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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, 25 July 2015

Cumbrian strippy

Here is a strippy quilt that I bought recently - it came from a sale at a house near Brampton, Cumbria. That said, it does not have the wave pattern, but instead has a variety of border patterns.

The colour looks gold and cream in this photo, but in actuality is gold and a peach colour...somewhat odd combo, but as sateen stocks dwindled after the war, perhaps not every colour was available....

The central panel has a flower pattern...then a twist in a circle with cross hatching, a larger twist and another bellows pattern with flower...all symmetrically arranged...

 A closer look at some of the quilting patterns..

The reverse is the gold colour....somewhat unusually for North Country quilts, this has a hand sewn edge....

 The edge of the quilt...stiches fairly large, so a club quilt?

However, the strips have been sewn together using a sewing machine...

 A photo of the twist....a nice quilt with attractive colours...not much used...size is 74 x 84 inches.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Another Tea Cosy!

This little tea cosy came from North Shields on Tyneside, and nothing more is known about it....
Probably made in the 1930s-1940s. 

The back is plain, and the inner lining is in cream linen

The front has a corded design (Italian quilting) in a heart pattern. 

 The quilting is nicely done, but this tea cosy does not seem to have been used. Small items such as these were popular to make in sewing or quilting classes, and they were also popular as wedding or housewarming gifts...

Monday, 6 July 2015

Turkey Red and Hexagon Coverlet

Here is a coverlet that I bought recently. It was found on Tyneside by a dealer, at the bottom of a box of textiles. It looks as if either a hexagon top was shared out by cutting it in half, or less likely, someone did not finish a project. You can see that the border design has been cut in half....and then a border of turkey red fabrics added......

The turkey red prints are OK in some areas..but in a few, the overprinted green has perished....must have been a different lot of dye? It is very specific to these areas, as shown in this photo....

Turkey red prints were popular from 1870 to 1890 but continued to be made and used after that....
The Colouring the Nation book states that yellow blue and green indicate a pre 1865 date.....but I'm sure many are later than this..

The hexagons are small but well papers, but oddly enough, many of the basting threads are still in place and were not removed...a picot print here and a seaweed or branch pattern, these were popular over a long period, from 1820 to 1900.

This conversation print is seen several times on this coverlet, these were popular from 1875 to 1900. They were popular for shirtings and childrens clothes. The fabric seen here with the horseshoe and whip is a dimity, a ribbed fabric popular for underclothes, childrens clothes and derives from the latin for "two threads".

And here is a half mourning print. Mourning rules were observed during the Victorian era...

The underside shows that the top has faded, colours were originally much brighter!

Careful fussy cutting of the hexagons...more half mourning fabrics....

Another rossette with conversation/dimity fabrics....

More fussy cutting...much attention paid when the top was made....basting threads visible here...

More interesting prints...

Striped fabrics used to good effect..

The reverse of the top, showing the brighter, original colours..

And many of the fabrics are textured, as here. It is hard to date this top, as we know that ragbags often held older fabrics. But the centre of the top is probably 1880 to 1890....this top was definitely used on a bed, which is of interest. It added a lively touch to someones bedroom, and altough the top was undoubtedly special (special enough to merit being divided in half?) it was not put away unused as a "best" quilt.....

Thursday, 25 June 2015

DVD on Hawaiian Quilts

I recently bought this book and DVD from the US. As it is a pattern, it escaped customs and excise taxes. I dont often order goods or fabrics from the States, as I prefer to support stores here in the UK. But...I made an exception in this case!

The booklet is accompanied by a DVD. Naturally, I shoved it in the DVD player connected to the TV. The television systems here are different to those in the States...I should have realised....anyhow, the DVD wouldn't play just stuttered with the audio and also with the visuals, making it unwatchable....

Luckily, there was a plan play it on the computer. A bit of tinkering with the sound levels on my laptop and we were there! It worked....I am looking forward to viewing the whole of this.....not much that is really new to me, but nice to have lots of ideas. Also, it struck me that designing a Hawaiian quilt is very similar to designing a wholecloth quilt in many ways...

