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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.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Quilts April & May 2020

Well, I have been busy during lockdown, as I am still working online from home with cloud accounts.
I have also been clearing the garden, which has been much neglected. As the rubbish tips are closed just now, there is a huge heap of plant material in one corner of the yard.

Here is the mariners compass - it was sent off to Daisy May Quilting in Martlesham Heath. I chose a paisley quilting pattern to match the vintage and modern paisley fabrics. I also added a red paisley binding. I am pleased with the way this turned out. I originally was hand piecing it, but reverted to machine piecing. I used Ruth McDowell's piecing methods, whereby you sew on the marked seam line, and match registration marks, this method works well for me.

I found this pattern to be sufficiently challenging as well as very attractive, and during lockdown decided to make a second quilt using a different colour scheme (all fabrics already in my stash). This time the top was entirely machine pieced. The quilting design I chose was Tiki, which is a triangular spiral design. Again, I was pleased with this quilt.

During lockdown I have been trying to prepare quilts as much as possible, as I don't have very much free time when I am working. So I have cut out and basted two Hawaiian quilts. This one is Kunawai. The most difficult part is arranging it carefully on the background fabric after cutting out.

I also prepared this pattern - Ulu, a pattern by Elizabeth Akana. For the first time, I "posterized" the design to make it the size I wanted. It was a learning curve, and next time I would change it to a light grey colour, as with black the print cartridge was used up at a fantastic rate. Or, choose an outline! But it worked...

I was able to cut the pattern out and baste.. I will mark the complicated parts once I have located my Sewline pen, which seems to be hiding...or may have to order a new one, as I seem to have plenty of lead refills but no pen....

I am still quilting - Kiku Nut is almost finished, and I basted and started to quilt the orange and purple quilt Umeke O Kamehameha. Of course, no Festival of Quilts this year, so no urgency to get them finished!

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

New Projects - March 2020

I have several projects on the go - it looks as if there will be plenty of time to work on these, due to the current lockdown.

The colours here are a bright orange and a mid purple. The top is complete and now for basting and quilting. I am currently almost finished hand quilting the green and white kiku nut, although it looks as if there will not be a Festival of Quilts this year, as part of the NEC is being turned into an emergency hospital.

This mariners compass has been completed and has gone off to Val at Daisy May, for long arm quilting. I enjoyed making this, but had to laugh. The instructions said that once cut out, it went together easily. Of course not true. I used the Ruth McDowell method of marking seam lines, registration marks and pinning carefully. More exact than quarter inch seams.

One of Gundrens patterns, a fairly simple one called Kira. Decided not to enlarge....

Lucy, as above but with two cuts not one. Very difficult to make the triangles the same size and match up, so again will not enlarge....

A small baby quilt or play mat for Francis’ 1st birthday party. It had to be made quickly, so was quilted simply on my machine.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Chalybeate or Zany Quilt

This is a Welsh quilt made in Aberythsweth by Mrs Annie Davies who lived above a drapers shop in Chalybeate Street. The quilt was bought from Jen Jones, who has another quilt by Annie.

Jen asked to borrow this quilt for this years show at her museum in Lampeter. The intention is to do further research about the drapers shop at archives in Aberythsweth, and to hang the two quilts over a re-created drapers shop. It should look stunning.

The quilt has been posted off and received by Jen, I only hope that the current lockdown does not delay the exhibition too much. I am really hoping to see this exhibition!

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Lilac and White Sanderson Star Quilt

Here is a recent purchase. I have a special interest in this pattern, the Sanderson Star, so was pleased to acquire this quilt at a reasonable price.

 This quilt measures 81" x 93". It is in very good condition with no wear or spots.

The quilting patterns are rather simple compared to the earlier quilts, so may be a later quilt. The designs seem to have been stamped, or marked by a quilt designer, but are simplified. For example, in the star there are the usual rose and fern, but not as detailed as earlier quilts.

