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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.

Saturday 31 May 2014

Durham Quilt Fenham Sunderland

Here is a beautiful quilt that was made by a church sewing bee in Fenham, Sunderland. Sunderland seems to have been a "hotbed" of quilting with lots of quilters and quilting groups.

The quilt came from the collection of another collector, who lived in the area and was also a member of the Quilters Guild. The quilt has never been used and remained folded up so has some creases...but you can see the nicely done designs.

The centre is a design that I have never seen before, it looks like a closely quilted lovers' knot....very attractive!

And here is another design that I have not seen before, I'm not sure what to call this one.... goose wing?
The border has a nice twist with fans in the corners. The quilt has a deep frill on all four sides. This quilt measures and the colours are pink and a dark gold. the blue pencil marknings are to be seen on one side, it looks as if it has never been washed....

Here you can see the corner and the two colours - pink and gold. The quilt measures 69" x 90" and the frill another 6". Interesting how the frill is made in two colours to match the tops. Said to be a marriage quilt,  but this is a common claim. However, later quilts do seem to be a traditional wedding gift, often received and then not used, but kept in a drawer.

Friday 23 May 2014

Cumbrian Strippy Quilt

Here is a quilt that I was interested in on Ebay....but the bidding went too high for me! I was interested in it because I do not have a good example of a wave quilted quilt....this all over quilting pattern was commonly found in Cumbria, Ireland and the Isle of Man. So, I was surprised to get a "second chance" offer later. This is when the top bidder has failed to complete or pay.... I looked at my bank balance and said "yes".

You can see that this is an older style strippy quilt. The panels are hand stitched and the quilting is nicely and neatly done, with small stitches. The edges are neatly hand stitched as well, in fact there is no machine stitching to be seen on this quilt except for the later addition which I am unpicking, see below..............this makes me think that it is an older quilt.

The quilt is well used,the edges are a bit worn and the outer blue fabrics are different to the central blue fabrics, which seem a bit faded.......

The other fabric is a dark floral print.... 
This quilt is very large,it measures 86" x 90" before the unpicking, which would add a few inches to the length. The filling is wool.

This quilt was bought at auction at Broughton in Furness about 35 years ago by the seller, so appears to be a true Cumbrian quilt. I am pleased, as a young couple and then young family, we spent much time in the southern Lakes, as my then parents-in-law owned a second house in Crossthwaite. 

The previous owner used the quilt as a wall hanging, and put in a hem at one end and a curtain fitting at the other - both will have to be unpicked in my spare time.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Quilting in a Traditional Frame - Cot Quilt

I had been wanting to try quilting in a traditional British frame for some time....and to that end I bought this small frame from Pauline Adams at Gregynog, two years ago. It is ex Angela Brocklebank, a noted Quilters  Guild member.

I decided to quilt a cot quilt...but first, had to renovate the webbing, as the old webbing was rotted. The nails were difficult to remove, but with a pair of pliers and a twisting motion, I was able to remove most of them.

Then I was able to tack some new upholstery webbing onto the bearers, using new tacks.

I marked the centre of the webbing and also the centre of the backing fabric, then secured the fabric onto the webbing....

Once the backing fabric was secure on both bearers, I could tighten the backing fabric by rolling and inserting dowels to hold the stretchers in place...

I had already marked my top...using a light table and Karismacolour chalk pencil. The design was taken from the Embroidress magazine, a redrafted pattern for a nightdress case. The original was much smaller, and was meant to be completed in backstitch. I thought the Welsh design would be suitable, but had to modify it you can see the top fastened over the backing and wool wadding...the tapes at the side help keep the tension correct...

The frame worked well, however I discovered that I had set the fabric to be too wide at 22", and had to roll in the fabrics so that the width measured 15"....this was more managable.

The cot quilt has worked up quickly, and is now 2/3 completed....I may enter this into the Festival of Quilts, a change from my usual large quilts!

Tuesday 13 May 2014

What I did at the Weekend---

...Machine Quilting! My friend Karin Hellaby, of Quilters Haven, is in the throes of writing her latest book....and the quilts have to be with the photographer shortly.

So, I spent some time machine quilting....careful pin basting had to come first, of course!

First I stitched in the ditch in seam allowances and around the flowers, to "nail it down". The borders were straight stitched as well. The flowers were fun to do with FMQ. Then for a modern look, the background was scribble quilted....I trimmed and darned in the ends. It went to Karin for her to add a binding

Thursday 8 May 2014

Quilt off to Malvern....Molokama

My Hawaiian quilt Molokama has arrived safely at Grosvenor Shows for the Malvern quilt will also go to FOQ in August. There is a lot of work involved in these Hawaiian is all hand applique and hand quilting. Before the quilt could be posted, I had to apply a binding and a hanging sleeve. Plus, I had to thoroughly defur it of cat hairs, which were very visible on the white and navy fabric. Some wool fibres from the wadding were also to be seen and were removed.

I had to return the hand applique cup as well, which I wrapped up securely and enclosed with the quilt.
I enjoy sending the quilts off to one or two quilt shows, as I think Hawaiian quilts are very striking and enjoy sharing them. This quilt was entered in last years FOQ but was not finished in time. But this year...

My next project is a Wholecloth quilt, which I am in the process of marking.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Pettistree wins SE District striking contest

Pettistree Bellringers won the Striking contest, held at Campsea Ashe , on Saturday. What is more pleasing, is that we won both trophies, one for method ringing and one for call changes. With typical Whitby humour, the teams were called "Us" and "Them"......well done everybody!