Category Archives: North Country Quilts

2022 Happy New Year

Wishing you a Happy New Year full of rich cultural experiences and creative activities to fill your days .

I have a busy year lined up with workshops and talks for Quilting and Stitching Groups, as well  as new workshops for Dutton’s for Buttons in York and Ilkley. ( See the link below to view workshops and booking procedures).            

For January I would like to share another quilt from the Reeth Museum, Swaledale.

This is a beautiful handmade patchwork quilt made in the traditional method of English Paper Piecing . The unit shapes are called Periwinkle . If you look at the use of fabrics some units use what is now called fussy cutting , using a stripe or motif to create a more interesting pattern within a unit like the radiating lined fabric emphasizing the star design.

I have volunteered to help with the conservation of the Museums quilts by running a workshop on English Paper Piecing, learning how to make one unit to be used as a mat or to start a bigger piece of mosaic patchwork.

If you would like to attend the workshop and take a look at this wonderful quilt it is on Saturday July 2nd at the Reeth Museum.

Red and White Strippy -Swaledale Museum, Reeth

I was privileged to visit the Reeth Museum when on holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. Helen Clifford welcomed me and showed me several quilts, the hexagon patchwork, the beautiful mosaic quilt mounted on the wall and the red and white strippy I had requested to study. The front of the red and white strippy is made from red turkey twill fabric and white plain weave fabric. It is backed in plain white cotton and has a Turkey red binding, the wadding is probably cotton. The quilt has 9 strips and is 80” x 100”, the 7 central strips are 9 1/2” wide and the two white outer strips are 6”wide.

The arrangement of the pattern is interesting for a strippy as it has a border of parallel stitch lines in triangles and geometric curves, giving the central area a frame.

The central area is filled with a half wine glass, which is roughly marked out giving it an individual charm.


I worked in my sketch book to document the patterns and drew out (in a smaller scale) and quilted the half wine glass design. Although I am still trying to work out if she quilted it in curved lines or one circle at a time!

It is lovely to imagine a lady in a Swaledale cottage quilting this bright coloured strippy ready to put on the bed to keep her family warm over the bitter cold winter nights.

I hope to visit The Dales Museum in Hawes to see their strippys , there is certainly no shortage of quilts to study and my North Country Strippy pattern bank continues to grow.

If you are up in the Dales Swaledale Museum it is definitely worth a visit .




New Workshops in Ilkley and York

In the past month I have been busy working on the workshop content for the York and Ilkley Workshops, hence the lack of posts on my own work. I have also been on an embroidery weekend which was excellent led by Florence Daisy Collingwood and when I have finished my Celtic embroidered pieces -hopefully this month, I will share them on my blog.

I am tutoring the hand embroidery and hand quilting classes including ‘Stitching in the Dales’ classes, looking at Vintage embroidery, English Paper piecing, North Country quilting patterns and Gold work. 

Along side these are ‘World Embroidery’ workshops once a month starting with Indian mirror work, Indian kantha work, Vietnamese stitching and Japanese Sashiko work. 

Our first class was a taster session , sampling applique, embroidery and quilting which was very enjoyable and samples of lovely work were completed.

If you would like to book or look at the complete selection of workshops take a look at the Dutton’s link below

If you have any questions please get in touch , it would be lovely to see you and to share my love of textiles with you.



Samples all labelled ready for the Quilters Guild

I cannot believe were the last month went.

I have met a lot of lovely ladies around the UK doing zoom talks and workshops to embroidery and quilters groups. Thank you all for you kindness and asking me along to your meetings. 

I have also tutored my first real class at Dutton’s for Buttons in York. The class was based around canvas work and looked at the Arts and Crafts movement. We also discussed Louisa Pesel , an amazing lady who I will talk about in a blog all of her own . You may have heard of her as she designed and organised the kneelers and cushions in Winchester Cathedral in the 1930’s and was a central character in T. Chevaliers book ‘A single Thread’ . 

In-between  I have been labelling up the quilted samplers from the North Country strippy quilts. I have put them into sets which can be added to in the future. Next month should see my textile hanging finished, I am at present doing the butt edge and getting it ready to hang up.

Three types of bellow designs

Continuous designs including plait, wave, cable and trail

Diamond framework designs

Running feathers

Infill designs

Repeated motifs

Loop and circle frameworks

and finally two of my favourite continuous designs the Weardale chain and the Allendale feather.

Making patterns

Over the last month I have been working on my Textiles hanging , using chainstitch and embroidery stitches along side quilting the patterns I studied on the strippy quilts. I have also added sequins, buttons and beads to add detail and focus. I enjoy the variety of techniques and spending time working out the exact colour and thickness of thread I want to use to create the right balance in the composition, although it has led to some unpicking when I’m not quite sure. Next month it should be ready for hanging and display which will be a great accomplishment.

Where to start?

My aim for the Amy Emm’s Bursary was to gain knowledge of the linear designs of the strppy quilts made in Northern England. By studying these quilts and doing extensive reading I have definitely extended my knowledge, although with this knowledge comes more questions !

I have created a collection of samples to be shared with the Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection. (which is recorded in previous blogs ) The curator Heather Audin has just posted an article about the work.

I am very grateful to her support and can’t wait to be able to go to the museum again to study the quilts, photographs are of an excellent quality nowadays but it is not the same as the real thing .

Now to the next part of my project , to create a contemporary wall hanging using these designs. Where to start ? 

I wanted to use strips of  patchwork as my base fabric, I had in mind a pretty colour scheme of pinks with greens, reds and yellows as the pink and white strippy is popular in the North of England. I also wanted a rose theme, as I have seen rose printed fabric and quilted rose flowers used on the quilts.

Starting stitching is like starting a new sketch book, daunting. I decided to draw a strippy design with a single chain I had been sketching, but spent a while getting round to it!

  The single chain is yet to be stitched, I am not sure on the colour to make it stand out but not dominate . 

Meanwhile I am planning the other designs

As you can see I work with a background then build up the quilting and embellishment as I would do when I am  painting . 

I am still recording and researching strippy quilts so if you have any to share I would love to see them.



Pretty quilt

This pretty quilt from Liz Nally has 9 strips ,plain white cotton sateen alternating with a faded pink floral fabric.

It has cable strips, a worm with a single chain running through it with square diamonds, a double lined cable and interestingly a half fan which is quite large . It is 14″ wide, has 20 petals and is repeated 6 times along the length of the quilt.


I chose this motif to do as a sample and enjoyed stitching this pretty design .

Mauve and White Strippy

This mauve and white strippy is an unusual colour combination and the first I have seen in this colour way. I really like it and love that the lady wanted something a little different .The designs are well quilted and drawn out thoughtfully.

There are the popular North Country Quilting designs of running feather, plait and cables. The more original design is a repeated loop enclosing a leaf with square diamonds on the outer edges .

This is my sample, a design I will use in my own work.

I wonder where she got the idea from , a magazine, an architectural detail, a piece of fabric or braid  or just created it out of her imagination. It would make a lovely border design on a skirt. Quilted petticoats were popular in the 1800s and we have had such a cold spell in Yorkshire I am thinking of making one !


I found this delightful shell pattern on a strippy quilt in the book by R. Allen ‘Quilts and Coverlets’.

Shells have been drawn and sewn on quilts though out the north, this one which could be described as a fan as well, is in a diamond block shape with parallel lines to one side and square diamonds on the other.

The following shell embroidered motifs are also seen on quilts and make an attractive addition today on home furnishings for the bathroom.


They could be added to a small project quilted or embroidered.