When you think of Pemberley, what comes to mind? If you're a Jane Austen-addict like me, you might see Elizabeth Bennet's face, viewing the gorgeous gardens and magnificent grounds of Pemberley for the first time, wondering what exactly it was that she turned down. That setting, and those lovable and nuanced characters, are the inspiration for the Pemberely EPP Quilt.
EPP, or English Paper Piecing, is a method of hand-piecing a quilt-top using small rigid pieces of paper cut to the shape of the block design, wrapping those papers in fabric, and then whip stitching the pieces together. It allows you to achieve shapes and seam angles that would be difficult by other methods, as well as the ability to "fussy cut" - create repeating motifs or kaleidoscoping centers via very careful fabric placement. It is also typically a labor of love, taking usually a year or longer to complete a single quilt top.
Beginning an English Paper Piecing project is the start of a journey (usually a long journey!) with each block a stepping stone along the path to the finished whole. When designing Pemberley, we wanted each of those steps to evoke some of our favorite characters from Pride and Prejudice. So, most of the blocks making up the Pemberley quilt take both a name and inspiration from our favorite Austen ladies.
Sister, daughter, outrageously nice person - she is the heart and soul of Pride and Prejudice. Her block is elegant, understated, and beautiful, just like Jane.
Mother, wife, nervous-complaint-haver - she is a comedic powerhouse and primal force in Pride and Prejudice. Her bold and brassy personality demands a lot of attention, and likewise her block is robust, with strong shapes unlike any other block.
Billilla & Pyegreave
Don't worry, you're not misremembering your high school English 😄 Billilla and Pyegreave are *not* characters in Pride and Prejudice, true, but *are* drop-dead-gorgeous blocks designed by non-other than @flossieteacakes.
Friend and confidante - Charlotte is always there to provide a caring and responsible ear for the Bennet sisters, even as you’re asking "really, she ended up with him?!" Her block has some unique internal structure, but at its center a solid heart.
Reader, sister, walker (even through mud!) - Elizabeth is the epicenter of Pride and Prejudice, a complex, thoughtful and caring young woman. It only makes sense, then, that her Pemberley block is as complex as she is!
Together, each block becomes a part of the greater whole, creating the story both of the quilt, and the time it took to sew it. Looking back at some of my Pemberley blocks, I am reminded equally of the time when I was sewing it as the fabric selections - where I was, what was going on in my life, and how far I've come. The quilt becomes a time capsule of memories, allowing you to return to it over and over again. And if they're anywhere near as gorgeous as Pemberley's namesake, you'll want to keep visiting for years to come.