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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.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Military Quilt found in Karachi

Here is an item that was brought to the Treasurer's Meeting at the Quilters Guild in York. It is a woollen table cover made from military worsted wools, and belongs to John Gilmore of Cambridge, a dealer in textiles. It is an expensive item but hopefully someone will want to buy it.

The item was found in Karachi and was obviously made by an expert craftsman, of which there are many in this area. There is a slit in the backing fabric, and one can see that the wools are butted up to the adjacent piece and overstitched with a fine very regular stitch (inlaid work). This is definitely done by hand, although it looks extremely regular, as one can see knots at the back. Then at the front side, a tambour hook has been used to create a chain stitch over the seam line for decorative effect.

The most impressive part of this piece is that it is made to fit a 3 ft 6 inch table - one can see that it would have looked very impressive on a regimental table, perhaps. The edge portion that falls from the edge of the table is not seamed on, nor does the item just drape - the edge is perfectly fitted and drops straight down, and has been sewn in such a manner that this is accommodated by the pieces and stitching, Surely this was made by some master craftsman.

Here are the chevrons found in the area hanging from the edge of the table. Like my military quilt, the top has some sun damage but is in remarkably good condition.

This item was found in Karachi and may have been made and remained in that area. But apparently charity shops send textiles from the UK to Afghanistan - items that are not of interest then pass to Karachi - so English quilts and other items of British textiles do turn up there. A British silk log cabin quilt was discovered and purchased in this way. So although this item is of Indian origin, it may have come from the UK.

The Quilters Guild declined to buy this item - it was too costly, but also because of its unusual shape it would be difficult to store or display.

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