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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.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Embroideress Magazine - Quilting and Smocking

I bought this needlework magazine earlier in the was not cheap! Although undated, the subscription form seems to imply a date of about 1936. This copy was sold in the shop "Qualityart" , a needlework store at 13 Princes Walk, Halifax. The cost then was 1/3 or about 8 pence, and you could subscribe for four issues for the cost of 4s 8d...28 pence. Correspondance courses in embroidery could also be taken, at a cost of 7/6 for each. There were five to choose from, no 1 for beginners, up to no 5 for More Advanced.

This issue is mainly about quilting and smocking....quilting including British quilting, American quilting and Italian quilting. Patterns could be bought. Childrens smocks were covered, as well as an article on using English smocks as a source of designs.

Traditional Quilting in England and Wales is the main article, and serves to publicise the Rural 
Industries Bureau, which provided the illustrations. General descriptions and instructions are given, as well as the address of Country Industries and the Little Shop in Sloane Street. Readers are told not to copy the RIB designs, "as they were shared on the understanding that they should not be copied, as they were created by quilters who depend on this work for their livelihood".

The RIB scheme, started in 1928,  ceased to exist in 1939, when war work and a shortage of fabric made the scheme unworkable.

One of the illustrations shown for a commercial pattern  is for a small nightdress case in a Welsh be very finely worked in backstitch. I enlarged the design and then quilted this small cot quilt in polished cotton. The centre coin has a design of leaves, possibly horse chestnut leaves. This was a fun project to do, and gave me a chance to try out the small traditional frame that I had bought at a BQSG meeting several years before.


  1. Your pictures have such great resolution. I can enlarge them easily and see the fine quilting designs. Beautiful quilt. Informative as always.

  2. I recently bought an old Welsh quilt at auction which has very large leaves in the centre and elsewhere on the quilt. Sadly it is light-damaged, but I bought it for the pattern which I would like to emulate. But then, my ideas hang around a long time!

    This is a lovely cot quilt you have made - just stunning. What an interesting old book too.

  3. Beautiful work Pippa. I so want to make a whole cloth cot quilt but have no idea where to begin. Born in Wales, but lived in Australia since I was 12, I would dearly love to make a traditional hand quilted Welsh whole cloth quilt. Maybe one day soon. Thanks for the inspiration Pippa.