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?

Block 8 detail 2 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


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.


Block 8 detail 1

Sarah Groff
Monoquacy (Monocacy) Maryland

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 about early Maryland and the division of Frederick county.
We may have some misinformation in the Quilts of Indiana book we’re still working to determine and can tell you some of the ladies of the area were not the best spellers or perhaps spelled things phonetically. We have to consider the fact that English could have been their second language and they were more formal in it’s use than we are today. In researching the Wurzburg family history in Grand Rapids I found there are streets and small towns whose names have been changed or they simply faded into history, swallowed up by more populous areas. We may be dealing with the same type of thing with the Benjamin Biggs quilt in the Frederick County area.

Here’s what we know about our Sarah -

  1. Her full name is Sarah Naomi Groff.
  2. She was born 1838 which makes her 10 years old when the signature was added to this block.
  3. The 1850 census shows her living in District 5 of Frederick County under two households. She’s listed under her father Eli G. Groff and also with Richard Gilson whose two daughters aged 14 and 16 have blocks in the quilt too. We haven’t figured out the family relationship between the Gilson’s and Groff yet.
  4. Sarah’s mother is Amanda M. Biggs, Benjamin Bigg’s sister

Benjamin Biggs Quilt - Signature Block 16 Monocacy spelling

Benjamin Biggs Quilt - Signature Block 22 - Monocacy spelling
I believe the town listed on the block is what we now call Monocacy, Md. It’s spelled in a couple of different variations on three of the blocks. You can see Sarah’s in her block and these are pictures of the other two. If anyone has an idea of this being another town please share it with us. We want to be as accurate as possible.

Now that we’ve started digging into all of this I’m working on a map we can mark with the locations of the blocks. I think it will be fun to see how close everyone lived together. I also wonder if Sarah’s block was one made by someone else, they had her sign her name on a fabric piece and added it to the block or if she actually made the block herself. Sadly, we’ll never know.

We hope you’ll enjoy today’s block. After you download your pattern stop over to Brenda’s and check out the latest information on her new Susanna book and the upcoming Cowgirl Roundup!



Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 8 – Click here


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Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 7


Things have been a bit crazy around here the last few weeks as I was in Mother of the Groom mode so if you’re waiting on an order or email reply I’m trying to get to those as quickly as possible. With the Fourth of July holiday approaching I’m also trying to get back to the cottage. If I get everything packed I’m heading up there tomorrow. I’m stopping to see a dear friend’s new house on my way. I just saw her at the wedding but haven’t seen their new house yet and am really looking forward to that.

Here’s a few pictures of today’s block -

Just Takes 2 Benjamin Biggs Quilt show Block 7

Just Takes 2 Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 7

Block 7

Just Takes 2 Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 7 center

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt
Block 7
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Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 6 and Border


Lily of the Valley May 31 2014

I’ve got to say…….it’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood. The sun is shining, it’s warm outside like summertime and I have lilacs and lily of the valley all through the cottage. It smells wonderful!

Lilacs May 31 2014

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!

working on block 6Some 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.

Block 6 detail 1The 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!


Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 6


Block 6


Block 6 center 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?


Block 6 detail 2This 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 original size so you can look things over. In fact, all the pictures should do that if you want to see something more closely.

Benjamin Biggs quilt border You’ll also be downloading the border pattern today (included with the block) and can start working on the applique if you’d like. The pattern has instructions for starting in the center of your border strips and working out in both directions to the ends. You can make any adjustments necessary when you get to the corners just like you do when marking a quilting design on a border.

Benjamin Biggs quilt border added 1We found the border to be one of the most interesting things about the quilt. It appears the quilt was made with a border on three sides and the fourth side was added later.

Benjamin Biggs quilt border added 2

Benjamin Biggs quilt border added 3 This little rosebud was added after the quilting was completed.

Benjamin Biggs Quilt swag fabricThe green print used in the border.

Benjamin Biggs quilt three petals on swagsThe red teardrops that connect the swags.

Benjamin Biggs quilt border quilting 1A little corner quilting.

Benjamin Biggs Quilt wrong side of quilt at borderInteresting way the back was finished when the border was added.

Have fun with this block and the border. Email us if you have any questions.

Just Takes 2™ Benjamin Biggs Quilt Block 6 and Border – Click here



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