Saturday, 31 January 2009


Thank you to Sally for her charming story, which we shall add to Kirsty Hall's collection.

'Grandmother's Diamonds'
My grandmother was born in 1881 in a mining family of north-eastern England.  She wanted to be an artist, but times were hard, and against her wishes, when she was 13, she was apprenticed to a dressmaker.  She ended up using this skill to support her two small children when her husband was killed in the last month of Great War and so spent a lifetime on creating and repairing garments.
By the time I knew her she had stopped sewing, and had no wish to ever sew again.  Whenever any part of her garments failed, she mended them with safety pins.  If they were in a visible place she wore them proudly, and when my own slightly embarrassed mother remonstrated simply replied,
"Yes, I'm wearing my diamonds today."


Apologies to patchwork quilt historians here and in the US, for creating a mystery over my patchwork bedspread,  posted below, and suggesting it might have come in 'kit form'.  If it was in 'kit form' it would change the history of patchwork, and I don't want to make a mistake in changing the course of history.
This picture shows the quilting on the back side of the piece.
It is very unusual to find two patchworks this similar to each other from this era. They have both ended up in the same county (Cumbria), but we think it was only by chance. The patchwork my mother saw in the exhibition was bought at an antiques shop in London, and my bedspread was found in Windermere at my great grandparents house. It was never used here, and it is very unlikely it was made by anyone in my family.  It was either bought, or given. 
I am so intrigued, further investigations are needed. Could there any more patchworks of this design?