Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 14

Block 14   Check out this block. The use of a red stripe print fabric for the flowers was the perfect choice to make this block sparkle. There are verses from different pieces of poetry on this block. I couldn’t resist checking them out. Our life is never at a stand, ‘Tis like a fading flower; Death which is always at hand, Comes nearer every hour.The is actually a hymn rather than a poem. It’s from Hymns for Infant Schools by Mrs. Gilbert – 1827 It must have been taught to quite a few children of that era. I even found a cross stitch sampler bearing the same verse – circa 1840 The sampler is available to purchase if you’re interested. The full hymn is shown below –   Hymn 17—Upon the Shortness and Uncertainty of our Lives Our life is never at a stand, ‘Tis like a fading flower; Death, which is always near at hand, Comes nearer every hour. And those who now are young and gay, Like roses in their bloom; Will very soon be old and gray, And wither in the tomb. Though Adam lived nine-hundred years, Methuselah still more; Though Enoch very old appears, Seth, Abraham, and Noah; Yet time, that travels on so fast, Has swept them all away; The oldest men must die at last, And so at last did they. How often has the bell been toll’d – The funeral moved along! ‘Twas for the young as well as old, The healthy and the strong. For now man’s life doth seldom last To threescore years and ten; And oh, the time will...

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 13

Happy New Year everyone! I feel like 2014 flew right by and I’m still trying to catch up. We missed several block postings here and I apologize for that. I’m going to take them over for each month and will try to do a better job for you during 2015. Today is the beginning of the second half of the Just Takes 2 Benjamin Biggs quilt and we’ll be working on the centerpiece block in the quilt.   Eleanora M. Biggs July 20th 1848     By the Ladies For Benjamin Franklin Biggs 1848   There are beautiful sentiments inked in the four corners of the block. I think it was a brave soul who dared write on such a pretty block. I’d be scared to death I’d make a mistake and ruin the whole thing!  Flowers seek the light, their beauties to display, The leaf will smile the same by night as day There is the smile that no cloud can o’recast, The flowers and leaves are thine own to the last. The stars that gem life’s morning sky, Smile sweetly o’er the now; And flowers around thy pathway lie, And roses crown thy brow ~ Should pleasure, at its birth Fade like the hues of even, Turn thou away from earth, There’s rest for thee in heaven.   Life is but a shadow – save a promise given Which lights up sorrow with a fadelys ray: I touch the scepter! – with a hope in heaven Come, turn thy spirit from the world away. They’re all beautiful verses. Hopefully I have the wording correct. I can’t decide...

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 10

I’m going to admit I’m slipping into the insanity that happens in the weeks before Quilt Market and Festival. I’m swimming in details of last minute pattern corrections, ordering supplies, fireproofing booth drapes and a million other things that need to be tended to. I want to make sure things get shipped to Houston on time and we have everything we need when we get there. I haven’t done this in a few years so I’m a bit out of practice and some things have changed so I’m trying to be extra careful. Today is the first of October and I have another Benjamin Biggs quilt block pattern for you. Block 10Isn’t this an interesting block? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like it before. I’ve looked and looked at this signature and can’t seem to make up my mind on the last name. I tried doing some research and found several people named “Trout”, sometimes spelled “Traut” living in the area our quilt is from. I first thought the signature looked like “Trouel” but research didn’t bring up many possibilities. Tronel Trovel Trowl Frovel Fravel I’m going to give up on this one for the time being. If anyone finds an Ann S. ????? please let me know and I’ll edit this with the correct information.   Before the next block is posted Brenda and I will be in Houston for the 40th Anniversary International Quilt Festival along with friends, Edith Shanholt and Marie Troyer who are helping us with our booth. If you’re going to the show please be sure to stop and see us. Our...

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 8

I can hardly believe it’s time for our 8th block! The time is going by so quickly and I feel like I am so far behind but really enjoy seeing the pictures you post on Facebook and in the Yahoo Group. Have you started on your borders yet? How many of you are behind on those cute little corner rosebuds? It’s hard to keep up isn’t it? Isn’t this just the cutest little flower? I love the fabrics in this block even if the black dye used to highlight the leaf in the print has deteriorated. Sadly, that leaves a hole in the fabric. The green print is one I’d like yards and yards of.     Block 8 I have a feeling all the little dips and curves in this block will take a while to sew. It’s a good thing we’re only doing one block a month so you have until Sept. 1st to get ready for the next one.   Sarah Groff Monoquacy (Monocacy) Maryland 1848 Yesterday I realized I hadn’t finished working on the signature of this block. I wasn’t sure about the name of the town that had been penned on this block. No problem! I figured a quick 20 minutes at the computer and I’d have things ready. Well…………….10 hours, several texts and two lengthy phone calls later Brenda and I both gave up for the night. I actually worked for another hour but am paying for it with a headache this morning. Too many hours staring at the computer screen, too much brain strain or both! I now know quite a bit...

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 6 and Border

There’s lots of information to cover in today’s installment of the Benjamin Biggs quilt. We’ll be working on the 6th block and you can start working on your borders if you want to! Some of you may remember seeing this photo of Block 6 in progress. It’s a good thing I didn’t get any further than basting a few leaves and stems. The cherry branches on the antique quilt were appliqued in one piece! I didn’t notice that the block pattern was different from the original until I started pulling pictures to look at the fabrics. I’ve included a drawing for the branch all in one piece if you’re like me and want to make your block that way. I love the delicate look it gives the block. The pattern has things divided into individual stems and leaves which will look nice, but I’m just a too crazy about honoring what the original maker of the block intended to divide things up like that. Good lesson learned – look at the pictures before starting your block!     Block 6   Unfortunately the signature on this block has faded away and we can’t tell who the maker was but I think you’ll agree, it’s a very pretty block. I wonder why this one didn’t hold up as well as the others?   This block has one red and one green fabric in it. I wish I had yards and yards of this green dot! If you want a better look at the quilting, click on the picture of the full block and it should enlarge for you to the...

