Monday, 30 June 2014

Cigar quilts and Whirligigs- the American Museum in Britain - Part 1

Highlights from my recent visit to the American Museum in Britain, Bath. 

Housed in Claverton Manor on the outskirts of Georgian Bath, The Museum explores the history of America from the early settlers to the 20th century through its decorative arts and crafts. The journey takes you through a series of period rooms and also showcases an amazing collection of American folk art.

It is the only Museum of Americana outside of the U.S.A and is a wonderful insight into the common history and heritage shared between Britain and America.

Here are some highlights.

The Museum and grounds with a sculpture of Lincoln's head

The period rooms are reconstructions of known houses, some still standing.

Keeping Room, 17th century Puritan colonial living room

Deming Parlour c. 1760. Connecticut.

Stencilled Bedroom c. 1830

Conkey's Tavern,  a typical 18th century drinking place, often hotbeds of revolutionary discussions, reproduced in the Museum. 

And over the fireplace here, what was once the door lintel,

Shaker Room, 19th century

Pennsylvania German Room 1750-1830

And some miscellaneous arts and crafts,

Clockwise: Martha Washington doll, Black Dolls, quilting templates,
 corn dollies and whirligigs

Charlotte Club sampler 1813
Little schoolhouse quilt 1875-99

And a taster from the Folk Art Collection which I'll cover in Part 2: a quilt made from cigar ribbons and beautifully embroidered with feather stitch.

Cigar quilt

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Orange Peel Quilt finish and a trip

I'm putting a touch of tennis elbow down to all the starch & freezer paper pressing and several hours of hand applique to stitch this scrappy quilt top. Well worth it, though: I am very pleased with the result - just need to layer it up now ready to quilt.

The pattern is by Kathleen Tracy and finishes at 37" x 37".

Meanwhile, DH and I enjoyed a few days away a couple of weeks ago at Barnard Castle, home to Richard III. On the way we stopped off at Dalemain House near Penrith in Cumbria. An unexpectedly quirky mix of architectural styles, the house is really interesting. But the gardens are delightful.  Famous for the blue poppy grown there in abundance, it is a true plantsman's haven. It was a bit too early for the blue poppy display - only one was in bloom.

The gardens at Dalemain
And an old barn held an astonishing collection of old agricultural and farming implements.Imagine doing your washing with these!

A washtub, a washing machine and a mangle

Our trip was to celebrate our birthdays both of which fall in May and our wedding anniversary.
I made this bookmark  for DH as a little anniversary gift,

Enjoy some slow stitching!