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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 26 March 2016

Pink Hawick Quilt

I have long been interested in the Hawick quilts, after seeing examples and then reading Linda Lane's article on them in Vol 9 of Quilt Studies. So when I saw another on a auction site at a very reasonable price, I had to have it! This one has the tell-tale " spiked hearts". It is in pink cotton sateen on both sides. 

You can see that the sizeable outer border is a double row of spiked hearts. Then, a simple twist, with the centre being filled with swags - usually a border pattern! There is some infill to complete the design...

But no thistles, gowans, yin yan or scale patterns...which are other templates commonly used on these quilts...

Three of my other quilts have "the edge" whereby the top and bottom sheets are seamed together before putting into the frame. One of the quilts is rather worn and it is hard to tell.....this quilt also seems to have the edge, although it is not so obvious...

These quilts were made by church groups in Hawick, to raise funds, initially to replace a church that had had a serious fire. Annual sales were held, evidently it took some time to make enough goods to sell..

Can you see the edge that looks different to the bottom? I think this might be "the edge".

The spiked heart...quilting not the greatest (as one would expect from a group quilt where not everyone was a expert, and the sewers wanted to make speedy progress....)

An odd seam, where the sewing machine tension seems to have gone a bit mad....

There is just one slight stain on the quilt.....these quilts were made in the 1920' not bad for a quilt almost 100 years old....

My other quilts did not have the swag pattern.....but here is Barbara Chainey's Hawick quilt, and you can see the same swag template used in a different manner....only single hearts, a double swag border and then the four heart centre.

After my bad experiences with My Hermes ( one Hawick quilt delivered to the wrong address, and small item sent to Inverness not Ipswich and never recovered) I insisted that I pay extra for Royal Mail. The last Hermes  parcel I had was left sitting next to the front door...when I arrived home, the box with this quilt was sitting next to the back door...I guess that's what an extra £15 gets you these days!

Just out of interest, I went upstairs and measured the other Hawick quilts. This one is 64 x 78 inches. The others were all the same size, within an inch or two. It seems that the group had a trusted method of making up the two sides, but varied the patterns within their repertoire of templates.

This quilt was given to the seller in 1996 by her mother, with two other stamped Allendale quilts, both rather other information available.....

Sunday 20 March 2016

Shirting Quilt from Carnforth, Cumbria

A recent arrival....a utility quilt made in 1912 with a variety of shirting fabrics. The fabrics are reused and wonderfully soft. Many of the patches are cleverly pieced from smaller fragments of clothes....a variety of colours and patterns are seen.

The quilt has no wadding but is quilted in white thread.

The centre is a large nine patch....

The backing is recycled flour sacks. The sewing is a mixture of hand sewing and machine, with most of the piecing being done by machine.

Here you can see the clamshell quilting pattern, which I think must be a Borders pattern as it is also seen in the Hawick quilts. There is also a simple twist near the edge.

More patterns, checks and stripes....

This quilt came from Thwaite Gate Farm in Carnforth and had been passed down in the family. Great Grandfather was named William Henry Stephenson. I just love the connection with the Lake District!

Thursday 3 March 2016

Pink and Cream North Country Wholecloth Frame Quilt

I must admit to have been wanting a wholecloth frame quilt for some time. Many have very attractive borders of printed floral fabric and look very decorative as wholecloths.

This quilt has a border of plain fabric, nicely mitred in each corner. The colours are reversed on either side - pink borders on one side and cream borders on the other. the quilting is especially nice and well done - a feature of earlier quilts. Later quilts tend to have larger stitches and simpler designs.

The frame makes an attractive quilt, although simple in format......

The quilting has many double and triple lines - the stitches are certainly made by an experienced quilter, probably a professional seamtress or quilter.

the corners are handled well, with a daisy and paired plumes.

In the borders are swags - triple lined - with spectacles. Stars and diamonds complete the design.

A photo to show how the colours reverse on the two sides of the quilt.

This quilt was bought at auction in Derbyshire and no information is known about it. Some of the other items had Duffield written on them.

Lilian Hedley says that this style was popular from about 1900 until the First World War. The size is 78 x 84 inches and it is made of cotton sateen. Again, a bit mystifying as to price as, although in the popular colours of pink and white, it went for only £75.....very reasonable for such good quilting. Perhaps the fact that it was sold as a "Comfy Quilt" has something to do with this? Comfy quilts were machine made and although attractive, being factory made in colours that are not always to modern tastes, are not very popular.