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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.

Monday 15 September 2014

Vintage Tea Cosies; Corded Pillow

Like many, I enjoy collecting smaller items as well as the bigger quilts. I imagine that scraps of fabric were made into useful items for the house, and as gifts to others. Or, as items to sell at bazaars and for the RIB. People are more likely to consider buying a small, less expensive item than a more major purchase. However, the fact that these items were intended for use does mean that many have not survived. One wonders why some items have survived virtually unused...were they unwanted gifts, "too old fashioned" or perhaps too special to use except for guests!

Here is a small tea cosy with an interesting fish pattern. It is machine quilted, but does not look factory made.

The reverse is a more abstract pattern, almost like naughts and crosses! No provenance for this item, which came from a seller in Blackpool.

Here is another quilted tea red velvet....the quilting is hard to see on the outside....

..but much more apparent inside....very much a welsh patterned tea cosy...

Generally in good condition, except for some wear on the edge.

Here is an image from the V & A collection, of a Welsh tea cosy purchased at Muriel Rose's Little Gallery on Sloan Street in London,and made by the RIB quilters in the 1930's. I have looked in my copy of RIB catalog, but cannot see any illustrations of tea cosies, nor are these items included in the price list.

This seller also provided a corded cushion....most that I have seem to be in a brown colour (must have been the fashionable colour!) but this one is in a blue fabric....rather creased ,but looking abstract pattern...

Here, on the reverse, you can see the stitching for the channels, and the yarn of different colours that has been inserted in the channels.


  1. Wow - love that red velvet tea cosy! Very interesting and beautiful work

  2. Even the smallest quilted items can be quite beautiful and these show that a lot of love has gone into them - gorgeous!