Just Takes 2 Shipshewana Quilt Retreat

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It's a quiet and very cold afternoon in Michigan today. The wind chills are downright dangerous. Clutch and Zoe avoid going outside until the last possible minute and take care of business as quickly as they can.

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You want us to go outside?

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Clutch, did you hear that? Mom wants us to go outside!

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Clutch doesn't think much of the idea

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There are rewards for good doggies!

I think you get the idea that it's just plain nasty outside but Rob has a nice fire going and we're safe and warm. I have a little time before I start on dinner and have something to share with you.

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I'd like to invite you to join both Brenda and I at the first Just Takes 2 Shipshewana Quilt Retreat. The retreats will be held twice a year in the Spring and Fall. If you've never been to a retreat in Shipshewana I can't encourage you enough to make the trip.

The first Just Takes 2 Retreat is April 8-12, 2015. It will be held at the Blue Gate Garden Inn in Shipshewana, Indiana. This is an unstructured retreat with the exception of a time set aside for show and tell on Friday night. You can work on any project you'd like. It doesn't have to be Dear Jane, Sentimental Stitches or Just Takes 2 but we'll be there if you have questions.
You can relax and recharge from life in the busy world we live in. There are great quilt shops to visit, delicious food and lots of sights to see. These are some of the highlights for the Just Takes 2 Shipshewana Quilt Retreat -

  • A group rate at the hotel – all you need to do is tell them you’re with Just Takes 2
  • Each room includes iron/ironing board, coffeemaker, microwave, refridgerator, hair dryer and free wireless internet access
  • A traditional Blue Gate breakfast buffet of hot/cold food and beverages, as well as personalized omelets
  • Friday and Saturday evening Ice Cream Shop open in the lobby
  • Sit around the campfire and sew outside, weather permitting
  • New, beautiful hot tub and pool – open until 11PM
  • Sewing anytime, day or night – work on any project you’d like. It doesn’t have to be Dear Jane, Sentimental Stitches or Just Takes 2!
  • Box lunches optional – order one in the morning if you want to stay in and sew!
  • Two kitchens for coffee, tea, water, snacks
  • A “little quilt” for each retreat, and you will receive its free pattern. A kit will be available for purchase
  • Friday night “Show and Tell”

Registration is now open for the April retreat. There's more information, pictures and links for registration -HERE

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Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 14

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Gosh, I can't believe it's been an entire month since I posted something for you here. Shame on me!  I knew things had been busy but that's just too long to go without stopping in to say hello and let you know what's going on.
We're supposed to get lots of snow over the next day or two here in Michigan but I can't complain too much about the winter. It really hasn't been that bad so far. Unfortunately there is still lots of winter weather to come so anything can happen.

Benjamin Biggs 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.

Benjamin Biggs Block 14 Corner 1

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

Sampler from 1840The 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 soon be past
If we should live tell then.

Then let us all prepare to die,
Since death is near and sure;
And then it will not signify
If we were rich or poor.

I have to say - that seems pretty depressing to me for a hymn for little children. I hope it had a peppy tune because I can't imagine singing that in Sunday School!

 

Benjamin Biggs Block 14 Corner 2

The gems endure, the roses fade,
Yet something in the heart
Still tells that Love is best portrayed
By Nature not by Art.
This is from the poem Love's Emblems by Park Benjamin. It was written for music and appeared in The US Magazine & Democratic Review - 1845
The full poem is -

Love's meekest emblems are the flowers,
The blushing flowers of Spring -
Then bring me dear to charm my hours,
Sweet leaves and blossoms bring.

I ask not gems or costly toys -
Their brightest ray is cold,
And ours are simpler purer joys
Than can be won by gold.

The gems endure, the roses fade,
Yet something in the heart
Still tells that Love is best portrayed
By Nature not by Art.

The dews that tremble on the leaf,
But make its tints appear
More beautiful than aught so brief,
Except Love's smile and tear.

