More close up stuff

There’s a small lull in the packing proceedings for my Veldhoven trip so I’ve  quickly taken a few more close-ups of three more quilts as they came out of The Cupboard.  Again, no agenda with regard to stitch quality or size, just interesting (I hope) glimpses of the work of anonymous hands.

First up is the Hawick Hearts quilt which I showed here quite some time ago after it had been laundered.  The top and back fabrics are a medium weight cotton twill, medium thickness cotton batting.  Date – somewhere between 1900 and 1940, rescued from the back of a van being used as a wrapper for antique furniture.

Hawick Hearts detail

Hawick Hearts motif

The next close-ups are of a quilt I was given by Shiela Betterton, well-known for her work at The American Museum in Bath.  This was one of Shiela’s family quilts, the top and back fabric are heavy cotton sateen, a similarly heavy cotton batting.  I always find it interesting to note how the stitches are almost completely obscured by the texture of the heavy batting after a lifetime of use – they’re only just visible.

Shiela's quilt detail

feather detail Shiela's quilt

detail Shiela's quilt

cable detail Shiela's quilt

cable corner Shiela's quilt

machine finish Shiela's quilt

As you can see from the “blurrier- than-intended” picture above, the machine stitched edge on this quilt is very emphatic!

The third quilt is one of my favourites, one I use frequently in class (and travelling to Veldhoven with me).  Welsh, 1930’s, bought from Jen Jones in 1994, medium weight cotton sateen front and back, carded wool batting, stitched with green thread, folded bias-cut frill inserted in edge.

1930's Welsh quilt detail

1930's Welsh quilt detail

1930's Welsh quilt detail


1930s Welsh quilt detail


Just to mix up time periods here are some close ups of samples of my quilting (which are also going to Veldhoven!).  It’s probably appropriate to record that I’m a big fan of making things easy for myself  and I usually choose a lightweight cotton for the top and back (Oakshott is a huge favourite) and Hobbs Polydown, Thermore, Legacy Wool battings.

hand quilting detail


hand quilting detail


hand quilting detail


hand quilting detail


So, off to finish the packing – happy quilting!

Quilts from the other cupboard

The understairs cupboard that stored all my spinning junk  supplies is right at the back of our house and is really not as large as my last post may have led you to believe – here it is, complete with sewing machine in front as a guide to the height of the door

Just to prove that I actually did make a start on the self-imposed ReLearn Spinning programme, here’s the yarn of the moment

The quilt cupboard is in the same part of the house but in the bedroom above and is much larger.  Once upon a time (the house dates to 1640) there would have been a ladder stair going directly from beside the fireplace in the room below and coming out directly into the upper room.   Before we arrived here 20 years ago both of these chimneyside places had been converted into very basic (ie unfitted) cupboard spaces with latch doors.  And over the years it has proved to be a very useful space for keeping quilts, old or otherwise, and all sorts of other textile treasures – away from the keen gaze of Himself, who rarely ventures to this part of the house.  There isn’t enough space to keep the quilts layered and rolled as they should be, but at least they can be away from sunlight and the attentions of the warring cats.   Those of you who live with cats won’t need reminding that any self-respecting feline has radar that can detect quilted items, fabric, batting etc at a distance of several hundred yards and several brick walls.  All of our cats have always felt that quilted texture is the perfect setting for them.

As there is quite a cupboard theme going on this week I thought it might be a good time to show a couple more vintage quilts. 

The first one is crib size, never been used and is dark cream satin with carded wool batting.  The quilting design is very straightforward, running feather with a diamond grid and a lined twist border.  I bought this ten years ago from a general textiles dealer who had no information on it – my guess would be 1930s-ish.  It’s nothing special, just very charming.

The second quilt is rather larger, being double bed size, but also 1930s-ish.  Bought from Jen Jones fifteen or so years ago, this is a Welsh quilt, cream sateen fabric front and back, carded wool batting, green thread, and a once-fashionable frill.  I use this quilt a lot for classes – the design is bold and simple and there is not one line that is perfectly drafted by our standards, but it is beautiful nonetheless.  The first picture shows a folded quarter of the quilt –

Time to get some stitching done …