Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 14


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 flower, 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 flower, 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


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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Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 12 + Cyber Monday + Twelve Days of Christmas + Quilt Festival Tote Winners!


I had no idea so many things were going to happen on December 1st! Not only is today the day for the 12th Benjamin Biggs quilt block but it’s also Cyber Monday, the beginning of the fantastic 12 Days of Christmas sales so why not throw in the drawing for the International Quilt Festival Tote bags!

Pour yourself a cup of tea, relax and we’ll get started!
Clutch and Zoe Sleeping Babies
You’d never know it by these two but it’s hard to not know today is Cyber Monday. It’s the day you’re supposed to do all your Christmas shopping online! Clutch, Zoe and I couldn’t let this day go by without doing something to celebrate too. You have until midnight tonight to use the discount code FREESHIP get FREE SHIPPING on any order shipping within the United States. If you live outside of the U.S. you can get FREE SHIPPING if the postage is $13.50 or less. If it’s over that amount you get 50% off which really means you should be able to fill a Priority Flat Rate International envelope for only $13.50 in postage. An email with all the details went out earlier today.

Short StuffToday is also the beginning of the yearly 12 Days of Christmas celebration. Each of the next 12 days you receive an email to let you know what that day’s special is. It might be a pattern, fabric or something new

If you’re not on the mailing list be sure to sign up because the I hope you’ll take advantage of this to order some of the new things I’ve been adding to the online store and get any favorite items at greatly reduced prices.

Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 10Today is also a Just Takes 2 Benjamin Biggs Quilt day! Now don’t panic thinking you’re getting another block that looks like Block 10 because that’s not the case. Last night I remembered something I learned about this block and wanted to share it with you. On one of the Facebook groups, sorry can’t remember which one, I saw a block that was almost identical to this one and it was called Cross and Trinity. The only difference between the two blocks was the four flower buds on our block were circles so there were three circles around each end of the cross. I’m so mad at myself for not writing down which group it was in. If someone else saw it and can find the picture please share it with our Just Takes 2 Facebook group. If I have time later today I’ll try to look for it again too but on to Block 12!

Benjamin Biggs Block 12


Block 12

I just love this block. It’s perfect for the month of December because it reminds me of ends on a Christmas Cactus plant. You’ll have this one stitched in no time at all.

Benjamin Biggs Block 12 Center


Emma K Biggs


I hope you’re enjoying your monthly journey with the Benjamin Biggs quilt. We’ll be starting the second half of the quilt next month. It will take us through 2015. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun.

IQF Houston 2014 Tote BagSpeaking of fun, I said I’d draw names for a couple of free Quilt Festival Tote bags. I used the random number generator and the lucky winners are -

  • Chris (#5 in the comments)
  • Terri Drake

Congratulations to both of you! Please email me with your delivery address and I’ll get the bags right out to you. Just click on the little box in the sidebar to email me.


Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 12 – Click here


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