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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.













Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Welsh Quilt with Unusual Quilting Patterns

Here is a Welsh quilt which is a bit puzzling.....it has some interesting quilting patterns, but does not seem to have been especially carefully made.


At first, I thought that this was the top or "best" side....the flowered sateen is attractive, but an odd bit of beige fabric has been used to complete the top, here placed in the middle, almost like a frame.....


But, looking at the edges and the frill, it is apparent that this side was the underside...you can see that the frill has seams and turned under edge facing this lower side, making it the reverse...

The edge with its frill was not very carefully sewn....the fabric edges were not carefully turned in, and in many places where the turn in was not caught by the line of stitching, the two selvedge edges are just sticking out....



Turning the quilt onto the plain side, one can see that this pink side was the uppermost side....the frill is nicely gathered on this side...no seams showing....the thread also matches this side...


The quilting patterns are also more apparent on the "better" side....there is a central coin with four hearts..surrounded by circles....with four fans at the corners...you can see that the usual bordered format is not followed...on either side of the central coin are two more half circle designs....


Another look at the center hearts...


At either end are some triangular designs....the two ends are not quilted in the same manner, however....this one has two daisies...with a paisley shape at either side....


While this one had a half daisy or fan and a leaf and paisley pear.....


The corner fans have teardrop motifs...


Another corner, this one with a fan...


Some unusual linked spirals, which look like eyeglases? These are seen in several areas, including the side triangles and in between the central hearts.

This quilt came from a family in Newport, South Wales. The quilt measures 72  x 81 " with a 5" frill.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Durham Club Quilt with Spring Flowers and Ribbon Edging


Here is a quilt which makes use of a very attractive fabric....it is cotton sateen with bright and colourful spring flowers. The quilting design is fairly simple, and I suspect that this is an example of a club quilt. There is a central wheel, infill of diamonds and then two borders, a twist and a square petalled flower...


I have not seen this treatment before, the edge of the quilt has had an attractive ribbon with matching colours, top sewn to the edge.


The reverse of the ribbon....


Although an attractive quilt, the stitching is not very fine...only about 4 or 5 stitches per inch...


The plain side of the quilt....you can see the central wheel or flower...


....some of the threads have popped or broken with use....


...a closer look at the flower quilting pattern...


And another look at the bright fabric, with tulips, daffodils, jonquils, irises, bluebells and other spring flowers. 

This quilt came from a house in Oxfordshire and has no provenance.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Welsh, but Durham-style Quilt

Here is a bit of a puzzle - a quilt definitely made in Wales by a Welsh woman, but with a north country flavour. It seems to be another example of a marked top in the Durham style. North Country marked tops were available commercially and could be purchased by post or through stores. This quilt was made of blue and salmon satin by the seller's great aunt. The size is 80 x 90 inches and the quilt dates from about 1920.


The centre has an emblem that resembles a simplified lovers knot.


There are some nice scrolls and some leaves...not feathers, I think, as they are too pointy...notice the prairie points at the edge. None of this looks very Welsh!



A view of the whole quilt...


You can see that the design is marked with a dark pen....which makes me think that it was either done by someone who did not know too much about marking, or by someone who did not want the markings to disappear before it was quilted. The stitching is large and not especially good...


The corner, showing the prairie points...attractive colours....


The quilt was made by the seller's great aunt, who lived in South Wales. The quilt would have been made in either Abersychan or Sebastapol, as she lived in both places. They are both in the eastern valley travelling north from Newport. The seller didn't think it appropriate to give the great aunt's name.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

More Molas

 I enjoy molas, they are very lively with a lot of detail! They are often brought back as tourist souvenirs from Panama. Formerly they were made as panels in clothing for the Cuna people of the San Blas Islands, now they are an important source of income.

I am not sure what this creature is! He was sold as a mythical animal, it is gathering something to put in his basket...great colours....


