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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, 20 September 2017

Block Printed Wool Shawl

After visiting the shawl exhibition at Norwich Cathedral, I  became interested in shawls. However, I do not know as much as I would like to, as unlike quilts,  there are very few books on the subject. However, they are very pretty. Shawls largely went out of fashion in the 1870's, due to a change in fashion, when dresses with bustles made wearing shawls very difficult. Still, they were fashionable for over 100 years.
 

This is a block printed woollen shawl. It took great skill to block print the designs accurately. Each colour would have required a different block, and these had to be matched up accurately. However, these were much less expensive than the woven shawls, as 30 or 40 could be made in the time it took to weave one large shawl.

The woollen shawls were generally used as light summertime wraps, or for evening wear.


So colourful.....
 ...with a decorative fringe...

I am going to visit Norwich Museum totry to find out more. The important centres for shawl making were Norwich, Edinburgh and of course Paisley in Scotland.


Sometimes, it is possible to see the tiny resgistration dots which helped to align the different blocks of colour....


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Very Worn Sanderson Star Quilt - Berwick Upon Tweed

Here is a very worn quilt, I guess that this is one of my "study items". This pattern was a surprisingly difficult one to make, and many were bought, ready marked, from quilt designers. It was a very popular pattern and continued to be made for many years. Thus, the quilting designs do change over the years as fashions changed. This one seems to be one of the later ones, and has similarities with the one presented in Barbara Chainey's Project book.


Note that the colours are reversed - white star with a pink background. A fairly standard layout, however instead of an inner border around the star, the pieces are just lengthened at either end - to make it rectangular. The earlier quilts were square, later ones were rectangular to match the evolving trend in bed sizes.


You can see that the fern and rose design has been replaced with a more modern tulip design in the star rays...

The cotton sateen is very worn on the front of the quilt and it must have been well used....


An interesting quilting design of a crown, perhaps a nod to a royal event. This years exhibition at Jen Jones' Quilt Museum in Lampeter showcased a blue quilt with a similar design...


Here is the Welsh wholecloth in royal blue, seen at the Quilt Museum, Lampeter. This quilt design was featured in the Rural Industries catalogue, and could be ordered in different sizes, from cot quilt to full size by adding extra borders. The quilt features two crowns, possibly to commemorate the coronation of George VI in May 1937. Made by Magdalen Price of Cardiff Road, Aberaman, Aberdare.


The twist is simplified here, and simple roses with circles have appeared in the border...

 
The outermost border is a swag with a feather device and circles on stalks, also with a more modern feel.....

However, this border has the traditional swirl pattern, well marked or "stamped"...


The corners are turned with a rose - earlier quilts just had a block with cross hatching, the design was not turned....



Here is an attractive design, which I have not seen before....elegant but simple...


The back is in good condition, unlike the front, so must not have been exposed to wear..


This quilt came from an auction in Berwick Upon Tweed and came from one of the large houses there. Northumberland was noted for its expert quilters and also for its quilt designers, of which there were many in Allendale and Weardale. I will be measuring this quilt and adding these to my "Database" of information, I have a long term project to study these...


Monday, 4 September 2017

More Tea Cosies

Small quilted items were always popular to make, and were often given as gifts. This was especially true after WWII when evening classes in crafts were popular. Larger quilts were too laborious to make, but smaller items were more achievable and fitted in well with the "house beautiful" movement.
 

This tea cosy, like most, seems unused. It is from Wales, but was made from a commercial pattern.


Here is another from Tyneside, with corded, or Italian, quilting. Both sides are the same.


These small items have a colourful, almost jewel-like quality. The quilters must have been pleased once these were made up!