I have always had a passion for the stories behind the quilts as much as for the quilts themselves.  When you handle old textiles there is a wonderful feeling of connection to the people who worked them.  Who made this?  Where did it come from?

Often there are no clues except for the quilt or textile item itself. By reading; by studying old textiles; and by taking advantage of time spent with the very knowledgeable members of the British Quilt Study Group I am building my own understanding and knowledge of quilt history.  I have so much still to learn, but what fun it is spending time with those who do know and touching quilts which connect me directly to the lives of many unknown women.

Before the very first LLQS, Patricia Macindoe and I spent some discovery days in West Dunbartonshire’s Libraries.  It was, at times a heart breaking experience.  Our hopes were so high -  maybe, just maybe we would find locally made quilts with Turkey Red* fabrics in them.  “We use granny’s quilts for the dog”  “When my mother died we threw them out” and “They were very old fashioned so we didn’t think anyone would be interested”…..were amongst the comments we heard.  No value had been placed on the quilts so no one thought they were important.  There is a happy ending to this story.    We found two Turkey red log cabins that were shown at the Loch Lomond Quilt Show and one family brought in an Irish quilt that is now part of the Beamish Collection.

And now the passion, the learning and the searching go on…

Published article: Turkey Red by Ruth Higham. Click here for pdf.

Turkey Red
Turkey Red Log Cabin
Turkey Red Label
Log Cabin

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