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.

Sunday 13 March 2011

Rothbury Brown Durham Quilt

Here ia a magnificent Durham quilt in a golden brown colour. It is a very large quilt - the size is 105 x 88 inches. The wadding is cotton and the quilt appears either very lightly used or unused. The quilt came from an auction house in Rothbury which deals in house clearances so is likely to be from Northumberland.

The centre of the quilt has a magnificent circle of curved feathers with a rose at the centre. The quilt is wide and is made of three fabric panels; one is reversed in the direction of grain so appears a slightly different colour but is in fact the same fabric.

On the outside are daisies plus more feathers - this group of three feathers is known as Prince of Wales feathers.

On two sides of the quilt is a running feather border....

On the other two ends is this unusual border - a looped pattern filled with leaves...

The edge is machine sewn in two places but has a unusual wavy line - very attractive. I did not photograph it, but in one small area the quilting was not completed - so the person at the sewing machine has filled the unquilted area in with circles of machine sewing - all in white - very strange as it is very visible against the brown fabric and the lovely hand quilting - perhaps they were more proud of their sewing machines then...


  1. What a beautiful quilt Pippa, it would go so nicely in a lot of todays homes with browns being so in fashion.

  2. How stunning. So much stitching and such a beautiful, elegant pattern. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is really a beautiful quilt, I especially love the center medaillon.
    A question: you have mentioned that one lenght of fabric is reversed in the direction of grain. You are so experienced with wholeclohts, how would you put togethter the fabric so that doesn't happen? Let's say you have one length of 4 meters (110 cm wide) and you need a top with a length of 2 meters and about 2 meters wide. Do you just fold the length in half, front side together, sew both edges and cut one side in halves lengthwise?
    Wow, it is difficult to describe, English is not my mother language....I hope you understand what I mean.

  4. Andrea. this quilt is so wide that three widths of fabric were used and I think the person was just a bit careless and got one reversed, it is very noticable!(see top photo) Sometimes, large floral fabric was used, and the patterns weren't matched up and you also get something very obvious as well.The quilters weren't always very careful with the details. I'm like that, I want to get on and in my haste do things the wrong way.

    I think I know what you are asking with the cloth - the books alwys say you must have one wide centre panel and two narrow side paenls. I usually do this - I just cut one panel in half first (I always remove the selvages first as they are hard to quilt through)Then iron the seams open. But the old quilts don't always follow this pattern - many just have a central seam (see my princess feather durham quilt). So I think you are free to do what you think best!!