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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.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Bellringing for Musicians

The music of changeringing - a quote from an article and talk by John Harrison:

Its music, Jim, but not as we know it...

Just imagine:

An instrument whose moving parts weigh a ton or so.
An instrument with a delay of over a second between your action and a sound.
Playing an ensemble of such instruments to a precision of a few hundreths of a second.
A form of music constrained to play every note before repeating any of them.
Composing a piece to last several hours in which no bar must be the same as any other.
Performing such a piece without any music.

The full article can be found at

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Exhibition of Welsh Quilts - Museum of East Anglian Life

Exhibition Title: ‘Quilts: Textile Treasures from Wales’
Dates running: 5th June – 25th August 2013
Venue: Abbot’s Hall, Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket, Suffolk

Textile enthusiasts are in for a big treat this summer as the Museum of East Anglian Life presents a unique selection of Welsh quilts from the Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth - home to over a hundred quilts and bed covers.

Recognising the harsh existence for farmers, miners and seafarers in mid Wales during the 19th and early 20th centuries, handmade quilts provided comfort and warmth amidst sparsely furnished dwellings.

Curator, Carrie Canham, points out some of the extremes of the exhibition, ‘Some of the quilts were made from scraps of material but others are whole cloth. Even though we are showing some of the most beautiful quilts we also want to show the most interesting quilts. Some are made from the poorest of materials, cloth cut up from old clothes and stuffed with wool from the hedges.’

The exhibition follows the winding path of economics through the use of scraps of old cloth, tailors samples and much repaired or patched quilts, compared to specially purchased colourful satins and silks. Each of these fabrics being used to produce visually stunning patchwork covers.

The exhibition also investigates the use of colour and texture as well as design, touching on the traditions of the process and looking at the development of the nature of quilting as an art in itself.

Most of the quilts have personal stories attached to their making. Not only are they technically interesting but they are also historically fascinating. Quilt making is usually a social activity bringing people together and giving the makers a chance to share time together.
There will be a selection of quilts on show together with items associated with the making process.
For details of workshops and events taking place to accompany the exhibition, please see our website:
Notes to Editors:

1 The Museum of East Anglian Life is situated in Stowmarket, Suffolk. It is an open air museum set in 80 acres of countryside, with over 20 historic buildings and collections of over 45,000 objects exploring the rural and social history of East Anglia.

2 Admission to Abbot’s Hall is free, opening times are Mon-Sat 10-5pm, Sun 11-5pm. Refreshments are available on site in the Museum Cafe daily until 4pm.

3 Image details:

Flannel Star Patchwork Quilt - Copyright Ceredigion Museum

4 For more details:

Tel: 01449 612229



Monday, 4 March 2013

Kaluna Me Ka Peahi

No, I'm not sure what that means either! but I will try to find is my other Hawaiian quilt on the go. I have the blue and white Molokama in the frame, and this red and white top to applique; it is nice to have more than one project in progress at once.

The patterns come from Poakalani on large sheets of newsprint - I press them onto strips of freezer paper to make them sturdier and less likely to tear...

 It is quite hard work to iron the fabric into eighths and then to pin the pattern onto the fabric. And, very hard on the hands to cut the pattern from the fabric...

 ...but the most difficult part is to unfold the cut fabric and place it on the background cloth - this takes a long time!There just is no way to speed this part up...

And here is the cut fabric arranged as it should be, ready to be basted onto the fabric.
There are various ways of doing this - the traditional way was to pin paste it and then thread baste it, running a basting thread around the edge.

Today, I read that many people use spots of fabric glue to hold the applique fabric in place. However, I use safety pins as I am a bit lazy and it seems to work well. I have a large collection of safety pins!!

Over Christmas, I scanned and uploaded photos of my own quilts (ie not antique) to make quilt pages. I have not gotten around to labelling these quilts - but will start to publish the pages, and add the captions later.

I was struck down by the heavy cold that is sweeping Suffolk - I haven't have a bad cold for some time, but it took me about two weeks to get fully over this one - so apologies for not posting during that time.