Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Traditional English, Made in America

It's seems like all my plans to get quilt pictures posted have gone by the wayside the last couple months.  I'd love to offer some great excuses but I can't think of any really good ones so I have to admit that I'm just disorganized.  Anyway, the quilts that are shown below are quilts that I made about ten years ago.  They are both made with cotton sateen and cotton batting and the quilting patterns are based on traditional N. Country English quilts.  The blue quilt is a whole-cloth and the red and white quilt is a strippy.

a close-up of the center medallion

The full shot, this one is quilted with blue thread.  A center medallion is surrounded by a flowinf border pattern but the lines that separate the borders are gone.  This quilt has a traditional folded binding which helps make it reversible.  The other side is a blue floral sateen.

This detail shot shows how border patterns fill each strip.  The quilting was done with off-white thread.  The sateen is actually a creamy colored sateen, not white.  This quilt also shows the traditional binding which allowed the quilt to be displayed from either side.  I was told during one of my visits to the UK that a quilt could be an indicator of the importance of a visitor.  If the pieced side of the quilt was 'up' on the spare bed then the visitor who would sleep under it was ordinary, probably family.  But, if the wholecloth side was 'up', then the visitor was more highly-esteemed such as a visiting vicar.

This photo shows the full quilt.  The photo should be turned so the strips run up and down which is how a bed side quilt would lay on a bed.  Strippy quilts were very popular in N. England and also in Wales but the English quilters generally ran patterns down the strips while the Welsh continued to quilt strippy quilts with wholecloth style medallion/border designs.  I have a 1930's Welsh strippy quilt pieced from dark green and bubblegum pink cotton (very unusual colors for Wales) with old wool clothing as fill instead of wool batting.  The quilting is done with red pearl cotton and mostly free-hand without marking.  There are places where the patterns look like they had a wreck when they came together.  The knots weren't buried,part of them are on the top and part on the back.  I used to take it with me when I taught hand-quilting, it was seldom that a new student couldn't do as well or better than the stitiching on that quilt!  It's a real quilt of desperation and if it could talk, I suspect it would have stories to tell. 

So, until later.  Enjoy.