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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, 16 December 2011

Roker - Single Durham Quilt

Here is a nicely quilted single quilt. I bought it as it had good provenance - this is always very important to me! I like to connect a piece of work with the maker. In this case, the quilter was Mary Jane Wilson who lived in Roker where she ran a boarding house. Roker is near to Sunderland - the mouth of the River Wear is nearby, as is the North Sea. I bought the quilt from her great granddaughter, Sandra Davies from Devon. Apparently Mary Jane was a keen quilter and always had something on the go. The family had several pieces of quilting by Mary Jane.

The quilt is single size and measures 82 by 42 inches. It is cream on one side and a pale pink on the other. Single quilts are more difficult to design, as there is not as much space as on a double quilt. Here is the foot end of the quilt - you can see a nice feather border and a central medallion.
The central medallion,which has a central rose surrounded by feathers and concentric circles. There is also neat crosshatching.

At the head of the bed is this large daisy motif - the border is also missing in this area(see lower edge in this photo).

The reason that I think it is the head of the bed , apart from the different design here, is the fact that this is the only side of the quilt where the edge is intact. The other sides are "unfinished" - but I think the other three sides were originally finished with a frill,which having got very tatty, has been cut off. The head of the quilt of course would not have had a frill.

The wadding is a thin cotton. From the raw edges, one can see that the pink has faded and was a darker pink when new.

Here you can see the two colours and the raw edge, I have not touched this and will leave it unfinished.

The border is well drawn - I wonder if it could be matched up with any RIB published pattern the pattern looks very "perfect". The quilt is made of an artificial fibre. It has a small burn where the fabric has melted - a natural fibre would have created a dry ash.

This quilt was sold to me as being over 100 years old (ie pre 1907). Due to the artificial fibre of the fabric, I do not think it is that old. But it is a nice example of quilting, neatly done and well designed.


  1. I must admit it took some time to figure out how the complete quilt looks like - it's really an interesting and unusual design. I have never seen something like that before. Thank you for posting!

  2. Quite scrumptious, it's hard to envisage the amount of work involved, yes no TV but often no electric light either. Many thanks for sharing this beauty