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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 31 January 2013

Julie's Quilt

I was pleased to receive an email from Julie the other day, with a photo of her newest project, some hand quilting in the Welsh style. Julie usually does her sewing on her machine at home, but when things get very quiet at her workplace, she is allowed to do some hand sewing. I am so pleased to see the centre medallion which was based on the lilac and cream quilt shown in an earlier post. Doesn't it look great?

Julie says that the quilting will probably have to be in the form of a sampler, as she needs items that are small enough to be quilted in a hoop. Isn't the stitching lovely? Julie kindly allowed me to share it with you. I am so pleased that Welsh quilting is getting more publicity - its so lovely to look at.

.....and here's the original quilt centre - wouldn't the quilter be pleased at all the attention her quilt is getting all these years later!

Sunday 20 January 2013

Ralli Quilt or Kantha

Here is a ralli quilt or kantha that I bought before the holidays. The other ralli qults that I have are pieced, but this one is, I guess, a whole cloth, in that it is made from one piece of fabric. It looks like a worn sari to me! It is in shades of orange and has printed borders.

The two sides are different lengths of cloth.

The cloth has been densely stitched to make a quilt. There are also patches here and there to make good some holes in the cloth.

Here you can see the quilting stitch, a simple running stitch. This makes an interesting surface texture. Two years ago I heard an interesting lecture on kanthas, but I am not very knowledgable about them.....but it is interesting to see a quilting tradition from another part of the world.

Sunday 13 January 2013

Tom and Lily's Wedding - Islington Town Hall

The big day finally arrived - Mike and I got up early and took the train into London. After arriving far too early, we went to a coffee shop to pass the time - when we arrived at the Town Hall, everyone was gathering!

The wedding took place in the meeting chamber of the town hall; I could see why the couple chose this room over the others available as it was a lovely space. The ceremony proved to be touching and emotional.

Signing the register....friend Tom was in charge of the music while Will was best man...
Mie came from Tokyo to be the bride's maid. Lily's parents and relatives were also there....

Outside the hall where rose petals were thrown - difficult to get a good photo but Mike was pleased with this one!

Tom and Lily with Tom's parents Pippa and Chris. Mrs Iwata wore a lovely kimono, I will try to find out more and share photos later. We then took taxis down to the Savoy on the Strand where lunch was served. After the cake was cut, we repaired to a very fancy bar...

Tom's sister Sophie flew in from Singapore with partner Paul - here she is, signing the lucky cat doll. There were two to sign, one for Tom and one for Lily. If this is the pink one, I think it is Lily's!

All in all, a fantastic day that went exceedingly well. Best wishes to Tom and Lily in their new life together.

Saturday 5 January 2013

Red and White/Strippy Welsh Quilt

Here is another quilt that I bought before Christmas. This one is a Welsh quilt - a red and white Irish Chain on one side and a strippy on the other side. The overall size is a good double (will have to go and measure it when I have the time!)

The patchwork side is very colourful. White and red fabrics were very cheap and made a good contrast; the turkey red was colourfast and did not fade.

The patchwork is handsewn, although there is some smachine stitching to be seen on the strippy side of the quilt. This picture shows the central coin, a giant daisy with surrounding circles and twists.

The quilting is rather simple and there is only a very thin filling. On the back, some of the fabric is "dimity" a light ribbed cotton that was popular for womens dresses, childrens clothes, undies and nightware. It has a ribbed appearance and can be seen on the fabric to the left here.

The other side of the quilt is a strippy, you can see that it is remnants and striped cottons.

Another photo of the back and also the quilting.

The edge is worn in many places but in this area, you can see that the fabric (more dimity, here) is nicely hand stitched.

The information that I have is that the quilt was made in Aberdare and is at least 100 years old. It came from an elderly lady, 86 years old, called Bet Lovely. Her mother was Margaret Mackie, who helped make the quilt when she was young. It is unusual to know the  maker of a quilt - these quilts were quite often made by professional quilters who are now anonymous.

Red and white quilts are eyecatching, but were generally utilitarian quilts made from inexpensive fabrics. As they were made to be used, it is not surprising that the ones that have survived this long are often very worn, A testament to their strength and how well they wore!