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I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Welsh Quilt Exhibition at Abbotts Hall

Yesterday I went to The Museum of East Anglian Life, for the preview of the Welsh Quilt Exhibition, "Quilts: Textile Treasures from Wales". Mike and I drove over from Woodbridge to Stowmarket - unfortunately, we arrived too late to hear the opening speeches. However, we were able to have a good look around at the quilts, and also the amazing building.

Here it is, Abbott's Hall, the big house that has received a major restoration over the past three years, having received a major Lottery grant. It looks lovely now, and the rooms form a nice display area.

There are two rooms full of quilts, all from the Ceridigion Museum in Aberystwyth.
There are explanatory signs about all the quilts - here is a wool quilt, late 19c. It is backed by grey flannel.

Two more Welsh quilts - the orange wholecloth was made by two Thomas sisters of Ystradgynlais around 1880, and donated by their granddaughter from Solihull in England. The quilting pattterns were very nicely done...a brighter orange than is shown in this photo.
This small cot quilt was displayed on a tradtional quilting frame. It is mostly made of flowered cottons and has lovely traditional Welsh quilting patterns. Wool filling.

I was interested to see this pieced star pattern. The colours were sombre....there was a large button or ruched piece of fabric in the centre - was it to hide a less than pefect centre join?

In the other room, the quilt that I would take home - a typically Victorian patchwork frame quilt, made by Lydia Jones of 37 High St, Aberystwyth. Lydia was a professional quilter who made quilts to order.

 A recent acquisition...this has a wide variety of fabrics, including some paisley turkey red fabrics in the corners.

There were a number of smaller items from Suffolk,  including this sewing machine.

I was also able to catch up with Liz N, a fellow BQSG member and antique quilt collector. Liz was with her husband - the two men quickly became bored with the quilts - but the beauty of this museum is that there is so much to see. Mike wandered through the walled garden and spotted a vixen and a very young cub - before listening to taped recordings of Suffolk dialect, including the Blaxhall bellringers. Mr N, being a builder, was more interested in the buildings restoration....

I would love to go back another day, and revisit the full museum. I would especially like to visit the two workers cottages - these were bought in 1970 with the effects of the previous owner in situ - and one can hear tape recordings of her life story.

I will also be giving a talk on my Welsh and Durham quilts on te 18th of July, as well as workshops on Hand quilting and hand applique on the 3rd August.

A very interesting evening....


  1. Wonderful samples of quilting there! - Love the ones in soft and vintage colours. Thanks for sharing these.

  2. Thank you for sharing those pix and the quilt show adventure! I agree that Victorian quilt would be my pick! Everything about it is so apealing, color, layout and quilting are just wonderful. And what a great exhibition space! What a treat! cheers, Claire W.

  3. Thank you for sharing your visit with us. I too would have taken home the same quilt. I too had the same first thought about the button. I like the idea of a handmade button in the same fabric as the star I would like to make a quilt with them. Or maybe one large one in the center and then let my ideas go from there. I do hope you get a chance to go back. I would love to own a traditional quilting frame from that time. That is an item on my list of antique quilting purchases.