Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mrs. Billings, Miss Marple, and Me

Mrs. Billings Coverlet by Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork

Are you familiar with Mrs. Billings?  This is the Mrs. Billings Coverlet.  Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork in Mt. Waverly, Victoria in Australia did this masterpiece.  It is an interpretation of an antique quilt made in 1790 that is in the York Museum in Great Britain.   Yeah, Karen spied that antique quilt and said - "I can do that".  And she did.  If you follow lots of quilting blogs like I do, you've probably seen this.  For those of us who like hand piecing - it's kind of like the holy grail.  There are several Aussie quilters who are doing this and I have been watching and wishing I was doing it too.  There were lots of excuses.  Time, being the main one.  I have other fish to fry.  BUT wouldn't it be lovely to have this beauty to come back to when you could do a bit of handwork?  On the bus, train, or airplane?  In hotel rooms and comfy couches while watching a murder mystery?  I procrastinated, yet I kept going back to Karen's website  and blog to lurk and dream.

No more!  Mrs. Billings is here.  I met Karen at International Quilt Market in Houston last week and I confessed my obsession with her quilt.  I now have the booklet, the template, and the paper pattern pieces - and I've started!  These are the wonderful acrylic templates for each shape.  Notice the little holes in the corners so you can mark your seam lines.  Perfection.  

While waiting for deliveries and while packing up shipments..... This is what I've done.  I'm trying to work from just my scrap box (except for the background) and I don't think I'll even make a dent in that bad boy.  I'm pretty pleased with what I've done so far (center block and 2 borders - only 13 borders to go).  When I took the above picture I noticed a problem.  Sigh.  It seems I added the 2nd border backwards.  My points should point out - not in.  You have no idea how many times I checked the picture before I sewed it on.  But, it fits and I'm leaving it that way.  Just like an American to do it bass-ackwards.

Now Mrs. Billings will have to wait as I have other things that need tending to.  Just thought you'd like to see and maybe start one of your own.  I'll post my progress as it goes along, but I think there will be long periods when I can't work on it.  But, it's about loving the process, not necessarily being fixated on the end product.  I think Mrs. Billings and I will be long time friends (Miss Marple hangs out with us too).

Laurie

25 comments:

Cathy said...

Ii love it, and it will be gorgeous in your Americana colors.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

It's fantastic already. If you enjoy the process that much, who cares how far you get?

Northern Deb said...

I'll be watching your progress. When you mentioned not making a dent in your stash.. I had to laugh. Stashes have a way of multiplying when you're determined to work with them and only them. Maybe it's a stashs' means of self preservation but they reproduce when you're sleeping or otherwise occupied.. this is just my theory.. hope you have better luck :)). Either way you're going to have a beauty when done!!

Deb said...

I'm going to so enjoy watching your progress on this wonderful quilt. It's on my list of "Wants" but I haven't splurged yet. I have a funny feeling that as you go more and more along with this, I'll finally break down! I love what you've already done.

Bev said...

This is GORGEOUS! I'll be watching too! I love quilts like this but never think about being able to do one. I've never hand-pieced a quilt before. Would this one be too hard as the first?

Love your colors too!
Cheery wave from
Bev

Sharon said...

This will be fabulous with all your fabric lines mixed together.

Janet said...

I love your start on this monumental project! Mrs Billings done in Minick and Simpson fabrics will be fabulous!! I think your second border looks beautiful.

WoolenSails said...

That is something I would do and I would have never known if you hadn't told me, lol. I love the fabrics in the piece, really looks beautiful together.

Debbie

SueB said...

I love it in the red white and blues. It is going to be just beautiful..

Rosa said...

It`s just fabulous!!

Anita said...

Wow, absolutely love your version! If you hadn't said anything, I would have thought the points were supposed to be like that :) I think I may have to go do some lurking on her blog myself!

scottylover said...

Gorgeous! I hadn't seen this one before. Thanks for sharing it! Will watch your progress on it, too.

Sandy

cocoquilts said...

Oh my gosh!! I love the Mrs. Billings quilt and have been watching the Aussies working on this quilt! It has looked like too large of a project to start for me! I have a feeling in time I will change my mind watching yours grow in my favorite fabrics!! Love your fabrics & style!! Thanks for sharing your talent!!
Cheers, Colette

Tazzie said...

I understand your obsession completely, I'm working on it right now, and it has me enthralled! Have fun!
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Gert said...

It's a beautiful quilt, looking forward to see your progress. Have fun with it!

pdudgeon said...

what a marvelous quilt! and i like the points inward-facing--makes sense to me too!

Hotquilts said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us. Your fabrics really POP in this pattern. How do youlike working with these templates?

Queenie Believe said...

Your fabric choices are wonderful!! Would never have guessed re the point direction. Looks great. Is not Miss Marple wonderful to quilt to! She is great fun.
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

Luann said...

I just got my templates, hexagon papers and instructions today! My mind is going full speed waiting to get to the quilt shop to buy my fabrics!

IzzyR said...

Oh It is lovely , your piece. The quilt is very nice looks a little intricate but Im sure a pro like you can do it to perfection.. I too enjoy Miss Marple while quilting. I have too many quilts unquilted just laying around and thinking of starting new ones talk about obsession LOL!

Karen in Breezy Point said...

I'm excited to see your how Mrs. Billings will progress. As long as all four sides match, who will ever know? Everyone will think you meant to do it that way unless you tell them. Of course, I love it in your colors--it's going to be beautiful!
I"m a Miss Marple fan also--Margaret Rutherford is my favorite Miss M.

mascanlon said...

Lovely start and I will enjoy seeing your progress. Am working the Hexies as my hand piecing project! As for Miss Marple, she is often with me as is Hercules and a new obsession, Rosemary and Thyme, also From Acron and very fun!

Michele said...

The quilt is gorgeous! Are the templates and the booklet available in the states?

Chookyblue...... said...

have been so tempted by this quilt........it is gorgeous........

K said...

I love MRS billings. I want to purchase a kit, but i'm unsure if Karen Styles sells kits. D

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