North Country Quilts ( Durham Quilts )

Introduction to North Country Quilts 

My passion for North Country Quilts has grown over the years. As a teenager I admired my mum’s quilts but did not take a lot of interest in them! I was at the time fascinated by the bright colours and patterns of India and Peru. I still love the beautiful array of textiles found around the world but now I am immersing myself in researching my own northern heritage. I would like to pass on these patterns and quilting traditions to celebrate our past and inspire new designs for the future. I still have a lot to learn but over the next few weeks I would like to share a selection of what I have learnt so far.

North Country Quilts are known for the wholecloth, strippy and Sanderson Star quilts but also include patchwork and appliqued quilts.

Sanderson Star at The Quilter Guild Guild Museum Collection

Strippy Quilt from Beamish Museum


My mum’s whole cloth quilt 

Quilts were made from Medieval times, maybe even before but the distinctive wholecloth designs were quilted from the 1700’s onwards.

They were made mainly for warmth, special occasions, community fundraising, by ladies of leisure and later by miners wife’s to earn a livelihood during hard times.

During the 1800’s fabrics became cheaper and accessible to all social classes (you could even buy it from the Co-op!), and in the villages and towns quilts were made in the cottages throughout the region.

A selection of patterns in different combinations came to be used including twisted cables, plaits, crescents, feathers, flowers and shells. These motifs were bound together with a background pattern, commonly a diamond matrix. As with all creative endeavours individuals created a wide variety of original quilts which can be seen in homes and museums.

As I study these quilts I keep a sketch book which I use alongside photos to create modern contemporary pieces to celebrate our heritage.


Framed Wholecloth ( The Quilters Guild Museum Collection )

http://www.quiltmuseum.org.uk/collections/wholecloth/framed-north-country-wholecloth.html

My sketch of the central design 

My embroidered design of the central area from the quilt 

Next week I will examine the wholecloth quilts, the patterns used and the composition of central designs and borders
Meanwhile check out the collection of quilts at “The Quilters Guild Museum Collection” using the link below

http://www.quiltmuseum.org.uk/collections/

 

Embroidery for my beautiful granddaughter

February and March seems to have gone so fast . I went to visit my son Sean and his new family, Valeria and baby daughter Camila. I took with me a piece of embroidery for Camila – her own Costa Rican Mandela . A mandala based on the ox cart wheels that are decorated in Costa Rica . 
The beautifully painted ox cart wheels . 

Camila’s embroidered mandala to enjoy as she grows up . 

Back home I am now working on my North Country ( Durham ) quilting – photos to follow . 
Stay safe and enjoy your embroidery and quilting . 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year

A new year and lots to do. I’m working on new workshops and have regular classes at The Sewing Shed in Ilkley , Dutton’s for Buttons in York and Oh Sew Sweet in Barnsley . At the end of January I am doing a workshop for the Embroiderers Guild looking at Indian mirror work , and it has been lovely looking back at my visits to India and getting all my Indian fabrics out as I prepare for it. 
I am also continuing my research and work on Durham/North Country quilting and have just finished an embroidered central design from a whole cloth quilt.

This quilted piece completed in December is using colourful thread to show off the amazing designs of the Northern quilts.

This year I will continue to study these beautiful quilts from our rich heritage and celebrate the intricate folk designs. 

Happy Sewing and Quilting for 2020

Helen

 

 

 

 

 

A busy December

A busy December has had me doing a number of workshops around Yorkshire. I have met some lovely ladies and made new friends. Thank you all for being so welcoming and working hard to create beautiful textiles . I hope to see you again in the new year. 
Duttons for Buttons in York 

Oh Sew Sweet @The Hut in Barnsley 

Look in Events to checkout my workshops next year . 
Have a Happy Christmas and Peaceful new year 

Helen 

The Sewing Shed

The hand embroidery class at The Sewing Shed is very successful  , the students are a lovely group of people and it is great to sew and chat on a Tuesday lunchtime . Work ranges from embroidery on quilts to landscape work on photographs while learning new skills each week. 
Using a variety of stitches these small Durham quilt motifs have been done on an embroidery ring.

