Theme: Quilts from the British Isles

Published: Monday, 19th October 2020 07:00 AM

Theme: Quilts from the British Isles

Theme: Quilts across the Country

The Quilters’ Guild is a national organisation, and our Collection remit spans the whole of the British Isles. This week we look at some beautiful examples from across the Isles, showing the rich variety of designs and beautiful workmanship in our Collection.

This brightly coloured silk and velvet coverlet is made using crazy patchwork which has been embellished with embroidery. It was made by Elizabeth Ferguson in the 1880s during her teen years when she lived on a farm in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Her initials ’E. F’ can be found embroidered on one piece, and the coverlet is backed with a green and cream striped silk fabric which came from her mother’s wedding dress.

This rectangular pieced frame patchwork coverlet made from woollen tailors samples and backed with Turkey Red paisley cotton. The pieces have been machine stitched and the edges of the quilt butted in and machined. It was made by Mrs Duff, a tailoress in Edinburgh, who used samples and left over pieces from her tailoring business.

This Welsh quilt combines the strong colours of brown, red, blue and yellow to produce an eye-catching frame design with an eight pointed star in the centre and at each corner. The pieced design and elaborate quilting motifs are then framed by a prairie point edge in brown and blue. The quilting design is set out in the traditional Welsh frame layout, with a central medallion and very distinctly defined borders. The quilting motifs include spirals, four petal flowers, leaves and the Welsh Scissors motif. Unfortunately, very little is known about the maker, other than it is thought that she came from a farming family in Wales.

This beautiful and intricate mosaic patchwork is made from rich silk, brocade and velvet, and each individual piece has been outlined in gold silk braid. The small pieces have been hand sewn over paper templates, making the construction of this elaborate quilt very time consuming. It is backed with a paisley design cotton and red wool reverse which has been quilted in a chevron design to a central cotton wadding. The quilt is said to have been made for Colonel. Ridehalgh and his wife of Fell Foot House in the Lake District, as a gift from their female servants.

The rectangular woollen fabrics used to make this coverlet all came from a Tailors fabric sample book, and the coverlet is backed with a purple stripe printed cotton. It was made by Nicholas Lambert, who was a Tailor from Ryde on the Isle of Wight, and is one of a small number in the Collection known to have been made by a man.

Thirties Wool Samples Coverlet, made in EdinburghThirties Wool Samples Coverlet, made in Edinburgh

Welsh Frame QuiltWelsh Frame Quilt

The Ridehalgh Quilt, made in CumbriaThe Ridehalgh Quilt, made in Cumbria

Tailor's sample coverlet, made on the Isle of WightTailor's sample coverlet, made on the Isle of Wight