Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle – again – a quilt exhibition

Bowes museum, Barnard Castle,

One of the reasons we visited the Sunderland area so quickly again was because we discovered too late that there was a quilt exhibition on there, we had to go home before we could see it. So we drove back down there before the exhibition ended in late November. As you can see from the photo above the museum is very grand, and built in the French style as the architect was French.

The top floor of the museum housed the quilts. When I think of quilts from the North-East of England it’s the one piece of fabric Durham quilts which are decorated with all over stitching that I envisage, so I was surprised that they also have what they call strippy quilts. The quilts date mainly from the early 20th century.

north-east Quilts, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

And the more traditional patchwork quilts. I must admit that I started to make a patchwork quilt about 40 years ago, using hexagons, I didn’t get very far with it and bits are still languishing at the bottom of one of my many craft baskets!

Quilts, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

So I am filled with awe when I see patchwork quilts, I suspect that they would be easier to make if it was a communal effort though.

Quilts, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

The quilts below are proper Durham quilts – I believe. No patching together but still an awful lot of sewing involved.

Durham Quilts , Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

Below is an intricate quilt design and matching curtain. Pink,blue and orange seem to have been very popular colours, I suppose they brightened up what was otherwise quite a dark existence.

Patchwork Quilts, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

Patchwork Quilts, Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

I must admit that I thought that the exhibition would have been bigger than it was, but it was worth seeing and there is an interesting permanent exhibition of period women’s clothing from the 16th century to Mary Quant and Laura Ashley. I took lots of photos of the clothes, but they have all disappeared from the camera somehow, quite spooky really.

More Creative Stitches

The quilts below are more traditional than the Song of the Clyde quilts I think but there’s still loads of work in them as you can see. I’m just sorry that my photos aren’t great, I had to quickly snap them while there were no people standing in front of the quilts, it was so crowded.

Patchwork Quilts

So pretty and girly.

Flower Patchwork Quilt

I don’t know about you, but I would love to have this as the view out of my window, rainbow and all.

Window Quilt

I should have gone around taking notes. This one has a poem on it but I haven’t a clue what it says. The collage/quilt makes me think of “granny’s hielan’ hame” though. It looks like Loch Lomond with all the wee islands. Deceptively naive looking and it’s another location I would like to live in.


I just have a few more photos of the Creative Stitches exhibition at Glasgow to show – but I’ll leave them for another post!

Creative Stitches – again

As I was saying before, it’s sometimes difficult to see the difference between quilts and embroideries. I think it’s probably just that some wadding/batting is used in the quilt whereas embroideries are just layers of material and stitches. Anyway, these ones are definitely quilts as they were part of an exhibition of the Quilters’ Guild.

The name of the exhibition was The Song of the Clyde, the Clyde is obviously the river which runs through Glasgow and was/is famous for shipbuilding. I suppose these were quilted by the Glasgow branch of the guild.

I think this one of cranes is my favourite.
Song of the Clyde Quilt

But this one was fab too.

Song of the Clyde

I was so busy chatting to the lady from the Quilter’s Guild that I didn’t get a chance to read what this one was all about. Gorgeous colours though!
Song of the Clyde Quilt

The one below is much more muted but still lovely.

Song of the Clyde

I presume the red shapes are the propellers of ships.

Song of the Clyde

And this one is made from an old linen map which has been sliced up and interspersed with fabric which has been quilted.

Map Quilt

There were so many beautiful quilts on show, this is just a few of them. Of course there were lots of DO NOT TOUCH notices about, which was understandable, but honestly I had to go about hanging on to my camera round my neck because they’re all so temptingly tactile looking.