I belong to a local 1800s quilt study group and when our resident quilt history expert, Virginia, told the group about this book, I knew I had to get a copy. It features many of the quilts in the collection of Beamish, the North of England Open Air museum and chronicles the rich quilting traditions of the Northumberland and Durham regions. It's filled with photos of beautiful antique quilts—a veritable feast for the eyes for those of us who love these cloth treasures of yesteryear! Some like this beauty date back to the 1820s.
There is also an intriguing chapter on patterns and templates. As a quilter with a fondness for 1800s reproduction quilts, I am always looking for historically-appropriate quilting designs. The chapter talks about how quilting templates were prized by quilters and passed down from mother to daughter. They were often made by the quilter's husband, who carved them from wood or shaped them from tin.
We don't see many antique quilt templates here in Iowa. So I was surprised to find this charming one last year at an antiques show. It reminded me of some of the ones I'd seen in this book. Needless to say, it went home with me!
Thanks to books like these, a dreary afternoon turned into an enjoyable one! One other thing that brightened my day was picking up my copy of the latest issue of Quilts and More magazine when I went to Meredith Corporation (where American Patchwork and Quilting magazine and their companion magazines are published) for a meeting with an editor.
I was delighted to see a wonderful quilt made by my blogging friend Kathie at Inspired by Antique Quilts. I almost didn't recognize it as Kathie's because it was a departure from her usual 1800s reproduction quilt designs. But it was lovely just the same! Congratulations, Kathie!