Monday, 23 June 2014

York Quilt Museum - snickelways and gin

I found I had the day off granddaughter duties today and on the
spur of the moment, I decided to go to York to the Quilt Museum.
Some pics of York's old buildings to set the scene ~

The famous 'Shambles' which back in the day were all butchers shops.
York is well known for it's 'snickelways' like this below,

In fact those of you overseas might find this site interesting and throw some light on snickelways and ginnels too!
If you google York England and snickelways you will find a host of smashing pictures of these nooks and crannies.
Anyway back to the Quilt Museum : )

My hope was to have seen the original Godstone Grannies hexi quilt which Karen is currently making her own version of.
But they have a rolling series of displays and the Godstone was in storage, so I am arranging with Heather the Curator,
to go back and see it and she tells me I can take photos of it then!

That's smashing because no one can take pictures in the display room itself so although I saw some fascinating quilts today,
I have no photos of them to show you in situ : (
Interesting original 'bosses' I think they are called though on the stairs outside the display room lol

Running until August 30th is a display that cleverly displays
quilts of the appropriate original period, with costumes from
Downton Abbey (2010), The Portrait of a Lady ( Isabelle Archer) ,
Jane Eyre ( 2011), Elisabeth Bennet (1995)and Georgina Cavendish ( The Duchess 2008).

In other words, original quilts are shown, that would have been in use from those late Georgian to the Edwardian periods, which was an interesting way for me to understand what was fashionable when,
 and what fabrics were used at that time.
I found it interesting to see how many had both dress and upholstery fabrics in them too!
I guess drapers would sell a mixture in the bags of fabric scraps that they sold and those bags were much sought after obviously.
Not much alters lol we all value others' scraps!

The Dowager Countess
This particular costume was on display for example

Interesting to note that the Lady Dowager was in half morning at this stage in the series, for those that had died in The Titanic disaster.
Once the initial period of mourning was over, it was acceptable to allow other colours into the wardrobe, purple, lilac and grey were most acceptable.
I don't recall understanding that when I first watched the programme.

Alongside this costume was the most sumptuously quilted gold satin quilt from the 1930-40s, maker unknown. It had been quilted on a Cornely machine and it had the most beautiful stitching.
The Quilt Museum display catalogue says this -
"The machine has a hook and a circular foot which is guided by the operator into the desired design."
Nothing was drawn onto the fabric and machinists trained for a long time to achieve their stunning skills.
The stitching is a chain stitch rather than a machine sewn stitch.
You can still buy these machines!

but at a price!

Take the time to look at this and hover over the quilting! Sadly it doesn't show you the attractive and unusual chain stitching the machine produced though.

I was nothing short of gobsmacked by a crazy patchwork 1877 coverlet which was completely overstitched with embroidery and I mean completely!
It was nothing short of amazing - see link below

There were quite a few vintage hexi quilts there, most were 3/4" or 1" hexis ,made of either silk and/or cotton dress fabrics but I particularly liked the way one had incorporated the surrounding hexi flowers, into the outside of a central pathway of sorts.
I can't explain it properly so nip over and look!

Mary Anne you may be interested in this vintage Huswife!
Made in teeny tiny diamond hexis - mind boggling! and I loved the needle holder bits at the bottom!

I popped into the fabulous button shop 'Duttons'

and that's just one wall!

On the way home I cruised country lanes so I could collect some ( hopefully lead free!) elderflowers to steep in gin ~
Hogweed shapes are on my wallpaper at home -  its a great shape for design : )

Then I called into the Waitrose supermarket on my home, to buy some cheap gin for the infusion and some not so cheap for me to drink now lol
Well Who Knew there were so many gins to choose from, and that Id never heard of before!
All those different brands!
I bought 'OPIHR' to drink now, which is infused with oriental botanicals ( and tastes very nice too I assure you) and was in a lovely bottle ~


~ but am pretty sure that one above, Gin Mare,
is going to be my next purchase lol
My Yorkshire granma used to say you were a 'mare' if you were contrary!
Oh ......  and not an 'offending' tattoo in sight today : )


  1. Oh dear, I hope the photo of the white flower is not what you think an elderflower is! That looks very like hogweed or one of the Umbellifer family. Elderflowers grow on trees.
    I've been wanting to go to the Quilt Museum for ages but it is just too far from south Wales for a day trip. I used to go to York with my parents though and think it is a magical place. Love the photos.

  2. I am hoping to get to York soon!

  3. Yes, definitely not elderflowers :( Hope you found some. xx

  4. Thank you so much for arrangeing to take pictures of the Godstone Grannies coverlet! I can't wait to see them! York is beautiful and I love all the detailed woodwork on the buildings. The workmanship is absolutely amazing! And I want to go to Duttons. It looks like a place where I could spend a lot of time and a lot of money!

  5. oooooh. So much to look at and drool over in this post! How I wish I could see that crazy quilt in person and the huswife/hussif too. And a stop at the button shop - my idea of heaven!

  6. Remember visiting England so many years ago and thinking how beautifully preserved the heritage is, not like here!