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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 20 June 2014

Single Durham Quilt 1920's - Middridge nr Shildon

Here is a single quilt that I bought recently. It has come with a good can see that it has a frill on three sides, with the head kept plain...the colours are a tan colour with a plain white cotton reverse. The fabric is a crisp taffeta or artificial silk.

The quilt comes from the village of Middridge, near Shildon and Newton Aycliffe. A nearby quarry employed many miners and is now protected as it is the site of rich fossil-bearing limestone.

This quilt dates from the 1920's. The seller stated "This was made either by my mother Elizabeth, or my Aunt Bessie. Aunt Bessie probably intended it for her bottom drawer, but didn't marry my uncle until her fifties.

She was a teacher and also, earlier, a tutor to two boys of the Shaftoe family near Spennymoor.
I hope you're pleased with the quilt. In my family it was much loved, but not often used - only for guests.

You must realize as I'm in my seventies, that we're talking about the early twenties or so, when she would have been about twenty herself, not too long after art, Art Silk, as it was known, had come onto the market".

You can see that the quilt has a nice floral centre. Twisted feather borders are seen, with a rose in each corner. It is interesting to see how the designs of single quilts differ from those of the larger quilts...the smaller size presented a challenge, and the designs have to be simplified to suit this.


  1. Very nice to have it in such good condition and with a lot of history. How well does rayon 'art silk' survive in quilts from the 1920s and 30s? I have quite a few rayon and rayon blend kimono from that era but the quilted surface might not be so kind to the fibres.

  2. The fabric looks in very good condition...but the quilt was hardly used, from what the seller says. Stitches very good ie. small on this one, and very faint markings can be seen if you look closely....

  3. Lovely quilt and quilting with a great history. Are the feathers done in a slightly different way to the usual or is it just how they look in this fabric?

  4. It's beautiful - I love it! Great colour and wonderful stitches.