Quilts, quilts and more quilts

Oh poor abandoned blog, blah blah. I’m Twittering too much, that’s the trouble.
But let’s skip the regret and cut to the chase.

What’s new?

boating holiday

Big news – my own super-duper quilt shopping success! For years I’ve been looking out for a lovely old quilt, preferably quite tatty and definitely quite cheap. I spent the best part of a year visiting one in a vintage shop in Brighton when I lived there, but was unable to find the £100 required to take it home. That was a classy one – white, indigo and dark reds. Probably 19th century. So I kept looking, saw boring but expensive ones occasionally, but never fell in love. Until all that changed….

A couple of weeks ago when I was on my boating holiday we passed a sign saying (something along the lines of)

Canalside Farm Shop

  • Fruit
  • Veg
  • Chutney
  • Books
  • Boaty bric-a-brac
  • LED lighting design

Eh? So we had to go and see. My brother for the LEDs, my mum for the veg and me, somewhat reluctantly, for the bric-a-brac, boaty or otherwise. I didn’t have very high hopes. Boaty bric-a-brac being not quite my thing. I browsed old boat headlights, bits of metal, ropes, courgettes, apples and feathery eggs and then spotted some doilies and old linen. Meh, got a lot of old doilies already… loads of embroidered tablecloths filling up my studio… but, errrr, wassat under the doilies? That looks like patchwork….a cushion, probably……. Keep calm, don’t get excited….. OH MY GOD IT’S A QUILT……. FOR £30!!!!

quilt details - 2

Obviously I didn’t say that out loud. I nonchalantly picked it up and had a little stroke. Victorian it is not (which the label said) but who cares. It’s pretty, it’s old, tatty and well loved, and now, it’s mine! I actually skipped back along the towpath to the boat and bounced around all day clutching my slightly musty collection of old rags stitched together into something wonderful. The shop owner looked astonished. I think I made her day. It certainly made my day!

quilt details - 1

So, I’m no quilt scholar but I do know a bit about fabrics and it looks 1930s-50s to me. It’s not filled so it’s a super-thin quilt, so eventually I plan to unpick the backing and give it some filling. I need a quilt to be useful, not just decorative! It needs quite a bit of repair as well, so maybe in about 100 years when I retire, I can fix it.

Talking of quilts, I hope you know all about the V&A Quilts exhibition coming up next year. Now, many of you know this, but those who don’t, I used to work at the V&A until 4 and a bit years ago, in their adult education team. Talk of this quilt exhibition was almost enough to make me want to stay, just so I could be near it, go to it everyday, maybe even go to a meeting about it. I know. A meeting. I doubt very much I would have been allowed to have anything much official to do with it, but I would have tried, believe me. But hey ho, I left nonetheless, and here I am some years later doing things with fabric myself instead. And happy with it. But I am still beside myself with excitement about seeing this show, put together by the lovely Sue Prichard, who was (and no doubt still is) one of the nicest people I ever was lucky enough to work with at the V&A.
*Sigh*

If that’s not enough quilt-talk: Someone (on Twitter I expect) pointed me at this – quilts made from recycled menswear.

And one final quilt-note:
Advance notice of a couple of books I contributed to:
Pretty Little Mini Quilts, Lark Books. I designed a doll quilt in silk dupion with trapunto details. For the poshest doll in your life… & a leaf-design baby quilt in organic cotton. It’s not out til March, though….
However – Quilting with Wool is out in January! I made a trapunto quilted purse from a recycled lambswool jumper. It’s pretty, if I say so myself. Just got it back from photography.
I also designed something for a still-top-secret quilty kind of book also coming out next year. I’ve seen the proofs of this and it’s AMAZING. Impatient!!! Want to talk about it now!
Hey ho. Will be worth the wait.

2 thoughts on “Quilts, quilts and more quilts

  1. Ooooh I love quilts, I look at so many 'quilty' blogs and marvel at the talent out there. I am definitely going to take a trip to see the V&A exhibition, there was a small quilt exhibition here in Luton a while back and I loved it.Toni-Ann

  2. Congratulations on your newest acquisition! It pays to look at the old linens..I've found old quilt tops and blocks mixed in on occasion too! I'd agree with your assessment on the age, judging from the fabrics in the pics. The quilts with no batting were called "Summer spreads" and were used when the warmth wasn't wanted. You don't see too many of them around?

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