Friday, April 15, 2011


It was a cold, rainy day here in central Iowa—the perfect day to curl up with a good quilt book and read the afternoon away. While a couple phone interviews for articles I'm writing took up a good share of my afternoon, I was able to catch up on this quilt history book I've been reading.

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!


  1. Thanks for the info on that book. I love the pink basket quilt on the cover. I didn't know about tin and wooden templates. I'll also have to look for Kathie's pattern in Quilts and more. Such a sweet quilt!

  2. That looks like a great book. I love antique quilts very much so I'm going to se where that book is for sale :-)
    Love to read about those templates, that was one thing I myself was wondering about... how did they do that in those days !!
    Thanks for the info, love reading this post.

  3. Oh I love that book, isn't it wonderful????
    I have a few of those tin templates, I will have to pull mine out and take a picture. hmmm wonder where I put them!
    Thanks, glad you like the baby quilt! ah yes its true I do love 30's too and yes I have made a batik quilt or two as well! shocked?
    I can't wait to get my copy of the magazine now!

  4. I have said it before, "You are the queen of antique finds!" Thanks for the book recommendation.

  5. Looks like a great book...I may have to add it to the list of must-haves!

  6. Thanks for sharing the quilt template - have you used it on a project? Or just enjoying it? I really like the shape. I highly recommend the book too. Looks like Kathie has been a very busy girl again!
    Hope you get to enjoy the gardens soon!

  7. Oh thank you for the information on this book. It looks wonderful and I had not heard of it before.
    Kathie does make some amazing quilts and she is a favorite blog to follow!

  8. That really is a wonderful book and love your template.

  9. That book looks wonderful! Thanks for the review. I just ordered a couple of chintz medallion repros, so I'm in that kind of mood right now. :)

  10. Could you please tell me where I might be able to order the book?
    I would love to have it in my collection.
    I am in Australia and happy to order from the US.
    Will have to get the magazine with Kathie's quilt in it.


  11. That is a brilliant book that one - I've got a copy here - I bought it at the Beamish Museum last year I think. I must have so many books now! I should think it is available on Amazon.


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