If you are interested in joining us take a look at The Sewing Shed website 

https://www.thesewingshed.co.uk/classes-tuition/embroidery-with-helen/

New Courses added

During October I have been working on new workshops for Dutton’s for Buttons , York and enhancing our hand embroidery weekly classes at The Sewing Shed  , Ilkley. 
Following the Viking theme in York I have prepared a gold work class showing the basic techniques to be taught in December.

Next year we are looking at felt appliqué using the Viking themes of birds and beasts .

 

https://www.duttonsforbuttons.co.uk/workshops/
Go to Dutton’s for Buttons to look at our full range of courses.

 

 

 

Where did the Summer go?

While I am enjoying the last of the Summer sun walking and sketching it seems the Summer has gone so fast. Preparing and teaching classes has gone on along side gardening and visiting friends. 

As we were holidaying in Crete I decided to learn Cretan stitch . Here are my first attempts

On our visit to folk museums we saw some beautiful work and met some lovely people. This was taken at a convent near Chania.

This was a piece of delicate embroidery in Cretan stitch in Chania folk museum.

Sitting on the balcony having our afternoon siesta I completed a simple design in Cretan stitch. 

I-really enjoyed it and it is definitely a stitch which will be integrated into my own work. 

I am looking forward to workshops planned this Autumn at The Sewing Shed, Ilkley, Dutton’s for Buttons, York and Ryedale Embroiderers Guild.

Follow my Instagram to see work in progress and the beautiful work done on my workshops- helenbarnestextileartist 

Another busy month

The month started off with the Ilkley Art Trail , after preparing work and printing cards I turned my front room into a gallery . I had lots of lovely visitors and thoroughly enjoyed it .

A trip to the V&A to see the Christian Dior exhibition was a welcome relaxation . My favourite piece was a skirt and top, I think I will have a go at making it in the autumn.

Finally I have been teaching a variety of workshops including a successful day workshop on visual mending at Dutton’s for Buttons , York .

I am now preparing for my holidays to Crete and selecting some Cretan embroidery to work on . I’ll post a picture of the finished piece next month. 

Enjoy the summer and Festival of Quilts . 

Stitch Magazine

Kantha article in Stitch magazine

I am very honoured to have an article in this months Stitch magazine,the two page spread is an in depth look at the history and techniques of Kantha embroidery and some of the work I have done from it. I hope you enjoy the article and it will inspire you to find out more.

I am tutoring at Oh Sew Sweet in Barnsley on Sunday Sept 1st if you would like to have a go. https://www.ohsewsweetshop.co.uk

 

Summer Workshops

Summer workshop programme at three venues in Yorkshire

Oh Sew Sweet  (Barnsley) https://www.ohsewsweetshop.co.uk

 Sunday 7th July 10.30am – 4.0pm  £40

Durham Pennies- Handquilting with north country patterns 

Sunday 1st Sept 10.30am- 4.0pm   £40

Kantha Embroidery stitches and motifs

Duttons for Buttons ( York ) https://www.duttonsforbuttons.co.uk/workshops/

Wednesday 10th July 10.am – 4.0 pm  £50 

1960’s Patches and Visible Mending

Wednesday 7th August 10.am- 4.0am

Medieval hand appliqué     £50

The Sewing Shed ( Ilkley ) https://www.thesewingshed.co.uk/classes-tuition/embroidery-with-helen/

Sunday 7th Sept 10.0am – 4.0 pm  £55

Sun Mandalas -A relaxing day learning new embroidery stitches to create a beautiful hanging mandala 

If you would like to know more contact me by email or look at the details of courses on the venues websites.

Thank you for your interest and I hope to meet you soon at a workshop 

Helen