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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 10 December 2019

Quilted Cushion from Durham

Here is another quilted cushion. The maker was from Durham, and I hope to be given her name at some point. The finishing is much better than the usual; the cushion is piped and the three button closures are nicely finished.
The colour is a warmer yellow than shown in the photos. The back has a wineglass filler pattern which gives a nice texture. The quilting stitches are small and even. 

The front of the cushion has paired feather curls, which make a nice motif, with diamond infill. 
This cushion is a nice item and is very pleasing to look at.

Monday 2 December 2019

Strippy Quilt from Milfield, Sunderland

Here is a strippy quilt from Milfield, Sunderland. One side is a patterned cotton sateen, and the other side is a pink and white strippy. I was attracted to this because of the superior quilting, this probably indicates that it is an earlier example, as the later quilts are much more simply quilted.
The strippy side of the quilt shows various patterns including feathers, bellows and a plait. 

Although the stitches are not overly small, the quilting is dense, giving a lovely texture. The quilt is in good condition, with little wear, although there are some minor stains. Not bad for a quilt over 100 years old!

What really attracted me is this motif with the close rows of quilting - not seen in later quilts.

Here is a motif that I have not seen before - it does look like doves end to end with added roses.

At the outer strips, there are plaits. The edge is hand sewn.
The reverse is this attractive floral sateen in pink.
The seller said that this quilt came from her aunts house, who always had pretty things in her house.
She did not know whether Auntie had made this - I suspect not, this looks like the product of a local quilter, as it is so well made and not a "one off". Sunderland seems to have had a lot of quilters. 

Monday 25 November 2019

BQSG Farnborough October 2019

At the end of October 2019, the annual seminar of the British Quilt Study Group was held in Farnborough, Surrey. The hotel was the Holiday Inn, more "up market" than some we have been to!
Our study day was at the Craft Study Center, University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. I had never been there before, and did not even know that it existed, so was interested to visit. In the Craft Study Centre, there are two display rooms with various crafts displayed.

The quilts we were shown are not the property of the Study Centre, but were brought across from the Textile collection at the University.

Quilt circa 1834-45. Aged, so darkened. Colour combination of Prussian Blue and Brown is characteristic of this period. Also seen is indigo. Wavy border is unusual.

Cushion cover - second half 19C. Lined with linen. Silk, but not salted. Fabric samples? Some ink spills seen.

Piece made by professional workshops - Pattern and texture, not warmth. Paisley motifs, vermicelli, eyelets.

Chair cover - c 1790. Complete chair cover, Dimity, chintz. Is fringe contemporary? Seems unused.

Mid 19C - Brown, Prussian blue, some crudely printed. Purples are browning. Less yellow. Pieced with both running stitch and whip stitch.

Quilt mid 19C - Pieces are roller printed and block printed - 1 green patch.

Later quilt than two previous quilts - double pinks, seconds, Creases in printing. Unfinished. Not quilted. Still glazed, raw edges. Paisley border was machined. From an antique store in Farnham, but probably Westmoreland origin.

Patchwork quilt cover, predominantly blue with geometric designs, Includes indigo discharge fabrics. Reverse is resist printed indigo over discharge and an earlier fabric than the front.

The Seminar was interesting, as always. I had brought some of my Rural Industries Bureau quilts and samples. This is Liz Nally showing a lovely bed jacket.

One of Jenny Barlow's quilts - a Sanderson Star.

The Archives held at The Craft Study Centre include the archives of Muriel Rose and The Little Shop. It was interesting to look at the receipt book - prices were high for that time and customers seemed mainly the aristocracy. There was also a complete copy of the catalogue - this proved what I has always thought, that Margaret Williams was a RIB quilter from Wales. Here is the page showing one of her  characteristic quilts. One of the cushions also looks to be her work.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Signature Quilt 1893 Greengates Sunday School

Here is a quilt that is in very poor condition! It was probably made as a fund raiser.  The winner of the raffle obviously used it - the corners and edges are worn. However, the interest is that the squares and setting triangles all have embroidered names which could be used in a research project.

The quilt has a central panel which states "Greengates Sunday School Christmas 1893".

The red and white squares all have a name embroidered on them. It looks as if the names were signed in ink and then embroidered, as there are a variety of handwriting styles. The embroidery has a lot of variety as well, a few not so well done, the rest nicely done in stem stitich, chain stitch and back stitch.

