Thursday, 7 October 2010

Nana Barrow's Quilt and Some of her Crochet Too

You may remember that in this post I told you about how the Durham quilt made by my paternal grandmother sparked off my obsession love of Durham quilts. I was asked to post piccies of that first quilt,

So... it is:

Nana Barrow's Quilt

The whole quilt is in quite a fragile state now and is worn around the edges. It also has a small hole in it and on the other side of the quilt it has an old ink stain. This side of the quilt is in better condition, as you can see in the picture below the other side, once a vibrant green colour is now very, very faded.

what really amazes me with these quilts though is that those lovely rich swirling patterns on them are all hand  stitched. I have tried to give a close up of the hand stitching in the photo below.

Quite a while after acquiring the quilt I also acquired another of my Nana Barrow's handicrafts. My maiden aunt discovered that I liked to sometimes crochet and so she gave me a small velvet bag containing my Nana Barrow's unused balls of crochet cotton. In among the balls of cotton was the following pieces of crochet. I have to admit I am intrigued by these as no one seems to know when she made them, or for what purpose. Her youngest son did serve in the RAF just after the war, so we have speculated that she may have made these at that point in time. The pieces are fillet crochet and feature a bi-plane motif.

I have two of these triangular shaped pieces with the long sides measuring 34" and the short sides measuring 22"
There is this piece which is clearly unfinished at the top edge so only shows half a plane. This measures 23" at the bottom and 17" at the top.

This piece looks as if it is meant as a border for something, the plane motif is much smaller and less detailed than that in the above pieces. This piece has also been cut off just above where the border turns the corner so to speak. This piece measures 15" long and the border is 8" deep at the widest point.

This is another similar corner piece which again looks like a border, but this is not as deep as the one above, it being only 6 1/2" at the widest point. This piece is cut at both ends and is 23" in length.

Another piece of "border" - a straight piece this time but with both ends cut just beyond the picture. This is the same depth as the piece in the last picture and measures 23".

I wish I knew more about these pieces, why my Nana had crocheted them and what she had intended to do with them, but I suppose this is a mystery that cannot be solved.

I would love to do something with these pieces, incorporate them into something so that they can be put on show rather than just kept in a box as they have been now for at least the last 48 years since my Nana passed away. Unfortunately I have never been able to really think of anything that I could do with them, any suggestions would be most welcome.


  1. Wow, they're really beautiful and very unusual. I'm no crochet expert but I've never seen anything like that before. They look too precious to rework into anything, so could you perhaps just frame them?

  2. How beautiful. They definately deserve to be framed or even sewn to some clothing. Wouldn't the longer one make a nice collar on a black dress? xxx

  3. Wow, so much work has gone into the quilt and crochet, they are all so beautiful. I love how delicate the crochet looks, yet it has a plane on it that is quite masculine. I would definitely want to re-work them into something else or frame one or two of the best pieces. So pretty!

    I received your swap parcel today and just posted about it, everything is so gorgeous, thank you for be such a brilliant swap partner! :) x

  4. I agree with the other comments - framing those crochet pieces would look lovely. Love the quilt too - it's amazing to think that she did all that work BY HAND!


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