Search This Blog

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.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Durham Cot Quilt from South Shields

A cot quilt from South Shields, this is a true cot quilt and not cut down, as can be told from the quilting patterns and the edge treatment.

 The back is rather faded, these items were often left folded on shelves! Probably made from fabric remnants, as both the back and front are pieced.

The quilting patterns are fans  and a worm pattern ( I hope that is the right name!)

I love these baby quilts, the small size requires a little bit of planning due to the small size, but here it looks as if the quilter just used templates for larger quilts that she had to hand. 

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Mola of a Man and a Woman

A mola from South America. This was bought in 1987 at the end of Operation Raleigh. This shows a man and a woman, with bow and bird, and shovel and plant, demonstrating their roles in society.


A detail showing  the applique, reverse applique and embroidery.

A Welsh sampler, Hannah Oliver 1885, from Cardigan.

Monday, 9 November 2020

House for Retirement

My retirement house, bought with the money left to me by my mother. The small house is in a very convenient and quiet location in a thriving village.

As the house had been empty for about two years, the garden was very overgrown. The previous owner was a keen gardener, and  I was attracted by the garden. As I plan to rent it out for the time being, I just hope that we can find tenants who also like to garden.

The entire garden was overtaken by an aster and other rampant weeds, so nearly twenty bin liners of plant matter were pulled and taken away by me.

I bought replacement curtains on Ebay to cheer the place up.

 I also repainted two bedrooms and the kitchen. Plus, I had the garage reroofed, the garage rewired, the front door rehung and I repainted the green house . Plus getting electric and gas certificates. So I hope that all goes well with finding tenants!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

North Country Bed Jacket

Here is a very nice hand quilted bed jacket, which comes with a history. It was made by Mrs Herbert, pub landlady from Todhills, Byers Green, Bishop Aukland in Co. Durham. This was given to the sellers grandmother  Ruth of Sleights House Farm as a wedding present by her mother in law Mrs Herbert.  In 1973 it was then given in turn to her daughter in law Jennie Wearmouth of Hunwich, Bishop Aukland when Jennie was pregnant with her first child.  Through all this time, the bed jacket was kept safely in a box, so has never been worn.

The bed jacket is fully reversible. the front has daisies and twists, with a running feather up the sleeves.

 The collar has a twist, and the back has a rose surrounded by two feathers. Liz Nally has a similar bed jacket from another maker living nearby, and once Covid is over, it will be interesting to compare the two to see if there was a locally used pattern.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Hawaiian Quilts on the Go

I enjoy making Hawaiian quilts, but the appliqué is more enjoyable than the quilting! The background is easy to quilt, but the appliqué, where there is an extra layer of cloth, is more difficult. So I have quilt tops waiting to be hand quilted and some partially quilted. But with no quilt shows, I guess that I have plenty of time to do this!

This is Ulu, an Elizabeth Akana design that I posterised. I like the combination of light grey and mid blue. I have started to quilt this, and am just waiting for blue thread to arrive in the post.

This is Kuuipo, still waiting to be basted and then quilted. 

This is Kuna wai, not basted yet, I was worried that there would not be enough contrast between the grey and the purple, but I think it works...

Kikui Nut, again partly quilted, the green is a print...

Carnation, again partly quilted with a dark pink print.

 And this is Umeke O Kamehameha in purple and orange, it is partly quilted.

I have ordered more patterns from Hawaii, and I hope they arrive safely. Last time, I had to pay customs (import duty) which added to the cost, but it is worth it to me as I get a lot of pleasure from these quilts. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Garden during lockdown and Beth Chatto

As I have until recently worked full time, I never had time to tend the garden as I would have liked to. However, lockdown gave me the opportunity to devote significant time to clearing the garden in Melton. I spent part of each morning hand weeding and clearing. I had to have two enormous amounts of brush and plant matter taken away. My object is to eventually make a cheerful cottage garden.
We will have to see what survives the winter. As it was so dry, watering was required for the new plants.

Hydrangeas are a favourite.

These plants should fill out soon.

I am reserving some space for some ground cover roses which will arrive bare root in the next month or two.


Cyclamens, these were transplanted from the Wickham house, where they were getting lost....

Reminds me of New Jersey - goldenrod, scourge of hay fever sufferers everywhere...


A foxglove, Digitalis cultivar, I need to buy more of these for the shady corners..

Two weeks ago I made a trip down the A12 to the Beth Chatto gardens near Colchester. We have often driven past but this is the first time I had been. Surprisingly busy given that Covid was still around....

The famous gravel garden which is full of Mediterranean drought tolerant plants. Formerly a carpark, it is never watered.

 East Anglia is a very dry part of the country, and Elmstead Market is very near St Osyth which is officially the driest part of England. It only receives 20 inches of rain per year on average. The nursery is noted for selling plants for dry areas, also shade and damp areas.  All the plants are grown onsite in their nursery.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Life mostly at home for Lockdown

I have had a lot of time at home during lockdown, keeping safe and observing social distancing. Luckily, Suffolk has not been so badly affected as other areas. It is still a very unsettling time. Our holiday had to be postponed and I have not been able to go to the Guild in York to hand over the quilts that I am donating to them.

 I have been working steadily on my Ulu quilt - working towards the centre, I really enjoy the applique in the evenings.

This is a quilt called Gloria which still has to be sewn into a top...made with ombre fabrics

I am still working mostly from home, but going in occasionally to two offices. This is the Tide Mill, which has been redecorated and is slowly opening to the public. There was an unprecedented demand for the flour, with lots of home baking going on.

I have had work done to the house - a new drive - too bad there are not any children, they would have loved to see the digger and the grabber truck.

A new clean drive.

New windows, a big job this...also the garden cleared and a new fence put in. The neighbours will be happy....

We have been going on 3 or 4 walks each week - some just around Woodbridge and Melton but others in surrounding villages,

 Helmingham Hall has a great selection of roses..

A rose called William Shakespeare...

 and Helmingham Hall itself..
 Beautiful skies recently...

Lots of lovely stately churches - this one is Eye St Peter and St Paul. Unfortunately they are closed but nice to see the grounds. No bellringing at present of course!

The Guild Hall at Eye, 15 c but heavily restored in the 19c.