I also recently bought this vintage Hawaiian pattern, Silversword by Elizabeth Akana. I may want to modify this a bit......a different pattern from the one I made previously. I am also hoping to have a go with designing my own pattern.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Green Durham Quilt with Strippy Patterns

Here is a wholecloth quilt, which has been quilted with strippy patterns. The quilting is not elaborate, but is very attractive. I imagine that it must be a club quilt or one made by a church group. The patterns cover the cloth nicely but are not too intricate - ideal for a servicable quilt.

The quilting patterns include twists, fans, a four lobed pattern and a flower in a square pattern, arranged as if on a strippy quilt.

This quilt was much used in the past, which of course is to be expected as this was a utility quilt and not an heirloom!

The back is a white sateen, the quilting shows up nicely with the thick cotton wadding.

Another photo of the quilting.

I was interested to find this photo in Brenda Marchbanks book, Durham Quilting. It is a framed quilt with very similar strippy patterns in the plain centre.
This quilt was from a church group in Grangetown, Sunderland (1912) - I wonder if the green quilt might be from the same stable or area?

Monday, 25 May 2015

Woven rugs - Marie Fuller

 I thought you might enjoy these old photos of my maternal Grandmother, Marie Fuller. She made woven rugs on a large loom, using recycled fabric and clothes. This photo was probably taken on the farm near Enid, Oklahoma. This farm belonged to Marie and the family moved back to the farm in 1933 after it was no longer possible to pay the mortgage on the Dearborn, Michigan, house. The Depression had hit hard by this time, and the local banks had failed.

The loom was a 12 heddle can see the balls of cloth near Marie's feet.

Marie with completed rugs. My sister Lynette has hired a geneological firm to help write a history of the Fuller family. This research has thrown up some intetesting discoveries.....and also disproved some family stories! Also, I now find that I could join the DAR if I wished to.... I am looking forward to seeing the finished book.

I have also received some painted hankies that Marie made in the late 1940s. Marie ran classes to teach others how to paint and stencil decorative designs with fabric paints and also add decorative edgings with the sewing machine. I will try to find out more about these and include them in a future post.

And here are some of Marie's woven rugs that I keep....over the back of a sofa, and not used on the floor, of course!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Another Hawick Quilt

I saw this on that well- known auction site, along with a second quilt in yellow sateen. Both had the Hawick motifs on them.......I did not win the yellow quilt (which went for £130, still a reasonable price) but did win this blue and pink quilt for a much lower amount. The blue side ( top side, quilted from this side in blue thread) has some fade marks where it was folded and left in the sunlight, but otherwise a nice quilt with little wear to be seen.

There is a laundry mark which states H1983. It may be a stock number or a laundry mark.

These two quilts came from a dealer in not too far from their place of making in the Scottish borders at Hawick.

Here you can see the typical patterns for Hawick quilts...scale filling, the spikey heart motif and large daisies. The large thistle pattern can be seen on both edges, too. The yin yan pattern is also to be seen along the outer edges.

Trying to see whether square or rectangle photo from my new phone is old system of uploading photos from camera to laptop to blog does not seem to work very well now, so I am now trying phone to ipad to blog...still trying to iron out the wrinkles and see what works! I'm hoping it will be much easier to do, and therefor, less excuse to procrastinate posting...

Here you can see the thistles and the outer border motif...

The pink reverse is in better shape. This quilt has "the edge" whereby the top and bottom were seamed together before putting on the frame. One edge does look a bit different, but most people would not notice. 

These quilts were made in Hawick in the 1920s and 30s by church groups as fund raisers. There is an article in Quilt Studies which tells the complete story, and has some fascinating details...

This quilt was also delivered by a courier.....I remembered that the previous Hawick quilt was misdelivered by Hermes, luckily I found it at a neighbors house after a few days. With this quilt, the courier was Yodel not Hermes, and I came home to find the parcel sitting by the front Suffolk is a safe place, but I was not very pleased. The Royal Mail is more expensive, but I like the security of picking a parcel up at the sorting office or the local post office, not just abandoned on the doorstep.