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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, 22 September 2010

Northumberland Stamped Quilt Top

Here is my most recent purchase - a marked quilt top from Northumberland. It looks fairly old and is a bit grubby but cannot be washed due to the quilt markings. It was sold as an unfinished project, but I won't quilt it, but just keep it as it is. It is a large top, 91 x 96 inches. It is interesting to see how it has been marked and also, how it has been constructed. The overall pattern is a toothed central diamond with borders,again sawtoothed.

The top is all machine pieced, and you can see that the sewing machine had tension problems in the bobbin! The fabrics are a natural white cotton twill and a pink fabric. You can see here that although the fabric reads as pink, it is actually woven white and red threads.

In places, the sewer did not unpick the poor tension but just oversewed the seam line. I wonder how sturdy this top would have been in use! So often, the patchwork on these quilts is very slapdash.....the tips are often cut off on the half triangles but still, the overall effect is good...
It doesn't come out very well in this photo, but if you look carefully you can see a woven plait carefully marked in blue pencil. This is from the border, there is a lot of cross hatching in various areas.

In the outer white border, a four petalled flower pattern has been marked.

And here, in the innerwhite border, a curlicue floral design has been marked. I dont have any details about provenance, apart from the fact that the seller was a Miss Baxter and the top came from Northumberland. A big project for a quilter - perhaps that was why it was never completed.


  1. oh but what fun it would be to hand quilt this quilt and finish it.
    The whole top is marked and ready to go????
    I guess its a good idea to keep it as a top for a study piece and to teach with.
    Kathie who would quilt it if I owned it!

  2. It is indeed something to be prized having a quilt top ready marked out in blue. I think I wouls still want to quilt it. The temptation would be too great.

  3. Very nice find. Are you going to make a copy and quilt it? Would be very interesting to be able to display it as is plus how it could have looked finished. That's having your cake and getting to eat it!

  4. Susan, the thought had occurred to me....the main difficulty would be to find suitable fabrics, I have not seen similar is a very big quilt....but tempted....

    I called up the online seller and she will try to find out more - the lady she was selling for, who had the top, used to have an antique shop in the Newcastle area, and had loads of textiles still..the top is from the Northumberland borders.