Category Archives: Hand quilting


The rose design is repeated over and over again in North Country Quilts and is an attractive motif used on any design. The templates can easily be  made by folding paper and cutting out an ice cream shape .The rose can be 8 petals or 16. Sometimes on quilts they have been drawn on freehand and in these instances you can get a different number of petals.

The design can have straight petals or curved ones and can have various circular centres .

This rose has concentric circles in the middle and surrounding it. The rose has 16 curved petals.

On the strippy quilt I was studying from the Beamish collection this motif is repeated  to create a linear design.

Another favourite !

33 strippy quilt


This pretty quilt has 33 strips!, but has the traditional 11 quilting designs as seen from the back. Each design is over three strips as seen in this square cable .The design is really hard to see on the front but is clearer on the back. I like this idea of a surprise on the back. I have come across it on other quilts were the patchwork conceals beautiful quilting patterns.



When studying the designs on this quilt I worked out they had all been constructed with three templates an oval plate, a 45% triangle and a diamond .

This diamond template was used to create the square cable.

The design below is made with the triangle and oval plate. I have drawn it freehand then drawn it out on squared paper to use for my quilted sample

These designs are quite unusual in being  geometric and very accurately drawn out, I wonder if someone in the family was a draughtsman. 

My set of samples 


The pretty fabric is a simple printed rose motif.

I am having difficulty dating this quilt any help with the dating of the fabric  would be much appreciated.

I have really enjoyed studying this quilt and again I have to thank Kate Smith for her generosity in trusting it in to my care.

Club Quilt

This bright bold colourful quilt is thought to be a club quilt, the motifs are quite large and spaced out and the stitching is not quite so tight as others of the same period. It is still beautiful work and it was nice to feel a connection to someone who for whatever reason needed to earn a living from quilting for herself or family. Ladies often took to quilting after their husband had been injured or had died in a mining incident.

The  motifs include a 12 petaled rose , a feather wreath,  geometric square diamonds and a combination of a diamond structure with lines and squares in .

The fabric has a lovely sateen sheen to it and all the stitching is of the same white cotton. The flowered fabric looks like it could have been a curtain fabric, but I need to investigate the dating of fabrics and styles available and learn more about this area of quilts to be able to say for certain. 

I enjoyed studying this quilt , thanks to Kate Smith who learnt it to me.

The next quilt I am looking at  is completely different , which is one of the things I love about strippy quilts, they are so creative and original. 

Strippy Quilt from The Beamish Museum

This striking peach and white strippy has a variety of motifs on including a horse shoe , which may have been for good luck . The quilt has not been used much and still has the blue pencil lines on. For the sample I chose the rose joined by cords .

Thank you for following my blog and my research into North Country Strippy quilts . I wish the best for you next year and I hope you will continue in joining me in my textile journey. 

Quilt Treasures

The Heritage Search of the Quilters Guild 

The Quilters Guild between 1990 and 1993 examined more than 4,000 quilts . Quilts were brought to centres dotted around the UK to be documented on by experts in the field. The resultant book has a wealth of information on the history of quilts, their social context and the different types made.  If you have not read it , it is well worth a look.


This salmon pink and gold sateen strip  ( 20 century ) took my eye and the photograph was clear enough for me to draw the patterns out. 

I chose the geometric design to do a sample of , the eight petalled rose is repeated in the bellow design and over all the quilt has been well thought out.


Strippy quilt by Mary Jane Wood

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.




Pink and Fawn strippy quilt from the Guilds Collection


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.

Castleside Strippy Quilt

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 .


Pink and White Strippy from ‘The Quilters Guild Museum Collection’

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.


Red and Green Strippy

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 

Plait design

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.