on holiday for a while.
I'll post periodically when I collect some photos of finished tops.

Le Marquoir d'Elise

So get those tops done and post on our Flickr page. Here's the Discussion Group:

Or send me an email picture at

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Steventon quilt from PassionPatchwork

Detail of Steventon by Aubert France 

Inspired by an antique quilt shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the French quilter made Steventon, named for Jane Austen's birthplace.

I'm glad to see some of my reproduction fabric. The scissors is pointing to a piece.

See the inspiration at this blog post at PassionPatchwork:


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dustin's Caught Up on the Silk Blocks

Dustin's been working on silk blocks,

and has finished all 36.

He has a plan.....

Check out his Flickr album Austen Silks here:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Two Austen Family Album Tops

Jeanne's Austen Family Album

Jeanne at Spiral made blocks in three sizes and then pieced them into strips. She, of course, varied the sizes intentionally, but this is a good solution to the problem of many blocks in different sizes, e.g. 12" finished blocks that actually range from 11-1/4"  to 12-3/4". Piece them into strips of like sizes. A clever set for, as she calls them in a blog post, "swap blocks and orphans and sub-units"

See her blog here:

Angie's set for 20 blocks

Angie at Quilting on the Crescent has divided her blocks into two colorways. 

"I decided to separate the blocks from this BOW and make two quilts. One quilt will feature the browns, greens and oranges. The other will have mainly yellow, pink and turquoise blocks."

She's set this one (the brown blocks) with a pale Color Weave fabric.

and bordered it with a pink damask-type floral.
Very evocative of Regency England.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Label for the Austin Family Album Quilt

Here's a label for the back of your Austen Family Album quilt.

How to print:

  • Create a word file or a new empty JPG file that is 8-1/2" x 11".
  • Click on the image above.
  • Right click on it and save it to your file.
  • Print that file out 8-1/2" x 11". The label measures 5" square to give you room to write on it with a permanent pen.
  • Adjust the printed page size if necessary.
Here's a snapshot of Terry's second top---
this one in primaries.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Georgann's Top

Austen Family Album quilt top by Georgann Eglinksi
92-1/2" x 92-1/2"

Georgann made the model blocks for last year's posts
in shades of red and yellow.

To set the blocks she found a floral with a rainbow
background that shaded from white to bright lemon yellow,
an accurate reproduction of early-19th-century taste.
This is a print from her stash, a repro from several years ago.

The sashing strips finish to 1-1/2" as do the square red cornerstone blocks.

EQ7 sketch of the layout

Here's her version of the simple Meryton set with 1-1/2" finished sashing that extends into the border. The 5" finished border makes the quilt top 92-1/2" square.

Perfect for a queen-size bed.

She framed it with a 5" finished border of the
large print from the Richmond Reds line (#8300-14)

This is a more acurate color of that print.

To use her set for your Austen Family Album blocks----

You need:
  • 36 blocks finishing to 12"
  • 53 cornerstones cut 2" square
  • 84 sashing strips cut to 12-1/2" X 2".

EQ7 will figure out your yardage for you. It says:

  • 1-5/8 yards of the yellow print for the sashing strip
  • 1-3/4 yards of the red print for the cornerstones and border---if you piece the border strips.

The borders need to be cut 93" x 5-1/2" for the top and bottom
And 83" x 5-1/2" for the sides.
If you are using a big splashy print and don't want to piece the border strips buy 2-3/4 yards for the border and cornerstones.

I'm the official photographer here and I have had
a very hard time capturing the color in her lovely blocks
and top. My pictures make the yellow too pale.

This is probably a good reflection of the actual color in the blocks.

She mixed a variety of buttery yellows with a consistent
brick red from my Richmond Reds line plus several toiles
she had been saving.

It's on its way to the machine quilter.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Three Tops Set Together

Virginia M (Gin028) has finished her top with
an unusual set. 
She added strips to two sides of each block (say: top and right).

