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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, 20 August 2018

Open Day at Karin Hellaby's House - New Book

Earlier this month, I walked around to Karin Hellaby's house for the first sight of her new book, Jelly Roll Bargello Quilts. I have known Karin for a long time, and during that time, have seen her start and then manage the shop, Quilters Haven. I did a lot of teaching there! And also, made samples for her various books. She has now retired  and sold the shop - it is very much missed locally!

But, Karin is still writing and also running quilting trips and cruises.


Here is the newest book. It is well set out and has some lovely quilts to make.

the premise is that if you take a jelly roll, you can make a succesful bargello quilt. Take 20 2.5 inch strips and follow the clear instructions!


Batiks would work well, too.
I am going to try this, once I have some spare time!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Summer Holiday to Yorkshire Dales 3

The last day of our short visit to the Yorkshire Dales....I had planned a walk above Reeth.


From Reeth, we walked to Grinton church. This was the end of the "Corpse Trail ", where folk from the upper valley were buried in the Grinton graveyard. We met a local bellringer, by chance, and had a look in the bellchamber, and helped to lower the bells.


The walk took in Marrick Priory - once inhabited by nuns, but now used as an outdoor activity centre. Not usually open to the public, but we were allowed to look around. Leaving here, a  steep stone path was used by the nuns to get to the Richmond road. A very hot day!


Lovely views, but looking very dry...


The sheep were seeking out any shade that they could find...


Looking towards Reeth....


Another view towards Reeth...


After returning to Reeth, we headed home to the A1 via Richmond...I think that we have rung here at St Mary's, in the past...


The centre of Richmond - this market place is said to be one of the largest in England. The Obelisk replaced an earlier Market Cross, and supplied water to the town from a reservoir underneath.


Holy Trinity Church, now redundant, houses the Green Howards museum.

Richmond Castle....

Richmond Falls were full of people swimming and taking advantage of the warm weather.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Summer Holiday in the Yorkshire Dales 2

For our second walk, we ventured into Swaledale proper, and walked from the village of Keld, to another village, Muker. Tin mining took place here in the past; it must have looked quite different then, and been much more heavily populated.


This barn is noteworthy as it has a stone lintel dating to the late 1600s. A mystery, as most of these barns were built in the mid 1700s - perhaps the lintel was reused?


The weather was fine - very hot and sunny.


The first part of the walk was the steep bit - the valley opened out before us.

This was the famous "corpse path" - the local churches did not have graveyards, and bodies had to be taken down the valley to the church at Grinton to be buried. The path was steep and narrow, and the journey took 2 or 3 days. Eventually, the smaller churches got their own graveyards...


The valley, with a very low River Swale at the bottom...

More fingerposts...


The track as it approaches Muker....we had lunch and a drink at the Farmers Arms there...


Then, back up the other side of the valley, a gentler and more level walk.


More stone barns. These protected stock from harsh winter weather. Many animals were slaughtered in autumn, and the animals to be kept on were fed on stored feed throughout the long winter. Barns in each field ensured that the animals did not have to be moved any great distance.


Another fine stone barn...

The Swale, looking very low...

Former mine workings. The water did not have much life to it, and we wondered whether the toxic minerals leached into the water...


Another view along the valley...


Stone walls must have required much labour to build....


On a hot day, it was fun to swim in the river....


Later, we set out for Sedburgh (where I once took a wholecloth course with Lilian Hedley. And site of the famous kicking incident at the local bellringing practice!) A local music day was taking place.


We also went in search of the famous Ribblehead viaduct. On our visit at Easter, we went on the Settle line, but of course when on the train, one cannot see the viaduct! A drone buzzed overhead, as another group made videos of a train departing the station.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Summer Holiday in the Yorkshire Dales 1

 
Having gone to the Dales over Easter, I made plans to return again in July. We had a light snow at Easter - but in the midst of a drought, the countryside looked very dry this time around.
 

We drove up on a Thursday evening and managed to take a quick walk around Hawes after some dinner....

On Friday, I planned a walk from Aysgarth Falls to Bolton Castle and back. I had spotted the castle driving along the road the previous day, and wanted to investigate further...The falls were very low, this is the upper falls with Mike trying to take photos.


The day was overcast and there was a bit of rain, but not enough to do any good.


Most of the footpaths are clearly marked by finger posts in the Dales.

 
A few hardy wildfowers, such as this geranium, were to be seen.
 

Just as it started to rain in ernest, we reached Bolton Castle.

This was not only a stronghold, but a family home until a more modern house was built in the 1760s.


We had tea and cakes, then explored the castle, which is partly in ruins and partly restored. Mary Queen of Scots was held here for some months until she was moved to a more southerly location. Of course she was accompanied by a retinue of some 51 persons.


We walked back towards Aysgarth Falls....


The fields were dry, with harvest having taken place..

The lower falls at Aysgarth...


And the middle Falls.....must be very spectacular when there is more water about or after a rainfall.


These falls have been a tourist attraction for many years, and the painterTurner is known to have visited and painted a scene...much less trees then, and fishing allowed...

 
We then visited Aysgarth Church - a wedding rehersal was taking place as we left...
 

In the evening, we made a short walk to Askrigg Falls....very much reduced I'm afraid...

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Red Paisley Shawl ex Sothebys and Castle Howard Costume Gallery

As you may have noticed, I recently became very interested in Shawls.....There are not very many books on the subject, although I have tried to glean as much as possible from the few that I have been able to find.

Here is a lovely shawl with an interesting provenance. This is an earlier, printed example from the 1830s. As artificial colours had not been discovered, the dyes are all of vegetable origin.
The size is large at 80 x 100 cm.


There is some fading, but no repairs. There is a white fringe on all four sides.



This shawl was packed away for decades...


The seller was dispersing her mother's collection of textiles - her mother was a well known interior designer of the 1980s and 90s. This piece was bought at an auction at Sotheby's in October 2003.


The item has a small tag attached...


The interesting part is that the Sotheby's sale was selling off the Castle Howard costume collection.
Castle Howard is well known as the location where "Brideshead Revisited" was filmed.


I was able to go online and find a copy of the sales catalogue - I was surprised when it arrived, as it had come from a large warehouse in India!


Unfortunately, the lot entry for this shawl is not illustrated and does not give any detail - just " a group of five paisley shawls and a stole, circa 1830-1840, with attractive vegetable designs. Lot estimate £300-500 E430-720."

The catalogue gives information on the collection and the reason for its dispersal. The collection was started by George Howard, Lord Howard of Henderskelfe. Instead of in cases, as was usual for the time, the costumes were displayed on mannequins and in room settings. The collection grew through donations, loans, purchases and the family clothes. In 1973 a halt was made to further additions. The collection ultimately had about 25,000 items. By the 1980's the building in which the costume gallery was displayed, the stables, had started to deteriorate, and the cost of upkeep was great. There were worries about maintaining the condition of the displays. The only route to secure the items for the future was to close the gallery and to put the items into storage. Unfortunately, other institutions were not interested in the collection and no suitable  alternative venue could be found. The costume gallery was finally closed in 1993. Meanwhile, the main house needed reroofing. There was also major restoration needed to the garden and its follies.  The interior furnishings of the house also needed constant attention and restoration, hence the decision to sell off the costume collection and raise much needed funds.

It is interesting to look through the varied items in the catalogue. I am glad to have a small item form this sale!