Although Strippy quilts are quite a usual design in the North of England this one is a little bit different. Instead of the more often seen quilting designs which follow the strips of the quilt e.g. twists, plaits and chains this particular quilt has an allover design which takes no notice of the strips and even more unusually it is quilted in the type of pattern seen in Allendale and Weardale.
In the centre is a rose motif surrounded by flatirons which are infilled with a rose and scroll and then topped with shells. In between the flatirons are a feathered sheaves variation topped with ‘leaf trails’. The corners are also very intricate with every space being filled with curly-cues and very elegant multilined waves going out to form the border patterns.
The strips have been machined together as have the edges and the fabrics are a lightweight pink cotton and a white cotton twill which has also been used as the backing. This still has evidence of faint blue pencil lines marking the quilting patterns which points to it being a ‘stamped’ quilt marked out by a professional quilt designer possibly in Allendale. Quilt tops could be sent to these designers to be marked out or it was possible to buy the tops already marked. The fact that this quilt has the blue lines on the backing shows that it was quilted from the ‘back’.
The quilt belonged to a Mary Blackett who lived in County Durham and was always known in her family as ‘the Wedding Quilt’ but not her wedding. It was thought that it was made by either the Tarns or Bainbridges.