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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.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Patchwork Quilt from Staffordshire

Those of you who follow this blog will know that most of my antique quilts are wholecloth ones - I don't have very  many pieced quilts. So I am pleased to have bought this quilt recently, which I guess you might call a utility frame quilt.

The quilt is 88 x 85 inches and does not appear to have been used at all. It is clean except for a few small marks. The backing is of plain cotton. The binding is simply the front rolled over to the back and hemmed down. The central star is attractive and is sewn over papers, and the rest is entirely hand sewn. As it is unused, the seams are still tight but if you prod with a finger you can see this.

The seller told me "I saved it from the bonfire when my grandmother died in the early 80's." The seller was from Wales so I thought perhaps it was a Welsh quilt, but not so...."she was a Miss Wilton from a wealthy Newcastle Under Lyme family who married a Cheshire farmer and came to live on a large farm near Nantwich."

The quilt has no wadding and the quilting is a simple grid. I am not very good at dating fabrics - but there are quite a few types here to look at. This is a roller print in a tiny pattern.
There are a good number of stripes...

 ..and some half mourning prints in dull purple....

..and you can see a double pink here. A type of Lane's net pattern...there are also some brown fabrics but no more modern bright colours. No turkey red, for example and only a few small areas of green. There is one simple shirting. Many of the patches are pieced, what I guess the Americans call "poverty patches". Many of the fabrics appear more than once, so not a sample book.

If the fabrics look like Laura Ashley fabrics, there is a reason for this. Laura Ashley had a collection of old quilts and "borrowed" her designs from the antique fabrics.
I will have to do some more research but the fabrics suggest 1860 to 1880? Would anyone else like to venture an opinion??

More quilts to follow, I have gotten behind on these! I am giving a talk on "My Quilts" this Friday evening, so I had better select the ones to take next. Andrea, I haven't forgotten your question on these talks and will try to write about these soon.


  1. Thank you in advance, Pippa! :)

  2. What a great one to add to your collection. I would ask Mary Jenkins, she has a blog Little Welsh Quilts.

  3. I wondered where my love of whole cloth with a sprinkling of patchwork came from. Now I know, my Welch ancestors. My father's last name was Rice and has many variations back in the genealogy. I have just discovered your blog and look forward to looking back and forward to your posts.