That is a cat's tail there! The squares are set diagonally, with setting triangles at the edge. The quilting is by hand.

It is a large quilt at 100 x 80 inches, and you can see the wear clearly in this photo. The quilt is in a rather tattered state.

The signatures usually have a first and a last name, rather than the initials sometimes found on these quilts - a real bonus for anyone doing research.

Corners usually receive a lot of wear, as with this corner. The wadding is of cotton. The binding has been sewn on by machine. The backing is a white cotton and has been taken to the front to make the binding.

You can see how the triangles also contain names. Family groups can be seen.

I did a bit of inital research online - it seems likely that this church was in Bradford, Yorkshire. The church is redundant now, and closed, but there are items about the war memorial on the internet.


This quilt was bought online for £120 - it had previously been bought for £450 ten years previously, at a craft fair in Cambridgeshire.
There is a "Signature Research Group" associated with BQSG. Anne Jeather researched another fundrasing quilt, from a Primitive Baptist church. There are Baptist archives which can be consulted. But most of the research was done online using ancestry websites. Another project for the retirement (when that finally comes in 3 or 4 years!!)

Monday 11 November 2019

More Amy Emms cushions

I was offered the chance to buy some more cushions by Amy Emms. These came from a seller in the Borders, near Hawick. The sellers mother had these made by Amy, who was often to be seen at craft fairs in the area.

Many of the cushions made by Amy have feather wreaths. These three are similar, but not identical.....this one had feathers plus corner motifs....

This one is very similar to the first...

...but this one has feathers only and no longer has its pad. The backs of all have larger crosshatching, there is no frill and no label. The colour is an old gold colour in "art silk".

The three cushions came as a group, but I did not need duplicates. So one has gone off to Norfolk, the other off to Sheffield, where I am sure they will be admired, and used as teaching aids.

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Two Amy Emms cushions

Here are two cushions that I recently "won" on that online auction site. The seller was a lady from Carlisle, who had known Amy Emms well . She was selling a number of cushions as her children were not interested; however she still owns three quilts made by Amy.

Here is a cushion with a rose and a feather circle. Fans are in the corners. This seems to have been Amy's most usual pattern. Notice the very even quilting stitches!

The back of the cushion has a nice wineglass pattern, The cushion also has a frill, which is an added extra,

The other cushion has four feathers or trefoils with infill. 

The back of the cushion has diamond infill.

Both of the cushions have Amy's label. I have other Amy Emm's cushions that are earlier, and lack this label.

There were other cushions for sale, but of course you can't bid on them all, for fear that you would then have to pay for too many items, if you won them. So I just put in two bids.....

I never met Amy, but have heard a lot about her from Lilian Headley and others. Most of us also have a copy of Amy's book, which is well worth a read,

Monday 7 October 2019

Current projects Sept 2019

 I bought this pattern (downloadable) as I wanted to use some ombre strips that I had bought.

Pre cut strips are 2 1/2" wide. However, when I bought the pattern, it wanted you to cut the strips to 2 1/4 inches - I wondered if it were possible to enlarge the shapes to fit onto a 2 1/2" strip - I found that I could just squeeze the larger shapes onto a  2 1/2" strip. I guess the designer thought that this wasn't a good idea for most sewers and thus adjusted the sizes to the smaller width, which easily accomodated the shapes. So - my blocks are larger than those in the pattern.

The blocks are finished and now to put in the sashing....I had to make a few extra blocks...

 A nice parcel arrived - it was a free offer when you took out a  subscription to a magazine. As I LOVE Aurifil threads and already bought the magazine, I went ahead.....lovely threads.

The Rainbow Rails quilt top was longarm quilted by Val H. at Daisy May, in a swirl pattern that I picked out. I wanted to try a binding with piping as demonstrated by Philippa Naylor, and it wasn't that difficult although I am not sure that I would do this again...

The quilt before being bound...
I like that way that this quilt turned out..
I am now busy quiting the Carnation top. I had a great rush finishing the quilting for the last Hawaiian, in order to send it off to the FOQ in August, so I am determined to finish this one in good time for next year's show.

A pair of muntjac deer have taken up residence in my backyard, and are busily eating everything in sight. Still, they are interesting to watch in the evenings. I am getting annoyed when they eat the plants in my planters, however!