 It is also not square. Beds changed shape during the 20th century, and became rectangular in shape to fit the new-sized beds. In this pattern, which was very popular, the centre stayed the same but the borders in one direction were enlarged to create a rectangular quilt. When I get a chance to measure, I will confirm this.

The quilt came from an established dealer in the North East who has her own collection of quilts. No further information on this quilt.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Quilted Cushion from Durham

Here is another quilted cushion. The maker was from Durham, and I hope to be given her name at some point. The finishing is much better than the usual; the cushion is piped and the three button closures are nicely finished.
The colour is a warmer yellow than shown in the photos. The back has a wineglass filler pattern which gives a nice texture. The quilting stitches are small and even. 

The front of the cushion has paired feather curls, which make a nice motif, with diamond infill. 
This cushion is a nice item and is very pleasing to look at.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Strippy Quilt from Milfield, Sunderland

Here is a strippy quilt from Milfield, Sunderland. One side is a patterned cotton sateen, and the other side is a pink and white strippy. I was attracted to this because of the superior quilting, this probably indicates that it is an earlier example, as the later quilts are much more simply quilted.
The strippy side of the quilt shows various patterns including feathers, bellows and a plait. 

Although the stitches are not overly small, the quilting is dense, giving a lovely texture. The quilt is in good condition, with little wear, although there are some minor stains. Not bad for a quilt over 100 years old!

What really attracted me is this motif with the close rows of quilting - not seen in later quilts.

Here is a motif that I have not seen before - it does look like doves end to end with added roses.

At the outer strips, there are plaits. The edge is hand sewn.
The reverse is this attractive floral sateen in pink.
The seller said that this quilt came from her aunts house, who always had pretty things in her house.
She did not know whether Auntie had made this - I suspect not, this looks like the product of a local quilter, as it is so well made and not a "one off". Sunderland seems to have had a lot of quilters. 

Monday, 25 November 2019

BQSG Farnborough October 2019

At the end of October 2019, the annual seminar of the British Quilt Study Group was held in Farnborough, Surrey. The hotel was the Holiday Inn, more "up market" than some we have been to!
Our study day was at the Craft Study Center, University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. I had never been there before, and did not even know that it existed, so was interested to visit. In the Craft Study Centre, there are two display rooms with various crafts displayed.

The quilts we were shown are not the property of the Study Centre, but were brought across from the Textile collection at the University.

Quilt circa 1834-45. Aged, so darkened. Colour combination of Prussian Blue and Brown is characteristic of this period. Also seen is indigo. Wavy border is unusual.

Cushion cover - second half 19C. Lined with linen. Silk, but not salted. Fabric samples? Some ink spills seen.

Piece made by professional workshops - Pattern and texture, not warmth. Paisley motifs, vermicelli, eyelets.

Chair cover - c 1790. Complete chair cover, Dimity, chintz. Is fringe contemporary? Seems unused.

Mid 19C - Brown, Prussian blue, some crudely printed. Purples are browning. Less yellow. Pieced with both running stitch and whip stitch.

Quilt mid 19C - Pieces are roller printed and block printed - 1 green patch.

Later quilt than two previous quilts - double pinks, seconds, Creases in printing. Unfinished. Not quilted. Still glazed, raw edges. Paisley border was machined. From an antique store in Farnham, but probably Westmoreland origin.

Patchwork quilt cover, predominantly blue with geometric designs, Includes indigo discharge fabrics. Reverse is resist printed indigo over discharge and an earlier fabric than the front.

The Seminar was interesting, as always. I had brought some of my Rural Industries Bureau quilts and samples. This is Liz Nally showing a lovely bed jacket.

One of Jenny Barlow's quilts - a Sanderson Star.

The Archives held at The Craft Study Centre include the archives of Muriel Rose and The Little Shop. It was interesting to look at the receipt book - prices were high for that time and customers seemed mainly the aristocracy. There was also a complete copy of the catalogue - this proved what I has always thought, that Margaret Williams was a RIB quilter from Wales. Here is the page showing one of her  characteristic quilts. One of the cushions also looks to be her work.