This is the first one, a lovely hexagon coverlet with a mitred border on it. There was a plain calico backing on it, and no quilting. It dated from about 1850. As ever with old quilts, the range of fabrics was amazing! Lots of conversation prints, shirtings, upholstery designs and all kinds of fabrics which look as if they were designed yesterday!
Next a small, heavy log cabin quilt. This was wadded and backed with a fabulous Turkey red fabric which dated it to the late 19th century. This seems to be a kind of 'strips masterclass'. The centre of the quilt is log cabin, made in wools and wool mixes, arranged in a light and dark arrangement, each corner has a courthouse steps block, and the border is a chevron! The thick fabrics must have made it very hard to work with.
Here is a better photo of the backing. As you can see, this quilt was bound, which is not typical for British quilts. It's not surprising to find lots of paper piecing in British museums, and there was a whole box of paper pieced patches of various sizes, shapes and stages of completion, along with some fabric scraps and some paper waiting to be cut up into shapes. These octogons date from early 19th century. I think this might have been abandoned when the maker realised she should have pieced the little joining squares as she went along, not leaving them to the end! You can see on the right hand side she's started to add the squares (also paper pieced) but not got very far!
Maybe they fit with these?Frances was almost apologetic at having included this top, but then, she hadn't met me before! I absoltely love it! She said it was mid-19th century and was a veritable showcase of Machester cottons. There were so many different fabrics in it, we wondered if it was made from fabric samples. Only the very centre has anything more complicated thn a square or rectangle (and that's only a square within a square which is missing its points!) but the colours and the enrgy of the piece are fabulous! There is a kind of basic design, but the fabrics are so varied, it's hard to see!Here you can see a bit of bodging (the triangle added in being the worst of it!)
and here, a bit of desperation piecing, where five pieces of fabric have been joined together to make one patch! And that was the last quilt. Although I would obviously have liked to see more quilts, I would like to thank Frances (and DD) for a wonderful show! But the afternoon wasn't over, and I have more photos to show another day!