Once Upon a Quilt

How Susan Lindsey fell in love with her husband first and Jane Austen second but ended up recreating the gorgeous and famous quilt made by Jane herself impressing her friends and making her husband proud. Two love stories and more!

As one does, I was browsing my favorite Jane Austen groups and posts on Facebook when I came across Kevin Lindsey proudly sharing the work of art his wife had done. It was a quilt. But not any quilt. THE famous quilt made by Jane back in the day that still survives today. It was perfection. I had to know more so here is what I found out about this lovely couple! A couple that loves Jane Austen together… #life goals

So… how did you two meet?

Susan and I met when I joined the music group at church where she used to play the guitar. We’ve been married 44 years and have 4 adult children (and spouses) and 7 grandchildren. I was always interested in history and literature, while Susan has always been a numbers girl. By trade she is an accountant but she began sewing when she was 12 and began quilting in 1987.

I was an admirer of Jane Austen first, and then Susan became interested. I love the books and we both love the movie adaptations. Susan has sewn many historical clothes, as we are involved at a couple of historic sites. We even live in an 1850’s Historic farmhouse which we have restored.

We mostly attend living history events at the Troy Historic Village and with Lacroix’s Company 2nd Michigan Territorial Militia at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. The Battles of the River Raisin in January of 1813 were some of the largest battles in Michigan during the War of 1812. There is a whole community of 1812 re-enactors that are involved in regency era events across the country. While I belong to several Jane Austen groups online, our physical involvement is with these groups.

How did the quilt get started?

We were fortunate to take a trip to England with some friends in 2019, One of our stops was at Jane Austen’s Chawton Cottage. One of the displays there was the quilt that Jane and Cassandra made with their mother. As I mentioned earlier, Susan has been quilting since 1987 so she was especially interested in the quilt, and we took several pictures. At that time it was just a fascinating quilt. Towards the end of 2020 it was announced that Riley Blakes was coming out with a reproduction quilt kit of that very quilt, so I ordered it for Susan for Christmas.

What did you think of the kit?

The material and templates were included in a large box that looked like a book, and the inside cover had facsimiles of Jane Austen’s handwriting. When Susan went through it she was pleased with the high quality of the material. Susan was very impressed at how much detail and thought went into the kit. Susan took the kit to a quilt retreat to piece it together. She was much focused and got it done! The other quilters on the retreat were impressed with the quilt.

She brought it home and already knew how she was going to quilt it, which she says doesn’t happen very often. She stopped at a favorite quilt shop on the way home from the retreat and found a backing fabric that reminded her of Regency era prints.

She quilted it herself by machine, put the binding on by hand and finished it the first week of November. I was so impressed with her work that I wanted to share it with other Jane Austen admirers so I posted it on the Jane Austen and Her Regency World Facebook group.

Is the kit still available?

First the kit is still available. It is made by Riley Blake Designs. Here is a link to their website:

https://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/jane-austen

Be aware that I don’t believe that they sell the kit on their site as someone on my Facebook post told me they don’t sell it. I suggested that she search online for the “Jane Austen Quilt Kit” and she was able to find a quilt store near her in the UK that carried it.

We bought ours online at Green Fairy Quilts:

https://www.greenfairyquilts.com/item_14737/PREORDER–December21–Jane-Austen-Quilt-Kit-by-Riley-Blake.htm

The links I am sending you are to a couple of the places where we are involved:

Our 1812 impressions are done mostly at the River Raisin National Battlefield:

https://www.nps.gov/rira/index.htm

Heres a link about LaCroix’s Company, which is the Living History unit we belong to:

http://riverraisinbattlefield.org/lacroixs2.htm

Susan  thought these were her favorite links regarding quilting:

Her best source for reproduction fabric is an online store called Reproduction Fabrics of 1750-1950. We visited the actual store once and they had an amazing collection of period fabrics categorized by era. She has ordered from them online many times:

http://www.reproductionfabrics.com/

Her favorite local quilt store for reproduction fabric (and where she picked up the backing for the Jane Austen Quilt) is Bittersweet Quilt Shop:

https://www.bittersweetquiltshop.com/

Finally she considers the Quilt Show website an excellent source of information on all the different facets of quilting. It has really good tutorials,  a quiltipedia,  and merchandise which is available without membership . Members also get access to the Quilt show itself and the forums.

https://thequiltshow.com/

Thanks,

Kevin & Susan Lindsey

Now, dear readers, what inspired you the most?

I would love to hear from you in the comments or via email at rita@allthingsjaneausten.net

Also don’t forget to visit the new page and group on Facebook AUSTEN WITHOUT PREJUDICE!

PAGE

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100068298998545

GROUP

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1269036520264885

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