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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.

Friday 8 April 2011

One Year On - First Anniversary of "Welsh Quilts"

Well, its one year since I first started blogging! I have a large collection of Welsh and Durham quilts and it was my intention to share them with others - I hope that I have succeeded. The good news is, I still have more quilts to show. I get a lot of pleasure out of quilts and quilting, and I'm hoping that you do too. In my first blog post, I wrote that my sister Carol had died in 1989 of breast cancer, and that I had used a small inheritance to buy antique quilts. Carol was a quilter too and would have enjoyed them. I value these quilts, which were made by women who are now often anonymous. The stock of vintage quilts is not getting any bigger, and I worry that, taken for granted and not appreciated for what they are, they will be used up as old blankets or designer decorator items. My quilts are functional but will no longer be used - I will store them carefully and do as much research as possible. I will look at sewing techniques, the threads, the fabrics and the history of the maker if possible. I've had a good year - I made my second wholecloth - a recreation of an antique Allendale stamped quilt, very tatty, that had come from a house clearance on Tyneside. The new and old Allendale quilts, side by side. I really enjoyed making this quilt. The patterns were lovely.

I was able to publish an article about this process in The Quilter, and I had a stall at the Festival of Quilts, which was a great experience. I met a lot of quilters - and talked so much that I nearly lost my voice!

I have continued to make Hawaiian quilts - like a wholecloth, but applique!

There have been some interesting discoveries - like this Durham top that was sewn by a quilter in Wales--

And that the very worn "Blue Durham Quilt" that I bought for £18 on Ebay was in fact an Indian quilt made in 1922 and shown in plate 47 of English Quilts by Elizabeth Hake.

And I found out that the throw of "1970's origin" that I had bought for £20 was actually Victorian paisley panels - the same pattern as the quilt shown above.

I found this stamped Northumberland top - I sewed a replica and have traced the quilting patterns onto the new top - now to layer, baste and start quilting.
I discovered that some samples I bought may be Rural Industries samples - like this sample made by a Mrs Harhy of Treharris, Wales. These came from Devon, where the WI was particularly active ( the WI was involved in keeping quilting going at that time, the 1930's).

The role of the WI or Women's Institute has been another interest - it encouraged quilting and kept the art going in many areas. Here is a quilt made by a WI group in Sunderland in the 1940's.

I did some preliminary research by taking measurements of several Sanderson star quilts - a small project that could usefully be continued by taking measurements of more quilts. Above, a bronze and green stamped quilt from Barnard Castle, Durham.

I am especially looking forward to being on the committee of the British Quilt Study Group - first meeting, next week in York. Looking forward to my first visit to the Quilt Museum , and the Avril Colby exhibition.

Finally, I am looking forward to this year's Festival of quilts at the NEC in Birmingham, and making the Christchurch Quilt - that will need quite a lot of attention - which I am hoping to share with you. Pippa

I am hoping to have a celebration of my anniversary by having a small give-away - details in the next post.


  1. Congratulations Pippa for a year of wonderful blogs, I really enjoy reading about all your quilts and am so pleased that you have more to share! I'm sure that you will enjoy your first visit to the Quilt Museum, I've managed to visit several of the exhibitions there when on our way up to the Dales and there has always been such a lot to see and learn from. Good luck for the next year's blogging and enjoy your term on the BQSG committee.
    Best Wishes, Liz.

  2. I, for one, am so grateful that you decided to blog
    I have learned a lot , drooled a lot over your beautiful quilts and the quilting is to die for. Something I dream of making some day a hand quilted whole cloth because of you sharing your quilts with us.
    thank you!

  3. Your blog is always a good read, with lovely photos. Congratulations on your anniversary!

  4. Congratulations on such a successful first year - you have provided us with so much wonderful information and images of quilting. And what a lovely way to keep your sister's love of quilting continuing on.
    We look forward to another year of learning and inspiration from your blog.
    Thank you.
    (P.S. my New Zealand Bell block was mailed off to you earlier this week.)

  5. Keep going Pippa - I love reading your blog, one of the few I follow regularly. There is always something very interesting here.

    Would love you to produce a fabric based on that Turkey Red panel!

  6. I've enjoyed looking at your quilts. Thank you for sharing.


  7. I have enjoyed following along with you this year. I love hand quilting and it has been a thrill to see all of your examples.

  8. Congratulations for your blog anniversary, Pippa! Thank you so much for providing us with a bunch of information about Welsh and North Country quilts. For me as a hand quilter and a maker of traditional wholecloths these details are really a treasure and I have learned so much from you. I hope you keep on blogging for a long time! Thank you again and all the best for your future ventures!
    Andrea from Germany