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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, 20 December 2014

Christmas Bellringing in Ipswich



Today was Christmas bellringing in Ipswich. We opted for St Clements Church this year...it is redundant, which is sad as it was once a proud old church with connections to the shipping at the port and with the British Navy...hence is known as the Seamans Church. formerly used as storage for the local museum...the church has tecently been cleaned up and will be used as a performance venue for nearby Suffolk College. Some of the monuments have been removed for safekeeping. We managed to ring Stedman, Ipswich, St Clements, Cambridge and Norwich here, on the ring of six.


Then we returned to St Margarets for tea and mince pies. This church has exciting plans for a new ringing gallery and work to the bells...


Last week, we also rang a quarter of Grandsire Triples at Ufford before their carol service.


I went to several company Xmas meals...Hintlesham Hall...we were a bit rowdy there.....in the Christmas crackers were those long balloons that zoom around making funny noises....we had lots of fun with those!


And the Ram in Hadleigh...this group was more sedate....

Tomorrow, more ringing at Pettistree, where the scaffolding is down and the decorating is finished.
The church looks lovely and bright now.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

More Books on Textiles

Some recent additions to the library....


An excellent and heavy book.....lots of reading here. It is in three main sections: Overview, Colors and Mechanics. There is a sizeable section entitled Appendices, which includes useful informstion such as Timelines, prices, and more on greens, blues and blacks. A sizeable bibliography and index round it off...originally a thesis, I think, this book is readable and engaging....quite a tome!


A book about textiles in Norwich, mostly woollens. Norwich lost out to later industry in the Midlands and North, so not as recent history as the books based around cotton textiles...but as Norwich is local to us here in Suffolk, this piqued my interest. I must visit the museums in Norwich again soon!


This book has been around for some time, but I thought that I had better buy a copy.....Kathryn Berenson has researched the topic thoroughly, and the book is well illustrated.

Finally, two books on textiles from Asia, bought at a used bookshop in Framlingham...

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Stamped Strippy from Durham

Here is a pink and white Durham strippy that I bought recently. It is not in good condition....not surprising, as these quilts were utility quilts, to be used as everyday bedding. I bought it because 
1) I like strippy quilts! 2) the quilting looked to be well done but also 3) the quilting patterns strongly reminded me of the Sanderson star quilts that I have been studying and seemed to have been professionally stamped, or marked.


This quilt doesn't photograph well, as the sateen is so soft and worn. The wadding is very thin, perhaps due to years of washing....



The patterns are the same ones seen on many of the earlier Sanderson star quilts....a Weardale chain and a stylised vine with curlicues design.


The stitching is very neatly done with small stitches.


The edges are hand sewn as well, and not sewn by machine, which was the norm for most of the later north country quilts.



Perhaps more unusually, the strips are sewn together by hand, as I hope that you can spot in this photo. This quilt top seems to have been sewn up by hand and then professionally marked by one of the professional quilt stampers of Allendale. The patterns are very similar to the older Sanderson star quilts that I saw at Beamish. This quilt came from a house clearance in County Durham and I hope to learn more from the dealer in due course, if possible. I think it may date from 1890 to 1900, although it is impossible to tell for sure.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Jen Jones Quilt Museum Exhibition 2014 - "Early to Bed"


Today, I received my copy of the catalog for the 2014 quilt exhibition at Jen Jones' Quilt Museum in Lampeter. I was not able to see the exhibition this year, which has now closed - Wales is just too far from Suffolk - but this is a good record of the yearly exhibition. The exhibition was "Early to Bed - Make Do and Mend and Folk Art".


This year's show contained  quilts from Jen's own collection, plus some of Ron Simpson's and two other museum collections,  Brecknock and Ceredigion. If you are in Wales during March to November, these exhibitions are well worth going to see. Like previous exhibitions, this was professionally designed and staged by Gwenllian Ashley. The Lampeter  Old Town Hall is a lovely venue. And, with Calico Kate, there is a good quilt shop nearby!

I was very surprised to turn the page, and to see that my blog post of 31 March 2012, concerning military quilts and the painting of Thomas Woods, was quoted in its entirety. I had no idea!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Quilted Bed Jacket - Saltburn near Redcar

This quilted bed jacket came from an estate auction some years ago at Saltburn near Redcar. This area is in the far north part of Yorkshire. The family's name was Robinson, of "the horsey set" the dealer tells me.


This little jacket is very nicely quilted and finished. The outside is an ivory silk or artificial silk, and the lining is of pink cotton. The front fastening is a single button. The edges are nicely finished by hand.


The design is a simple one piece design...no separate arm pieces, here. The quilting is effective, some curling feathers on the sleeves and front...


The back is treated in a similar manner...


The stitching looks attractive on the lining, as well..



I'm not sure of the date of this item, but according to the dealer, it is not recent as it was in her collection for some years. It does make me wonder if it is another small RIB item, or if it was part of the post war trend for smaller quilted items.







Monday, 10 November 2014

Durham Quilt from St Mark's, Jarrow

Here is a quilt that I bought in July. It dates from around the second world war. It is faded, and the fabric is not the usual quality that one would expect of sateen.....it is a bit harsh and has not worn well. I imagine that fabric supplies dried up during and after the war, when rationing was in force. It took several years for domestic industry to resume, and it is my understanding that Roman sateen was never produced again, as it was very labour intensive to make, despite being an inexpensive fabric.


This quilt is pink and green, the green side is much faded. The quilt was made by a womens group from St Marks church in Jarrow on Tyne. At  that time, the church was thriving and had a very active womens group. The church is now a family home and is deconsecrated. The sellers great grandmother was Elizabeth Overton, who owned Overtons shop on Monkton Road, Jarrow. The sellers mother Charlotte Mabel Maughan inherited several quilts including this one.

The design features a large central motif of a flower, surrounded by fans and tulips. There is an outer border of a large twist.


View of centre of quilt, showing central motif.


Central motif....


The edges are machine sewn.


.....and not too carefully done! You can see that the edges are frayed and that the fold has not been "caught" by the stitching.


The quilt was well used, and the poor quality fabric has not lasted very well....cotton wadding... Quilting stitches are fairly large, as one would expect from a group quilt made for fundraising efforts, but the designs stand out well. Size of quilt is 240 x 240cm, that is about 95" square.


Here is a photo of The St Marks ladies on a church trip, probably from the 1950's...photo taken from the site Jarrow then and now. The church was very active at that time. Maybe the quilters were among this group?


St Marks Church was made redundant and is now a private house...the church hall is now a granny annex.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Welsh Quilt with Green Frame/Paisley Pears


Here is a Welsh quilt that I bought recently. It came from a house clearance in Portsmouth, so has no provenance. The family did come from Wales, however.


As you can see, the right side has a frame of darker green fabric surrounding a centre of light green sateen with pink and red flowers. The green fabric has been left in the sunlight at some point, causing bad fading at the folds. But the stitching is expertly done. 


The reverse is plain green sateen. You can see that paisley shapes and roses make an attractive centre, surrounded by crosshatching (check out the converging lines in the lower left hand corner!)


This quilter made great use of the paisley shape in the borders, as well as the centre....the paisleys form a fan in the corners...then they march around the edge, upright, and meet as a pair in the centre of the border....boxy motifs are seen around the outside...


Fading also seen on the back....some dark colours are very prone to this...


Another look at the center from the reverse...the quilt is a heavy one but the filling is lambswool.


This quilt was probably made by a professional quilter. The edges are neatly hand sewn. The quilt measures 76 x 80 inches.