If you’ve been following me on Facebook you will have seen that I have been working on Netherfield. I still am, but only doing the hand sewing of the binding and tidying up the loose threads.

I started Netherfield quite a while ago and designed it even longer ago. My thing is to find antique quilts online, redesign them and then bring them up to date with modern quilting. I found a rather poor picture of a regency stripe like quilt and as soon as I saw it I knew that I had to do it. There was no attribution to the photo but you could tell that it was really old.

Regency stripe - web 

I’ve been asked before about copyright on old quilts. I have undertaken considerable research on this and have been reliably informed that quilt blocks older than 95 years are considered to be in the public domain and as such are free from copyright. As the vast majority of my reworked quilts are much older than that I don’t have any concerns about copyright.

However, having said that I don’t slavishly copy old quilts but redesign them incorporating other features from other antique quilts, add borders, change the colours etc. Each change makes the quilt different from the original.

I did follow the original design for Netherfield closer than I usually do but that was because it was such a good design. I did however change the type of bloom and the stripe panels and removed two of the striped panels choosing to make the binding a small border by using what I call a peeper border next to the binding.

Netherfield - web

I have to say that I am delighted with the way it has turned out. I used a background quilting design I’ve not used before – I’m not sure if it has a name but I have called it “free form Baptist fan”. It’s a tiled design where it appears stacked and each fan is about 2 inches across. Its perfect for quilting this background fabric as there was a motif that I didn’t want to hide in dense quilting. There is a bee and it appears to buzz about the rose vine.

Netherfield quilting and bee - web

When I was close to finishing the construction of the quilt completely by accident a quilting friend found an image of the old quilt included in a mural at the La Grange Quilt Museum in Texas. I have checked their website and can’t see the quilt hanging in the museum so don’t know if it is actually in their collection. I plan to contact them and find out and show them my version of it. As I said, the original image I had was a poor image and had no attribution so had no clue as to find out where it originally came from or where it is now. I still don’t!

This is the fifth quilt in my regency series and I need to take photos of them all and upload them to the gallery on my website. I shall be doing this when we have a bright day and then the colours in the quilts are better than when photographed in artificial light. I hang them in my studio and photograph them against the plain white wall.

Photographing them outside is fraught with difficulties – the sun if bright enough will take the colour out of the quilts and the wind will move them as you photograph them. The studio has light wells and is filled with natural light but not from any particular direction so is perfect for photographing quilts and also for working on them

When I make quilts I don’t normally have a particular position that I plan to hang them. Sometimes they are written up and are taken straight to a quilt store and displayed there. That’s exactly what happened to Prairie Rose. I finished it, wrote it up, made pattern packs and it hung for two years in Mill Rose Cottage Quilt Shop and Gallery! I did finally get it home and it now hangs behind the dining table and looks rather gorgeous.

Netherfield, however, was designed to hang behind our grand piano. On top of the piano is a piano shawl quilt, Nocturne in Black Number 1 and the rose design on that quilt is the same as the rose on Netherfield. We have quite a few regency antiques both in that room and throughout the house so the regency stripe design will work very well there. I will take a photo of it when its hung in place but that might not be immediately as it will require Marcus to put up some hooks and getting my dearly beloved to do DIY is not easy!

I am now going to loose friends and if I don’t loose you as a friend I am going to make you mighty sick! I’m one of those dreadful quilters that finishes projects – I don’t have any UFOs.

Okay, I fib a bit, there’s a half inch hexie quilt that has stalled but it is just stalled, I know what I have to do and I do plan to do it as the quilt is going to be a competition quilt so I have to do what I have to do really well so I need to practice first. There is also a heraldry quilt which again is stalled, I know what I need to do to finish it and I have the quilting designs drawn up, I’m just daunted by the sheer size of the quilt and don’t want to upset my back by wrestling with a large quilt. It will get finished but I’m not quite sure when. But it is only stalled, not unfinished!

My next quilt is again an antique quilt that I have redesigned. It originated in Pennsylvania and is of a rose tree.

Windblown rosetree quilt

I have a particular interest in four block red and green quilts and this is exactly that. I have been doing four block quilts for a while now and love to see the secondary patterns appear, something that frequently happens in pieced quilts but not often in appliqué quilts as each block is often different and not a repeating pattern. This quilt doesn’t have a secondary pattern but it is particularly graphic in its repetition. I think this will be a fun quilt to do. I spent the afternoon choosing fabrics and will get started on this quilt as soon as I can.

Pennsylvania Rose Tree Quilt - web

While finishing Netherfield I had to decide on a name for the new quilt and after a little research have decided to call it General Jacqueminot. I am yet to find out who he was but he gave his name to a hybrid perpetual rose. It was in fact the first long stemmed red rose and is particularly fragrant. It was first released in 1858 and as a result would have been available during the Civil War. It is still available today for those that are interested in collecting old fashioned roses. I actually have three hybrid perpetual roses in my garden but not General Jac. Now I have a quilt called General Jac I might have to track down a General Jac rose bush to put in the garden.


(Photo by the_bustopher)