Again, not sure what this means..it may be a logo or a brand of an item? This mola was bought very inexpensively, I was interested to see that it was professionally framed in Brixton....it has anti-glare glass. It has now been hung on my wall....

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Another Wave Quilt

Earlier, I showed a Cumbrian strippy quilt that I had bought; I had wanted an example of a wave quilted bed quilt. The wave pattern, an allover quilting pattern, is typical of Cumbria, the Isle of Man and Ireland. Surprisingly, there was another wave quilt available at a reasonable price - here it is. It is a utility quilt, made of scraps and offcuts in a frame pattern. The quilt measures 72" by 87".


One side is made of cotton sateen prints and blue fabrics. I had thought that there were two blue fabrics - but looking closely, you can see that it is only one re-used fabric, where a seam has been unpicked. Part of the fabric, which was exposed to sunlight, was faded,  while the portion protected in a seam is unfaded. The quilt cannot have been much used as the threads still remain from the unpicking.



The quilting is a very even looking stitch. I am wondering how this pattern was marked? I suppose a series of triangles...but how did they keep them in line across the width?

The back is a cotton sateen in the same floral pattern. The quilt probably dates from the 1920's. The quilt measures 72" x 87". The wadding seems to be a thin wool filling. The edge is finished with three lines of machine stitching. The seller had no information of the origin of the quilt. It was just one of those things that had always been around! The seller was from Poole, Dorset.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Single Durham Quilt 1920's - Middridge nr Shildon


Here is a single quilt that I bought recently. It has come with a good history....you can see that it has a frill on three sides, with the head kept plain...the colours are a tan colour with a plain white cotton reverse. The fabric is a crisp taffeta or artificial silk.

The quilt comes from the village of Middridge, near Shildon and Newton Aycliffe. A nearby quarry employed many miners and is now protected as it is the site of rich fossil-bearing limestone.



This quilt dates from the 1920's. The seller stated "This was made either by my mother Elizabeth, or my Aunt Bessie. Aunt Bessie probably intended it for her bottom drawer, but didn't marry my uncle until her fifties.

She was a teacher and also, earlier, a tutor to two boys of the Shaftoe family near Spennymoor.
I hope you're pleased with the quilt. In my family it was much loved, but not often used - only for guests.

You must realize as I'm in my seventies, that we're talking about the early twenties or so, when she would have been about twenty herself, not too long after art, Art Silk, as it was known, had come onto the market".

You can see that the quilt has a nice floral centre. Twisted feather borders are seen, with a rose in each corner. It is interesting to see how the designs of single quilts differ from those of the larger quilts...the smaller size presented a challenge, and the designs have to be simplified to suit this.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Canadian Red Cross Quilts at Melton Old Church

We had a lovely walk last weekend - the weather has been lovely and sunny - we decided to walk around Ufford - and end up at Melton Old Church. I knew that Jackie's exhibit of Canadian Red Cross quilts would be there - and that there would be a cup of tea and some cake!


Melton Old Church is not near the present village - and there is a newer, Victorian Church, St Andrews, which now serves the village. Like many villages, the focus of commerce had shifted, away from the old village, towards the main road and the river.
 But a group of local people have banded together to preserve the old, Mediaeval Church. The quilt exhibit was one such fund raiser.

You can double click on the photos, to read the information on the information panels....


The church is a relatively small country church - but the quilts were hung in a semi circle, each with an informative sign.

The exhibition tied in well with the DDay landing anniversary - but this was rather fortuitous - the weekend just happened to be one that Jackie and her husband, both keen sailors, were not on their boat!


The soldiers quilt that I found on Ebay - perhaps first world war - or just an older quilt that was donated to the Red Cross cause? It has a War Services label on the back, from Hamilton Ont.


The  Afghan with a red cross, which came from a hospital boat.


A fan quilt...

The local primary school is presently studying WWII - and were meant to walk down to the church and have a look at the quilts - but it was decided that the country lane was not safe enough for the children to walk along - what a sad reflection on today's drivers.