Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Jane

Jane Austen was born 236 years ago on December 16th. This year is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sense & Sensibility.

Bettina Havig spent the year getting ready for the party.

She printed the portrait of Jane onto cotton
and hand stitched an interpretation of the Austen family quilt.

She chose those lovely pastels that are so English in sensibility.

See the original Austen quilt by clicking here:

Road to Pemberley
by Neil Chisholm
Here's another patchwork celebration:
Neil sent a picture of his quilt inspired by the Austen family's.
He writes:

"When I saw the images of Lately Arrived From London I knew I had to use the collection. For some time I had been thinking of making the Jane Austin quilt and hoped to complete it in the anniversary year but I wanted to make it with fabric of the period so your collection was perfect for it.

I decided that it would be easier to use the precut charm squares than cut diamonds particularly as I prefer to applique than piece (this is a rare pieced quilt for me). 

The 5" charm squares sashed make a great patchwork field.

"It grew very quickly and the central medallion is actually reverse applique using a fancy satin stitch on my sewing machine - it worked really well. The quilting is all my own work on my domestic machine and I have to say I am very happy with it.

"This quilt was made as a 40th birthday present for my partner who is a huge Jane Austen fan - it is going to be a much loved quilt and has pride of place already on the back of a sofa in the lounge."

Here's a snapshot of Bettina and Jane partying like its 1811. Is Jane sitting on the Prince Regent's knee? Bettina says she never liked him. And I think she's right. Jane doesn't seem to be enjoying herself all that much. So today: a toast to Jane and her novel and her quilt.

P.S. Mary Jenkins in the comments pointed out this link to information about a newly discovered possible portrait of Jane. The British press is all agog while the American press has ignored this enormous story.... Click here for the Austen Only blog.
and see other posts


  1. Loved the post today, also love your idea of using the charms, I started the quilt a couple times and had such a hard time getting the angle right with the diamonds.

  2. I'm back for another look at these beauties.

  3. Neil's quilt is gorgeous, I need to practice my piecing this year and make some nice bed quilts.


  4. Thanks for the Jane post for all us Jane Austen fans. Love the quilt containing her picture. Very well executed.

  5. Does Bettina know about the new portrait recently discovered which is quite different to the one she reproduced? The BBC are doing a programme about it on 26th December. Details can be seen on http://austenonly.com/ but you have to scroll down a bit to find it

  6. Well, what d'you know? I finished reading Emma last night. It was not the easiest of Austen reads for me which is why I still had it on my book list. It took me a couple of months to plough through it and it was a complete coincidence that I finished it on her birthday.

  7. Neil Chisholm, that center applique block is amazing; I was particularly taken with the quilting. What a beautiful quilt!