Jane Austen Patchwork Mystery and Prize

Martha Bilski has been making progress on her replica of the Jane Austen Patchwork. She gave me permission to show this photo of her fantastic design wall with its considerable hoard of diamonds. (Northanger Abbey Ch. 20) Her fabric choices are lovely and it will be a beautiful quilt.

Martha's JA Patchwork
Martha’s Jane Austen Quilt

It appears to me the most desirable arrangement in the world. (Emma, Ch. 19) The symmetrical medallion layout of the Jane Austen Patchwork appealed to me when I saw it hanging in Jane Austen’s bedroom in Chawton several years ago.

It was a thrill for me to be able to prepare the first accurate pattern for the patchwork, with the gracious assistance and detective work of Mr. Tom Carpenter of the Jane Austen Memorial Trust.

JAPM front coveri

What is the mystery?

The original Jane Austen quilt has been described in many books and magazines, sometimes without being able to give one accurate idea of anything (Pride and Prejudice Ch. 27), so there are still questions and little mysteries. The patchwork has been the subject of much speculation, but this book provides accurate, detailed information for making a replica or a smaller variation.

P1040212 JA medallion oval

I used a drapery fabric with a large floral design for the medallion and borders of a small version.

These are NOT 60 degree diamonds, and the measurements can be tricky, but you can skip the measuring if you print the cutting and stitching lines on the wrong side of the fabric with Inklingo.

The Austen ladies made the patchwork in about 1813 with the technique we call English Paper Piecing. However, with a sewing machine (patented 30 years after Jane Austen’s death), this design can be strip pieced. The book also includes detailed, illustrated instructions for traditional methods by machine or by hand.

There are sample pages of Jane Austen Patchwork Mystery on my web site. If you visit, be sure to see the photo galleries under the Jane Austen tab in the main menu for photos of Chawton, Bath, and Winchester.

Everyone who receives e-mail notification for new entries on this blog will be eligible to win an autographed copy of Jane Austen Patchwork Mystery on September 21st, 2009. It was a plan to promote the happiness of all. (Emma, Ch. 53) (Enter your e-mail address in the box in the side bar.)

I can hardly wait to see Martha’s finished quilt! Thank you, Martha!

Linda & Monkey

4 thoughts on “Jane Austen Patchwork Mystery and Prize”

  1. Martha, Thanks for allowing Linda to share the progress on your quilt. It looks lovely, something to be very proud of. I can’t wait to see it finished.
    Rae Ann


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.