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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 18 November 2011

Red Durham Quilt

Here is a quilt that I bought recently. It is a well marked Durham quilt in a mid-red colour cotton sateen. It is a large quilt at 104 x 80 inches. It has only light wear, but there were a few stains and it was generally grubby, having been in store for a number of years. So I did the washing-in-the-bathtub-with-Synthrapol thing. It came out fresher - and although the stains had not disappeared, they were much smaller.

The centre of the quilt has cross hatching with swags forming a central area - this is surrounded by feathers, leaves and swirls. Can you see the rather semicircular feathers? You can just imagine someone drawing these in with chalk or blue pencil.

The border is an attractive scroll design . Double lines hold it apart from the rest of the quilting designs. You can see that the quilter has not tried to turn the corner! but has put a separate scroll motif in the corners.

The attractive border design. This quilt is obviously drawn out on the quilt - it is not a "stamped" quilt but has been marked out by an experienced quilter. Because of the plain fabric, it is hard to assign a date to the quilt. The seller thought 1880's but I don't think it is that old. Perhaps 1920's?

One of the odd things about this quilt is the fact that at each corner there is a tie sewn in place- not very long. Was it used as a mattress cover or on a settee? Or were the ties used to create a bundle of bedding that could be easily stored? suggestions welcomed!! The ties do not seem long enough to secure the quilt to a four poster bed...

This quilt was bought many years ago by the seller in Leominster, Worcestershire for £80. Of course this is another of my Ebay finds and needless to say, I did not pay anything like that amount. I am going to have a go at tracing the motifs on this quilt as they are really attractive.A very serviceable quilt with some nice quilting designs.


  1. The design is very lively. I'm more used to seeing Durham quilts with sinuous but more restrained curves in the centre and the borders, with hatching linking the two, but here the pattern just keeps flowing outwards. You have given me some inspiration for how I might machine quilt my pink and green quilt.

  2. This is really an interesting quilt design and I agree with Susan - it's different to all the Durham/North Country quilts I've seen on pictures before. The Gardiner/Sanderson style generally shows the crosshatching as a connection between the centre and the border patterns and doesn't create the center itself. Very lovely!

  3. What a lovely quilt, so many stiches.... ,
    Thanks for sharing.
    Love from Holland,

  4. What a lovely quilt. It has an innocence about it somehow; the way the designs aren't exactly the same. Great find.

  5. Robin: this is exactly what I love about freehand quilting and marking - the quilt looks so vivid!

  6. How beautiful, I love how the quilting shows up on the sateen fabric, the designs are lovely.