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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.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

York - Blossoming of Patchwork

After  measuring the quilts at the Quilt Museum, York, I was able to view the current exhibition, The Blossoming of Patchwork. This runs through the 31st of August and has been curated by Bridget Long (who of course belongs to BQSG). There were some stunning quilts to see, all from the period 1780 to 1820. At this time, fabrics were expensive, so these quilts  are the work of the leisured gentry and upper middle class.

This is the catalogue, it is available from the online shop at the Quilt Museum and costs £6.95.

I was very taken by the quilt on the left; not as finely made as some of the others, and also applique so not as exacting as patchwork...but very striking indeed.

The quilt on the left here is the Billings quilt, of which there have been a number of modern recreations; the original is very finely made and shows an excellent knowledge of drafting or geometry, as the piecing is very precise and with very small pieces.

I also bought the repro chintz quilt centre that has been reprinted by the Museum - it is taken from one of the quilts on display and shows a bird and nest. Of course I already have a "tree of life" centre from Holland and an oriental scene that I bought in the States at a quilt show...I wonder when and if I will be able to make a pieced quilt of this type - perhaps when I am more leisured??

I also bought a copy of Heather Auden's Shire Book on Quilt History. It's a nice little book and has some lovely illustrations, mostly from the Museum collection. The cost is £6.99. It is generally available and also from the Quilt Museum shop.

I also bought some postcards on the Amy Emms items held in the Museum collection. Apparently, the large quilt arrived from Amy to the Quilters Guild with the quilt tightly bound with string and wrapped in brown paper - the creases have never come out and show quite clearly in the postcard and when the quilt is displayed...

The train station at York....

Time to spare so I again went to the train museum where they were having a special display of A4 steam trains, including Mallard, Bittern, Dwight D Eisenhower and the Dominion of Canada.

I was also able to visit Holy Trinity Church in Goodram Street- this church has never been modernised and is lovely to see, with its box pews. The church also slopes downwards rather noticably....the churchyard was a nice place to sit and eat my lunch..... The next post will be about my trip to Beamish Museum in County Durham, to look at their Sanderson Star quilts.


  1. Hi Pippa, not sure if I have commented before, just wanted to say that I was lucky enough to visit the Quilt Museum in York, last April. A beautiful building and I saw some stunning quilts, I didn't have much time there as my husband & daughter were waiting for me, so that we could go to the train museum.
    I also recently bought Heather Audin's book online, a lovely reminder of our time in York. from Jenny in Australia

  2. Those look like fun books to own (hours of pondering). Love the blue fabric in the block on the right side too--so vivid.

  3. Thanks for sharing your finds. The chintz center is very pretty, almost too pretty to use. I look forward to hearing about the Sanderson Star quilts. I decided to make a two color quilt and try to quilt it in the Sanderson style. It is taking a really long time to quilt.

  4. Pippa thank you, I like the quilters who share photos and writings on exhibits antique quilts everywhere! I often look at your blog, it is so interesting, Friendship of France

  5. What a fun trip! I'm definetly going to check out those books on-line! I've collected a number of centers myself. I figure some day I will choose one that really suits me and get started...Your posts are always interesting and informative, thanks and cheers, Claire W.

  6. I will be looking forward to your post on the Sanderson Star Quilts. I love and have a fascination with two color quilts! I can't imagine visiting an old church like that, here in the states we don't have the history that ya all do especially in the midwest part of the country.