Keep warm on cold winter nights with a cosy quilted bedspread or dressing gown, 30% off until end February

With the cold Winter weather here, why not keep warm and cosy with a quilted bedspread or dressing gown. Until the end of February, Damask are offering more than 30% off their range of quilts and ladies  quilted  cotton robe. visit http://www.damask.co.uk

Quilting was a popular social activity among women in the mid 19th century and is enjoying a resurgence in popularity today. Often known as a ‘Quilting Bee’, it provided a social space for women to gather and gossip while they simultaneously used their artistic and sewing skills. The quilting bee was often held in a local hall or church which allowed up to 12 women to attend though often the number of guests was limited to seven, who, with the hostess, made up two quilting frames, the equivalent of two tables of bridge. Good quilting and sewing skills in earlier times was a social requisite, and it meant an amibitious woman should be an expert with her needle.

Bedding Lyon

 

Le Touquet quilt available in king size. Was £199, reduced to £139 until the end of February. visit:  www.damask.co.uk

Quilts have been a passion of mine since I made my first log cabin quilt by hand, using Liberty prints.

In the late Nineteenth Century the log cabin patchwork quilt was very popular in the United Kingdom and in the Unites States of America. This design has an equal number of light and dark shades of fabric that radiate out from the square in the centre and is one of the simplest blocks to sew.

It is still very popular today as it can be sewn fairly quickly. It is sewn into a block and then the separate blocks can be sewn to form a quilt that will give a light and dark patterned design depending on how they are sewn together.

More than 30 years later my log cabin quilt has become a family heirloom and is still in good use.

 

Floral Log Cabin:

Related image

I have since made a variety of quilts included appliqued quilts where a cut out fabric (for example a flower design) is stitched onto the base fabric before quilting. The technique of appliqué goes back as far as sewing does when people began using other bits of cloth to cover up holes in clothing items.  Appliqué  derives from the word appliquer which means to cover or put on.  Early appliqué was used to lengthen the life of clothing and moved into decorative designs used on quilts.

Trapunto, from the Italian for “to quilt,” is a method of quilting that is also called “stuffed technique.” A puffy, decorative feature, trapunto utilizes at least two layers, the underside of which is slit and padded, producing a raised surface on the quilt. Popular designs using the trapunto technique include paisleys, flowers, leafs and diamond patterns.

Toulouse Close up stitching

 

One of my favourite places for a day out that has a beautiful range of quilts is the ‘American Museum in Bath‘. https://americanmuseum.org

 The museum reopens this year on 18th March and is open Tuesday – Sunday 12-5 pm. It opens with an exhibition of ‘the Jazz Age – 1920’s Fashion & Photographs and is well worth a visit.

Housed in a beautiful Georgian house overlooking the vale of Bath, the museum takes you through the history of America, from the early settlers through to American independence. The museum has a room devoted to its extensive collection of quilts together with rag rugs and embroidered samplers.

Quilts & Textiles

Ranging from the eighteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, the American Museum’s collection of over 200 quilts is acclaimed as the finest of its type in Europe. Over 50 quilts are always on view in the Textile Room (on the first floor of the Museum) and throughout the Period Rooms. Also on display in the Textile Room are a selection of Navajo weavings, hooked rugs, and woven bedspreads.

 

Image of Baltimore Album Quilt

Baltimore Album Quilt, made for or by, someone living in Baltimore during the years from 1846 to 1852.

Image of Chalice Quilt

Chalice Quilt, made by slaves on the Mimosa Hall Plantation in Marshall Texas for the use of the anglican Bishop of New Orleans, mid 19th century.

Image of Hannah Taylor Sampler

Hannah Taylor sampler. Samplers were made by young girls learning to sew different embroidery stitches, mid 19th century.

 

There is also a lovely shop selling fabrics for patchwork as well as the Orangery cafe & terrace selling home made food from American recipes including home made cookies, chicken pot pie and pecan pie.