Friday, June 02, 2006

A little bit more history

I thought I'd share a little more English history with you today.

We took a family holiday in April 2005 back to Yorkshire, where I grew up and lived until I met DH.

The object of the trip was to catch up with family and friends, as we are in a little enclave over 200 miles to the South, and also to show the kids where I grew up, went to school etc before they turn into cynical teenagers who would just not be interested.

We took a trip to York while we were there (about 40 miles from our base in Skipton) to visit an exhibition of theYork Castle Museum's Patchwork and Quilt Collection. DH, DS and DD2 decided to do the National Railway Museum along the road (no surprise there) leaving DD1 and I with loads of time to thoroughly peruse the displays.

I've included a picture and a close up of my favourite bedcover which (and I quote from the exhorbitently priced guide book that cost me the princely sum of £20)

"is the only one in the collection which we know to have been planned by a man, although his wife must take credit for the incredibly precise piecing. The cover was made from 1837 to 1844 by Ann Hutton-Wilson of Yarm in Cleveland. Apparently she had 'no eye for colour' and her husband Robert, who worked as an artist, arranged the complex patterns. The work has been carried out entirely in the thin, soft dress silks which were fashionable in the 1830s and 1840s. Solid colours predominate, and they show the striking design to advantage. The central square panel features a double eight-pointed star in cream brocaded satin on a black ground; the brocade is said to be from the wedding-dress of Mrs Hutton-Wilson's best friend. The panel is enclosed by a border of elaborate geometric blocks. With the exception of those at the corners, each block is different. A narrow band of overlapping scales is followed by a white chain meticulously inlaid on grey. Three further borders feature patchwork sunbursts and lightning flashes, squares and triangles, and inlaid stars. Mrs Hutton-Wilson used an old unbleached linen sheet to back her work; the black ink laundry mark, "Wilson No.4" can still be seen in one corner. There is no wadding or quilting. Amazingly the bedcover was originally much larger. In 1870 an outer border almost one yard wide was removed and subsequently made up as a second bedspread, so that Mrs Hutton-Wilson's two daughters could each have a coverlet."

Sorry to go on at length but the guide book really sums it all up. The 'quilt' measured 86" square and was in immaculate condition not a mark or a rip in sight. Just beautiful!

The other photo is of Bolton Priory in Wharfedale in Yorkshire. It is an old ruined Augustinian Priory dating from the 13th century which fell prey to the Dissolution of the Monasteries when Henry VIII fell out with the Church of Rome in the 16th century and all Roman Catholic monasteries were ransacked and demolished.

The nave of the original building was left standing and has subsequently been preserved. It now serves as the local Anglican parish church, you can't really tell as this is kind of behind the picture if you get my drift.

It was here in January 1992 that DH and I had our marriage blessed and our eldest was baptised here so the place is very special to us. It can be a bit of a tourist honeypot but is one of those places where you can always find a quiet spot either inside or out to spend a few moments in contemplation. A truly gorgeous place.


Finn said...

Hello Ann, love the history lesson. And what a lovely grouping in your hallway...*VBS* I especially like your gift from a friend.

Pam said...

What a beautiful quilt. I've been to York but just a short visit into the York Cathedral and the Underground Museum - Dorvak (sp).

Nice to meet you.

aikentoquilt said...

OH my GOSH!!! I was in England last May, and in York, and went to the very same museum, and saw the quilt you have pictured, made by the man, and I took a picture, which did not turn out!!! I have been describing that quilt to my friends here in the States, and I also did not buy the very expensive book either. Thank you for posting the picture, I was just amazed by that quilt. My husband and daughter sat downstairs in the cafe, while I was upstairs viewing the quilts, and I then dragged them upstairs to see the quilt a man had made......

Small,small quilting world!!!

anne bebbington said...

If you want to email me on I'll happily send you all the photos I took of that quilt which is probably about 6 or 7 - such a shame yours didn't turn out. I thought the whole exhibition was wonderful but this particular quilt was awesome

YankeeQuilter said...

thanks for the mini-tour! I can't wait to get over there now. Beautiful quilt...what do they mean she has no eye for color?!

Sherry said...

What a wonderful quilt. I found it here because I just bought a used quilt book at my guild, "PATCHWORK QUILTS by Averil Colby". The quilt is pictured on page 54. I would love to see it "in person". THANKS for posting the info.

Sherry said...

What a wonderful quilt. I found it here because I just bought a used quilt book at my guild, "PATCHWORK QUILTS by Averil Colby". The quilt is pictured on page 54. I would love to see it "in person". THANKS for posting the info.