Photos of this beautiful quilt were sent to me by Liz Nally .It has nine strips of high quality design and stitch work. It was made by Mary Jane Wood from the Durham area (1861-1940), a coal miners wife who also acted as the village midwife.
The central strip is a running feather with diamonds. Either side were lined hammocks with a simple chain centre and a fill of square diamonds and diagonal lines .The next strips have a double row of smaller lined hammocks toped with petals . The following strips are bellows with a single chain and infill of diamonds .
This is my sample
But what I most enjoyed was working out the templates used for the last strips of curved feathers and small roses .
Liz had sent me a photo of some templates of Mary Janes and it was with great affection to be following in the footsteps of such a beautiful quilter. I am now building up quite a collection of my own templates to use in my own textile work.
Mary Janes templates
Thank you Liz for sharing this wonderful quilt.
This strippy is beautifully quilted, when I was drawing and sewing the patterns I felt great admiration for the lady who made it.
There are two patterns with stars on , one with a running feather, the other in a diamond framework which would look good as a border on any quilt.
This design is interesting as I think it has been drawn by interlocking two hearts. It is the easiest way to draw the design and she may have had a heart template handy to use.
The last quilted sample is a flowing bellows design with a perfectly formed leaf in the middle and the classic diamonds in the outside spaces. It looks rather Art Deco to me which ties in with the date of the quilt (1900-1920). The quilters would have used traditional motifs passed down to them through the family and community but I think they would also have been influenced by the designs and arts of the day too.
This delightful pink and white strippy quilt from the Quilters Guild Museum Collection is comprised of two patterns, the cable and a bellows design with a half daisy.
It was made between 1900 and 1906 by Mrs Ann Forrest who was a student in the Castleside Quilting Circle.
The cable is quilted using 6 lines of stitching on the pink strips
The bellows design (on the white strips.) has a lovely flow to it and is an attractive strip that could be used as a border as well as in a strippy quilt.
It certainly is a strip I will use in my own work as I like the countryside daisy motif with the flowing wavy line creating a fresh contemporary design .
The Quilters Guild Collection have a wide range of quilts , unfortunately I am working from photographs at the moment but I have still been able to draw and stitch the beautiful patterns.
This is my sketch book, I am working out how to record the information and checking I can record as much detail as I can. Another big learning curve having not worked in textile conservation.
There are four strippy designs, the white strips are the Allendale feather with a rose flower, it flows along and although it is a repeat pattern it has added swirls and feathers to fill empty spaces.
The central pink strip is a lovely four petalled flower with a fan design creating a diamond shape.
This is a Weardale chain one of my favourites with the rose in the centre which echo’s the rose in the Allendale feather.
The most difficult one to draw out was the plait , I spent many hours trying to get it right and I think their must be an easier way of doing it, if anyone has advice on this it would be gratefully received.
I used pink threads with some orange and browns , a rose and hubble natural seeded cotton fabric, wool wadding and a muslin backing.
If you have a strippy quilt you would like to share please get in touch, in the meantime I am going to look at another pink and white strippy from The Quilters Guild MuseumCollection.
Starting this project I have been introduced to some wonderful people including Kate Smith who has lent me this fantastic red and green strippy quilt. I enjoyed studying the patterns and particularly liked the cord and tassels . Red and Green strippy
Wave with diamonds
Cord and tassels
I have used the colours of the quilt to compliment the original and to create an coherent collection.
My next challenge is to study the pink and white strippy quilts from The Quilters Guild Collection.
I have started my research by using my own Pink and White Strippy quilt I bought last year in Barnard Castle, Teesdale. After measuring and sketching the quilt I recorded details of stitch and construction in my sketchbook.
I have always the loved the patterns in this quilt and I enjoyed drawing them out accurately to then quilt myself. The most difficult observation was getting the right underlaying wave pattern and then drawing the running feather strip. While working, it made me wonder how the lady drew out the designs, was she experienced and drew the designs free hand using just a few templates or like me had trouble repeating the design accurately. I expect the former. I have looked at the templates used and the paper cutting of waves from books, but if anyone can help with how these ladies drew out there designs I’d love to know more.
These are the four designs repeated on the strippy quilt.
The trail, the wave border with diamonds, the diamonds with hearts , the running feather with diamonds and the running feather with spirals and leaves.
I have just been awarded the Amy Emms Bursary for 2020, which I am very excited about. It is an opportunity to work with the Quilters Guild and Heather Audin at ‘The Quilters Guild Museum Collection’ researching and promoting North Country Quilting, particularly the strippy quilts.
Amy Emms was a North Country Quilter and eminent teacher who was influential in passing on design and hand quilting skills. She was awarded the M.B.E. for her work and died in 1998 aged 94. The bursary is to encourage a member of the Quilters Guild to further their knowledge of, or skills in , the traditional art of quilting.
I will be studying strippy quilts , making notes and sketches of the linear quilt designs and creating a collection of samples.
My findings will then be summarised in a pamphlet to be used by ‘The Quilters Guild Museum’ for reference purposes, and shared online on my blog.
I am also going to use these designs to create a contemporary wall hanging to celebrate these beautiful quilts.
As I go along I will share my work on this blog.
So how to start , with tracing paper, graph paper , brown paper and scissors !
The book is one I keep returning to for help and inspiration, written by Mavis FitzRandolph and Florence M. Fletcher (1955). It shows the construction of many of the North Country patterns using simple methods which would have been used in the Northern Pennine cottages.
I have recently been working on finishing my quilt ‘Celebration of North Country Quilts’. I wanted to create a more contemporary piece with appliqué and embroidery techniques to complement quilted areas.
I hope you enjoy the patterns and motifs in this piece of work, motifs that have been passed down in the Northern Dales through the generations.
It has been my pleasure to tutor and get to know a group of ladies following my 4 week online course at the Oh Sew Sweet Shop . These are some photos of their work that they are happy to share. It is lovely to see from one design so many different finished variations.
Catherine J Moore