Then she offset the 36 blocks just a bit.

Austen Family Album by Virginia

Here's the result. The dark strips add a nice geometry
to her finished composition, uniting some individualistic blocks.
Below are two other sets that pull the blocks together (something
that's not always easy with scrappy fabrics and a sampler of blocks.)

Austen Family Album by Karen D 

Karen used the sash and cornerstones set for 25 blocks here.
 The "neat stripe" creates unity.  I can see she used a lot
of the serpentine stripes from In The Beginning's Circa 1825 reproduction
fabric line.
See a post on that fabric here:

Austen Family Album by Cathy S.
104" square

The photos don't capture the color well, but you
can see she's alternated all 36 of the 12" blocks with 12" plain squares.
Using two colors draws your eye to the lightest, uniting the blocks into a whole.

Here's what she says:
"My finished Austen Family Album top!! 104" square and I love every little inch of it."

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Innovative Sets

Modern Sampler by Leisel Rautenbach

You have 12 blocks. You could arrange them in asymmetric fashion.

Split Personality pieced by Audrie Bidwell
Thomas Knauer's design is always inspirational.

Jen Kingwell's Gypsy Wife

Quilts found on the web:

An interesting use of the negative space in a design.

Or you could go back on the grid.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Becky's Blue & Brown

Austen Family Album in Blue & Brown
 by Becky Brown
85-1/2" x 85-1/2"

Our master model block stitcher has finished one of her Austen sampler tops. Becky writes:  
The top is done - "I want it simple....put the blocks together with 1-1/2" sashings, so that it wouldn't get too big. 3" border around quilt."

And simple and elegant it is.
She used a variation of the Meryton set.
See more here and scroll down:

She kept the palette quite controlled and cool.
Lots of line---controlled line.

Fussy cutting the stripes added to the cool geometry.

Quite a visual success, don't you agree?

Here's the setting plan for a double bed-sized quilt.
36 blocks finishing to 12" square.
1-1/2" finished sashing and cornerstones
3" finished border
Revised Meryton set instructions for a smaller quilt:

Block 19 by Becky 

You need:
  • 36 Pieced blocks finishing to 12" x 12"
  • 25 Cornerstone squares to set between the blocks, finishing to 1-1/2" x 1-1/2"
  • 60 Sashing Strips to frame the blocks, finishing to 1-1/2" x 12" rectangles.
  • A single border finishing to 3" wide.

Cut 25 cornerstone squares 2" x 2".
Cut 60 Sashing Strips as rectangles 2" x 12-1/2".

Mitered border corners: Cut 4 strips 3-1/2" x 86".
Right angle border corners:
  • Side Borders: Cut 2 strips 3-1/2" by 80"
  • Top & Bottom Borders: Cut 2 strips 3-1/2" x 86"

The seam lines in her corners

I'd use the same yardage that EQ7 suggested for the larger sashing.
  • 3/8 yard for the cornerstones
  • 1-3/4 yards for the sashing strips
You can buy a little less yardage for the border: EQ7 says 2-1/8 yards if you piece the border.
If you use a chintz or stripe you will want to cut the borders as single strips and not piece them, so buy 2-1/2 yards. You may also want to use the same print as in the sashing strips.

Becky says: "Now it's ready for quilting, along with several others. ;-)"

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rietje is Finished

Rietje has posted  a photo of what looks to be a quilted and bound Austen Family Album. Finished!
She has set the 36 blocks side by side and framed it with a chain of squares pieced border.

I recolored her photo a bit but I still don't think the color is as pretty as it is in real life. The pictures she's taken of her blocks over the year reflect the color better, warm reds, pinks, browns and ivories.

Very romantic, sort of like an Austen novel.

And here's the back!!! Again I bet the photo is too brown.
See for yourself at her Flickr files.

(She also has her Civil War BOM, Threads of Memory up there too.)

Congratulations on a lovely Austen quilt.