Some Exciting Just Takes 2™ News!

Some pretty great Just Takes 2 news was shared on Facebook last night! Barbara Black’s 2012 Just Takes 2™ quilt will be the feature quilt for the 40th Anniversary International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall. Brenda and I are truly honored to be part of what will be a spectacular event! If you’ve ever thought about attending the show, this is the year to go! I’ve been to all the major quilt shows and the Houston Festival is by far the biggest and best I’ve ever attended. It’s the only show I think about returning to year after year. They’re pulling out all the stops and it’s something you won’t want to miss. Barb’s Just Takes 2™ quilt will be everywhere and I mean everywhere! The Ruby Jubilee exhibit is going to be fantastic. It might be the biggest collection of red and white quilts to be exhibited since the Infinite Variety exhibit in New York that inspired Just Takes2™! If you have a red and white quilt you’d like to share they’ve extended the deadline to enter quilts until May 31st. I have a quilt or two I might submit! If all that’s not enough to tempt you, Brenda and I will be at the show! Karey Bresenhan graciously offered us the opportunity to have a booth at Festival and we’ll have it filled with lots of wonderful things. We’d love to have you stop by to say hello. If you’d like to start your own 2012 Just Takes 2™ quilt you can order the patterns –...

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 5

Block 5 This block is one of the papercut blocks like the first block. It shouldn’t take you too long to do the center part and many of you have already appliqued your corner rosebuds in anticipation of the coming blocks. That’s a wonderful idea if you have the extra time available. We’ll be giving you the border pattern next month so you can start working on all those pretty scallops while you’re making your blocks. I really like the fabric in this block. It’s a great red and yellow print I wish I had yards and yards of! Here’s a close up of the signature on this block. It appears to be – Mary Shaw Jan. 18th 1947 or is it 1849 ??? I have to admit it looks more like 1949 to me which makes me wonder……..if Benjamin and Elizabeth got married on January 11, 1849, about three months after the quilt was completed, was the block signed almost a year before their wedding. Would it really have taken that long for the quilting or was that block signed after the quilt was completed? Some of you thought the date on last month’s block looked more like 1849 making it even more questionable. Here’s another look at that signature. There’s a special Signature Page here at Just Takes 2 with pictures of the signatures from blocks so you can study them closely. I’ll add each month’s picture when the block is presented. I think the signature and inkings are a special part of this quilt. This month’s block looked a bit like an ink blot and I...

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 4

Even though it’s April Fool’s Day today you won’t find me playing any practical jokes here! It’s a Just Takes 2 Benjamin Biggs quilt day and we’ve got stitching to do. I think you’ll find today’s block a breath of fresh air after the intense work on tiny stems and little round cherries in last month’s block. Block 4 I know it looks like I have the block is upside down but that’s the way it’s set in the quilt. I’m not sure if I’ll orient it that way in my quilt or turn it around. Seems kind of odd to me this way. I studied this signature for quite a while. It looks like – Ann R. Mering Ring Brook 1849 The quilting, the quilting. There’s lots of quilting in this block but it’s a bit difficult to see. There’s a large picture in the pattern file and you can enlarge this one to look it over. I’ve found feather wreaths, feather sprays or a sprig of feathers depending on what you want to call it and a flower or leaf design. You could use lots of designs to dress up this Carolina Lily block. If you’e just joining us and missing the first three blocks you can purchase them HERE   Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 4 Click here to visit Sentimental Stitches    ...

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 3

It’s March 1st and there’s a lot going on today in the Just Takes 2 world! Brenda has the third block for you, we have a drawing for the Quilts of Indiana book, I have the petal pattern many of you asked about and the results of the background voting. Are you ready? Isn’t this a sweet little block. You’re going to get lots of practice doing skinny stems and small cherries. We grow them much bigger in Traverse City! I’m looking forward to working on this block. I love the challenge and plan to work on the block all weekend while it snows once again here in Michigan. We’re beginning to think spring will never arrive. For those of you who wanted a copy of the petals I’m using instead of the rosebuds you can get that pattern HERE. Here’s a look at the signature on this block. The name looks like Barbara Winters to me. This signature is written right on the block and not sewn in like it was in Block 2 That’s it for right now. I’m going to go find Clutch, have a snack, work on my block and watch it snow!   Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 3 – Click here to visit Dear Jane...

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 2

Today’s the day! It’s time for the second block in the Just Takes 2 – Benjamin Biggs quilt! Doesn’t it seem like it took a long time for this month to pass? Maybe it’s the season, all the snow or just the fact that we’re used to getting together twice a month instead of once. Block 2 Isn’t this a sweet block? The name on the block appears to be Mary P. Gilson. I think it’s really interesting the way the name is reverse appliqued into the center of the block. It makes me wonder if the quilter wasn’t happy with her fist signature and appliqued one that looked better into the block. It’s sure something I can see happening to me!  Maybe someone else made the block and the signature was added later. Was this a type of fundraising quilt for the Biggs family and you could buy a block, having your name added?  So many questions……..   In this picture you can see the signature a little more clearly and also the quilting of a circle around the signature square in the center. The little teardrops coming out from the circle are the perfect compliment.   I love this unique feather design that’s used on all four sides of the block. I’ve never seen it before. Individual feather teardrops were used as fillers. Actual size photos of the center design and this feather design are included in your pattern in case you want to use them on your quilt.   You can download today’s block at Sentimental...