Yesterday I went to Bletchley Park - home of the Enigma machine which cracked the German codes during WW2 - and had a super day! I didn't look at the machines, the WW2 displays or the Churchill collection. I went for the quilts!
The weather was gorgeous (when you were in the sun) and it was lovely to sit outside the main building at lunchtime and chat with friends, old and new. There were plenty of quilts to see, a competition on the theme of codes, Red Cross quilts and other goodies, but my main purpose was the documentation day. One room was set aside for the examination of old quilts, and there were ladies from the Quilters' Guild on hand to give informed opinions. I took my two old quilts, and ended up spending much of the day enjoying looking at other old quilts. A real treat.
My first quilt was the one in poor condition. This was given a good going over, and the fabrics were dated between 1816 and 1850, with the central fabric being 1830-40. There was a bit of discussion as to whether the larger borders at the edge had been added later, but a piece of the central fabric was discovered in one block, which seemed to negate that idea. I suggested that the maker had suddenly had a deadline, and decided that bigger blocks would finish the quilt sooner! Who knows?
I was slightly trepidatious at showing my hexagon quilt, as I had not only taken the papers out, but had washed and finished it, and wondered if the ladies would be shocked or even censorious. I didn't need to have worried, as they felt that I had merely 'repaired' the quilt, and made it into a thing to be enjoyed, which had been my intention. They examined the fabrics, and were happy that they dated from 1850-1880, which tied in with the dates (1880s and 1890s) I found on the papers. Thank you so much ladies of the Quilters' Guild for all your hard work and kindness. I'm dead chuffed!