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I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

A "Devon" Quilt

Here is a patchwork quilt which was bought from a Devon seller. It had been bought at auction, so has no provenance. There were two quilts, and this one was in better shape, although there is some tendering (damage) to be seen.

The centre is a square of glazed chintz in a fern pattern from the 1840's - evidently, a better fabric that had been saved by the maker. There are others chintz fabrics to be seen.....the rest of the fabrics are "workaday " fabrics from the third quarter of the 1800's.

Mourning fabrics and pinks are seen......

More fabrics...

The chocolate fabric with roses is also 1840's....

The quilting is fairly basic, with straight lines and also clam shells to be seen.

Another 1840's fabric is this leaf pattern. This quilt is delicate and I would not wash it. The other quilt offered for sale was dirtier,  and the buyer washed came up much cleaner, but the red backing of that quilt ran terribly, and even with colour catchers, the colour did bleed onto the front of the quilt a bit. Well....I'm leaving this quilt alone!

A simple patchwork frame pattern that is very attractive...

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Red Paisley Throw

Here is a paisley throw that I bought online for the grand sum of £8. The photos were poor, but as the item came from Glasgow, there was a very good chance that the fabric was vintage Turkey Red cotton from the Vale of Leven Mills. I had planned to take it apart and reuse the fabric for a project.

However, when the item arrived, it was too nice to unpick. It looks very Scottish, as the reverse is offcuts of woollen tartan cloth, presumably from a local mill. So colourful and lively...very "Outlander"...

So, the throw will remain in the collection.....I love these red paisley items, they are so warming and cheerful! The colour is seldom accurately reproduced in modern fabrics...

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Another Sunderland Quilt

This is a quilt from Sunderland (evidently a hotbed of quilting).
The quilt measures 82" x 94" and was handed down in one family, from Sunderland. It was always kept as a spare, and not heavily used. 

The centre of the quilt has a strong and slightly quirky pair of feathers.....surrounded by the bellows pattern, and corner feathers.

The border is of paired scallop shells. Atteactive in white and pale yellow cotton sateen.

The edge is machine sewn, which was preferred in the north country as it produced a firm edge.

The overall effect is good, and has a strong, more masculine feel to it. Part of a household decluttering, but I am happy to benefit!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

French Paisley Quilt

Here is a rather strange quilt, which seems to have been made from a cast off wollen paisley shawl. It is French and I do not have much other information about it.

The colours are lovely in this woven shawl and it was probably too good to discard when shawls became unfashionable....hence transformed into a warm quilt.

I recently went to an exhibition of shawls at Norwich Cathedral... These shawls were exceedingly expensive for many years and were high fashion items. Later, the shawls did not sit so well over dresses with bustles and went out of fashion. Shawls were generally very large and were worn folded and draped over dresses. It looks as if the one has been cut in half, judging by the centre motif at one end...

The wool has a few holes...

The reverse is a red cotton...

It is amazing how much work went into weaving these shawls and I was rather amazed to see the shawls from different decades on display..

The quilting is French in style, with cross hatching in the centre and parallel bands around the outside...

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Yellow and White Stamped Quilt

Here is a lovely quilt - one side white and the other a soft yellow. It has a design which seems to have been a fairly common one, with a central design surrounded by two offset squares which firm an outer star. 

The centre has a daisey surrounded by proud ferns.

Large corner motifs seem to be pointed ferns.

There is a nice scroll and feather outer border, which is not turned but has a cross hatched corner.

Another look at a corner.

The reverse is a gentle yellow in cotton sateen.

The edge has the usual double line of machine stitching.

A few blue marks. This pencil must have been very sturdy as it often remains for a long time and quite a few washes.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Green and Gold Stamped Quilt

Here is another "stamped" quilt. These designs were marked on the quilt top in blue pencil by professional quilt designers, usually in Allendale. Then the buyer could either give to to a local quilter, or quilt it herself. Church groups often sent off for these, too. You could buy them ready made, or send your own fabric to be marked. FitzRandolph surmises that most quilters lost the ability to mark the more complex designs as a result.

The colours of this quilt do not show very well in the photos. The colour is actually a pea green! Green and Gold were considered to be a popular combination.

The centre has flat iron designs with ferns and roses, and the corners echo this. Here, there is a feather creation with the longer feathers outermost....not seen this before. The swag border has little trefoil uprights. The designs were marked on large tables, so the background infill is always nicely done, unlike many other wholecloths where the grid is often decidedly wonky.

You can see that, as is common in dark coloured quilts, there are fade marks where the folded quilt was exposed to sunlight in storage.

The reverse of the quilt is gold colour. Unusually, the quilting has been partly done in green thread, partly in gold would usually expect the thread to match the right side, green in this case.

The machine edging has been more neatly done than most. You can see remnants of the blue pencil marking on the green side.

More blue pencil in this photo...a very elegant quilt in good condition.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Red and White Welsh Cot Quilt

Here is a cute baby/cot quilt. It is Welsh as it comes from Cardigan, but there are few obvious clues to its origin. As is usual with these small quilts, the design is very simple and the quilting just enough to hold it together.

Many of the patches are what the Americans call "poverty patches"; ie where two or three smaller pieces have been sewn together to make a larger piece.

Nearly but not quite the same cloth !

There are small roller printed cottons teamed with turkey red. Even where the fabrics are similar, some have faded more than, one fabric has the background visible while in the other fabric the background has faded...

This quilt has been well used and I can just imagine it being made by a mother or grandmother for a newborn....

The quilting is more apparent from the back, which is in plain white must have been quilted from this side....

Cot quilts while not rare, seem to be not so common, as often they were " used up". Few are in pristine   condition. The size is 25" square and the little quilt probably dates from the turn of the century.