Monday, 16 July 2018

An anniversary and a trip

July 2nd was my 35th wedding anniversary. Both John and I completely forgot about it until the following weekend when we realised we'd missed it. For our anniversaries we try to either have a nice meal out somewhere special or go away on a short trip. We decided a short trip to Bath would be good as I wanted to go to an exhibition and it is due to finish at the end of the month. John managed to book a room for us at a lovely pub outside Bath and all that was left was to plan our trip. I spent the week trying to get myself up to date at work so I could go away with a clear conscience but that didn't happen however I didn't let it dampen my pleasure at all.

On Saturday morning we were up early to water the garden before heading out of London. Although we left early the day was very hot so it was nice that the air conditioning was working well in my car. We stopped once to buy coffee and treats but otherwise made the journey to Bath in one go. We headed to The American Museum in Britain which is based at Claverton Manor near Bath. I've been there several times before but this time I wanted to see the 1718 silk patchwork coverlet that was on display until 29th July. We decided that we needed some light refreshment before we started our visit, so we sat for a while on the terrace enjoying the view and planned our itinerary for the day.

Our first stop was the Folk Art area as this is where the 1718 coverlet was on display. The coverlet is the oldest known and date inscribed patchwork coverlet in Britain.It's on loan to the museum from The Quilter's Guild Collection. Being so old the coverlet is delicate and so protected by a layer of glass The date is inscribed on the block below the heart in the centre column. This photo was taken upside down as the date faces the other way.

The Coverlet is 67 in by 73 in and has 5 different sized finished blocks in it. The blocks range from 13 1/2 in square to 4 1/2 in square for the smallest. There are 182 blocks in all and there are 69 different designs.

The fabrics are still quite bright but originally they would have been a fabulous array of bright colours. As well as the date the inscription block also has the initials EH. I like the swan in this picture.

and the dog in this one. Can we enter this as the pet on the oldest British quilt for 'Pets on quilts' this year?

I've seen many of these blocks appear in BOM's since I started blogging.

I recently made some tulip blocks like the blocks here.

Below is a photo of an information sheet that was available. The picture was taken of the coverlet without the protective glass over it so no reflections.

Also in the same room was this quilt.

John and I spent ages wandering through the galleries, it was just so interesting. There were other pieces of fabric work around the museum

There were several quilt templates,

I really liked this beaded waistcoat, it must have taken quite a while to make.

The museum also has its own collection of quilts. They are a little difficult to take photos of because of the way they are displayed. This one was opposite a video screen and so there was a lot of reflection.

I really liked this one but I couldn't get near its label

The next one was a cartoon quilt with applique and embroidery

This one was whole cloth decorated with Candlewick embroidery.

This quilt with the red birds was beautiful but as other people were also looking at the quilts and moving the boards on which they were hung I had to content myself with this photo

I spent some time trying to work out how this pattern had been constructed. Once I read the label it became clear and I'll keep it in mind as a possible pattern in the future.

This quilt was delightfully bright and cheerful.

This crazy quilt was one of my favourites.

Here's some detail of the embroidery.

This one made good use of university pennants

My final picture is of a Grandmother's flower garden quilt

The museum also had an exhibition about the involvement of America in world War 1.

This was a small exhibition but most interesting. There was an area set up as a hospital ward and John and I really enjoyed playing the 'diagnose the patient's problem' game. We got them all right including trench foot and trench fever. As we finished this area we needed lunch in the cafe before moving on to Bath itself and our next visit.

I'll tell you about our afternoon and evening in a post tomorrow. I was at work today and once I got home Lucy and I went grocery shopping. I now need to wind down before going to bed.



  1. It's an amazing place to visit, we were there some years ago and just loved it. How amazing to see that incredible coverlet, I have seen pictures of it, but it must be a real thrill to see it on display.

  2. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! What beautiful quilts, thank you so much for sharing, the Crazy Quilt and Baltimore Album were my favorites but all of them were quite stunning. I was glad to hear you were able to get away for the weekend to celebrate.

  3. What lovely exhibit pieces and Happy Anniversary!