Talking of successes, the wonderful Quilt Museum in York seems to go from strength to strength. It has a fabulous collection of coverlets and quilts now and you can enjoy them on-line from the comfort of your chair if you are not able to visit. Not only can you obtain a larger image by clicking on the thumbnail of your choosing, but there is also a close-up detail facility. Each coverlet has a comprehensive description which we quote here. The 1718 silk patchwork coverlet above is one of the earliest known dated patchworks, and is constructed in the mosaic patchwork tradition of piecing over papers. The initials 'E.H' and the date '1718' can be found in a central block, and the rest of the blocks contain geometric designs or representative motifs that include people, flowers, hearts, pheasants, deer, cats, swans, and a lion and a unicorn. The coverlet was in the possession of the Brown family of Aldbourne, Wiltshire prior to purchase by The Guild in 2000, but unfortunately no details about the maker, 'E.H' have been discovered.
The coverlet above is by an unknown hand and was made in the last quarter of the 19th century. It combines strips of roller printed dress cottons, which would have been relatively cheap and low status by the time this coverlet was made. These printed fabrics are combined with striking and unusual borders of Turkey Red coloured fabric containing white hearts arranged in twos and fours, and the centre diamond contains crosses which have a religious significance. The combination of hearts and crosses is quite an unusual design. The heart shape has become an iconic symbol to represent love, romance and emotion, and in ancient times was considered to symbolise the centre of a person’s soul.
This wool uniform coverlet of 1860 - 1880 is made from squares of military uniform wool arranged in blocks surrounding a central circular medallion and smaller circles within squares. The coverlet is backed by tartan fabric and has a blue wool fringe around the edge. To see and study the many, many others in the collection, just click here.