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, 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.
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.
I live in Woodbridge Suffolk, and work as a teacher and bookkeeper. Born in Princeton New Jersey, I went to Smith College and Durham University where I studied Biology. I then went to Kings College London where I did research in Quaternary Ecology. For 17 years, I taught Environmental Science at Suffolk College. I am a member of the Quilters Guild, The British Quilt Study Group, The Traditional Quilt Group, and The Suffolk Guild of Bellringers. I also enjoy walking. I have a strong interest in nature conservation and belong to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. I am also an expert in alternative energy, on which I have written several books. I have two adult children. I have two cats.