end of January

C&B Towers has shut down for a few days while the British winter does its worst – not the numbing polar blast our US friends are experiencing but grim enough that the best remedy is a steaming mug of coffee next to a warmed-up sewing machine and a nest of batting to keep out the draught.

At the Overseas Office however the sun is shining and the skies are blue….

We’ve both been very inspired by the Hannah Hauxwell quilts we talked about in our previous post.  Chris has drafted templates for one of the quilts,  Barbara has made test blocks and is now frantically rummaging through the Overseas Stash to find just the right fabrics to make some more.  We’ve also revisited our extensive  files of vintage quilts including some from the depths of The Cupboard at the Rural Office – we predict that several new patterns will be available before too long!  Here’s a quick glimpse of just two of The Cupboard quilts –

Both of these quilts are particular favourites of ours – the first one starts at the centre with a 4inch block and then grows out in traditional frame style with very simple pieced borders; the second one is far more elaborate with a centre panel of pieced blocks and a series of pieced borders.  We’ll show you some more of both quilts once Barbara returns to the Rural Office and rummages in The Cupboard.

And in other news, our Electric Quilt Doodles have been updated and you can download a colouring page here – feb doodle

Happy stitching!

 

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Hannah Hauxwell quilts

Hannah Hauxwell (1926 – 2018) was an amazing woman who lived on a remote farm in Yorkshire almost entirely cut off from the outside world until a TV documentary was made about her in 1972. She died in February last year and next month Tennants will be auctioning the quilts from her house. You can find out a little more about the quilts (and Hannah) in this blogpost from UK Quilters United.

We think most of these quilts were most likely made in the late 19th century (1890s). In her book Seasons of my Life Hannah says –

Both Grandma and Mother were clever with their hands, making mats and quilts. Grandma laboured for years with her frames and turned out all the mats for the house. I have still got two quilts that she made, which have been in use for as long as I can recall. Mother knitted a white cotton quilt before she married, which I treasure to this day. I have done a bit myself, but possess neither the ability nor the patience to do fine work. I prefer thick wool which gets done rather more quickly, and during the war I unravelled some of Grandma’s things and knitted them up again“.

This ‘Grandma’ was probably her paternal grandmother Elizabeth Hauxwell (nee Bayles) (1862 – 1940) as one of the quilts has the initials EB embroidered on the back. Her maternal grandmother was Ann Sayer (nee Tallentire) (1853 – 1930) and it is unlikely Hannah would remember her as she would have only been about four when Ann died. Hannah’s full name by the way was Hannah Bayles Tallentire Hauxwell thus showing her ancestry through her middle names – an absolute gift to genealogists!

We rather liked this six-pointed star quilt from the ones being sold and as Chris has drafted some templates to make something very similar (download them here) Barbara may have a go at making if not an entire quilt then perhaps a cushion or table runner.  Rumour has it that a stash has been picked through, fabrics assembled and pieces cut for a test block or two.  You’ll notice that the original shows identical fabric placement from block to block but we think this charming star and square pattern would look just as good in random scraps.

Heritage quilts

Chris has been beavering away in the IT Suite updating the Chris and Barbara website. It now sports a new drop-down menu for patterns with a separate page for our heritage quilts patterns. To buy these you have to visit our Payhip page (for the EU) or our Craftsy page but you can get a preview and information about the quilts on the new C&B page.

Some new patterns from Ann Jermey’s quilt collection have been added to the Payhip page (coming soon to Craftsy) and another quilt from Barbara’s collection has been added to both pages.

Ann’s quilts are this lovely1940s Windmill design (spot the mistake in it?)

Blue Windmillsand this little red and white quilt which (with our usual talent for stating the obvious) we have named Red Bricks.

bricks2Ann remade this quilt using some left over 2 and 1/2 inch strips in various reds and neutrals –

bricksThe quilt from Barbara’s collection is a Triple Sunflower. This is hand-pieced and Barbara has been remaking the block (but we don’t yet have a photo – or I can’t find it, Chris). One of these blocks would make a lovely cushion, or just make a few for a table runner.

DSCF3023The colours have faded somewhat – the green leaves and stems have all but disappeared – but it is still a lovely quilt.

More quilt patterns to come before too long, and maybe even some of Barbara’s quilting designs . . . !?