The lovely thing about having a shop is you never know what stories are going to walk in the door. Last week a lovely lady popped in to show me an old quilt from her husband's family. Amazingly she knew exactly who had sewn it, plus where and approximately when (her grandmother-in-law, Immingham near Grimsby and around 1900).
This type of provenance is rare for quilts from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. At a time when quilts were generally sewn as functional bed covers, the last thing on most quilters' minds was recording their details for posterity. The priority was warmth at night for their families! Of all the old quilts I own, only a handful can be pinned down to specific makers, towns or years. So it's lovely when a little bit of history can be celebrated.
Unfortunately I have too many old quilts providing insulation in my own home to justify buying yet another quilt right now. However, if you would like to be the next step in this quilt's history, the Grimsby quilt is for sale*. This postage stamp style patchwork is hand sewn in 2 1/2 inch squares in a variety of cotton (and possible wool mix and silk mix?) fabrics. It measures 213 x 248cm (84 x 98in). Interestingly it was pieced over papers as the outer row of patches are crinkly and still contain the templates, a technique known as English Paper Piecing. It does not contain wadding, so would make a great topper on a duvet or as a throw for the sofa. A handful of the patches (mostly the lighter weaves have some shredding (as seen in the red patch above), but generally it is in good and clean condition.
And finally, a call to all modern day quiltmakers out there - don't be shy - be proud of your craft skills and label your quilts with pride. Believe me, future generations will thank you when they are trying to piece together their own and other families' histories.
* Sorry, this quilt is no longer for sale. However, we do have other quilts for sale in-store. Call 01634 838880 for more details.