We spent much of yesterday separated from the National Grid and thus our water supply so there was nothing for it but to settle down in a shady spot with some recent book acquisitions.
I'd like to be able to say "Here's something I made in the afternoon", but actually I browsed the book that I had ignored for years until Judy, a US quilter, found me here and led me to it ,
Dear Jane:The Two Hundred Twenty Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A.Stickler Quilt
by Brenda Papadakis. Now in its 14th printing so clearly everyone else has rightly been paying it a great deal of attention.
Lucky residents of Vermont USA only have to nip down to The Bennington Museum to feast their eyes on the original while the rest of us have Brenda to thank for converting her love of this quilt into the drafted patterns for every 4 & 1/2" block. At least we can make a start on our own.Copies are all called Baby Janes, all unique but derived from the same mother.
Information about Jane is scarce.
Born Jane A. Blakely in April 1817 and presumed married to Walter Stickle by the time of the 1850 census.She had responsibility for three children but none of her own and by the the 1860's census she is recorded as living alone while William lives with his brother. They are back together for the 1870 census with a farm and servants but bankrupt by 1877. In 1883 the year of Walter's death, they are living as boarders in another home where Jane died at the age of 79 in 1896.
Just a succession of dates, almost the backbone of a novel, through the Civil War; what a lifetime of events that all suggests to the imagination and all silently stitched into this beautiful quilt.
With these 5602 pieces, completed in 1863 there is no more of Jane A.Stickle's work known to exist but you can't believe she stopped stitching after this one and the rest of us had better make a start.