Their odors too a sweeter bliss
To sense and soul convey,
Than aught beside the early kiss
Of Love's unclouded day.

Then bring me, dear, to charm my hours,
Sweet leaves and blossoms bring;
Love's meekest emblems are the flowers,
The blushing flowers of Spring.

Benjamin Biggs Block 14 Corner 4

This speaking rose
Becomes a token fit to tell
Of things which words can ne’er disclose
And naught but this reveal so well
Benjamin Biggs Block 14 Corner 3


Take my flowers, and let their leaves
Beside thy heart be cherished
While that confiding heart receives
The thought it whispers to thine ear
These are from Flora's Interpreter or The American Book of Flowers and Sentiments. They're part of a Sentiment titled The Sportive Sylphs credited to Token - 1830

The sportive sylphs that course the air,
Unseen on wings that twilight weaves,
Around the opening rose repair,
And breath sweet incense o’er its leaves.

With Sparkling cups of bubbles made,
They catch the ruddy beams of day,
And steal the rainbow’s sweetest shade,
Their blushing favourite to array.

They gather gems with sunbeams bright,
From floating clouds and falling showers;
They rob Aurora’s locks of light
To grace their own fair queen of flowers.

Thus adorned, the speaking rose
Becomes a token fit to tell
Of things that words can ne’er disclose,
And naught but this reveal so well.

Then take my flowers, and let its leaves
Beside they heart be cherish’d near,
While that confiding heart receives
The though it whispers to thine ear.

That's the most poetry I've read in years. It amazes me how pulling out just a verse or two can lead you to a meaning different from what you get when reading the works as a whole.

Benjamin Biggs Block 14 Center
There's lots for you to ponder and a beautiful block to stitch this month. Here's a look at the signature -

Adalaide De G Biggs
July 20th 1848
The spelling of her name is a bit unique. Most times it's spelled Adelaide. There's also some added lettering that seems a bit odd to me. The only person from that time period even close to matching the name had theirs spelled Adelaide Biggs. She is listed as the daughter of William Biggs and lived in Carroll, Maryland in 1850. She was born in 1832 and would have been 16 in 1848. Based on other blocks, the age and location make sense. Adelaide had a brother named John and a sister, Susan.

If you haven't read the newsletter that went out on Thursday you have until midnight tonight to use the SUPERBOWL discount code for 15% off any of the digital patterns. Be sure to check out the new things in the newsletter too. There's some great things from my trip to Quilt Market.
You can visit Brenda at Dear Jane. I promise not to wait a month before I'm back with something special.

 

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 14 - Click here

 

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Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 13

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Happy New Year everyone! I feel like 2014 flew right by and I'm still trying to catch up.
First I want to thank everyone who ordered during the 12 Days of Christmas Sales. The response was so overwhelming that I'm still trying to get the last of the orders shipped.
I also want to reassure everyone who is part of the current $5 Block of the Month quilts and waiting for Set 14 that they will be going out over the next seven days. It's time to change over the current quilts too so watch the blog and your email for all the new thing 2015 projects!

Block 13
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.

Block 13 whole 2
Block 13 signature

 

Eleanora M. Biggs
July 20th 1848

 

Block 13 inscription

 

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!

Block 13 corner 1st

 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.

Block 13 corner 2nd

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 ~

Block 13 corner 3rd

Should pleasure, at its birth
Fade like the hues of even,
Turn thou away from earth,
There's rest for thee in heaven.
 
Block 13 corner 4th

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 which one is my favorite and there isn't anything I don't like about this block. It's just a treasure any way you look at it. The pretty little scallops quilted around the corner inkings are just darling. Here's a picture of the fantastic blue ombre fabric used in the block.

Block 13-7
When I looked closely at all the flowers you can see how the blue area was fussy cut from a larger print or stripe that had come chocolate brown in it. The brown shows at the tips on a couple of the flowers near the signature and inscription.

I'm sure Brenda has something wonderful planned for you today so head over and get your block!

 

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt
Block 13
Click here to visit Dear Jane

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