The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum has a comprehensive collection of patchwork and quilted bedcovers, dating from 1790 to the mid-1990s. This definitive collection of Irish quilts includes examples of all the main patchwork techniques and styles, from the elaborate chintz appliques of the early nineteenth century to a significant representation of utility quilts 1900- 1950 made from shirt and dress remnants.
Mosaic or 'template' patchwork was among the needlework skills taught in the National Schools in Ireland from the 1840s onwards, and the results of this tution may be seen today in surviving sample books.
The exhibit buildings of the open-air museum at Cultra display quilts, all year round, in the context in which they would have been made and used. Visitor guides, in period costume, interpret quilting traditions through regular demonstrations, based on the textile collection.
Below you can see a sample of quilts held by the museum, click on the images to enlarge:
Pictured left is a mosaic-pieced patchwork quilt of wool fabrics. Made by Mrs Elizabeth Magill of Belfast c. 1930.
Pictured below, a mosaic-pieced quilt of shirt fabric offcuts. Made in the mid 1920s by Mrs Lily Hawkins of Londonderry.
Pictured left you can see a log cabin bedcover made by Mrs Jane Bleakney of Aghorey, Co Armagh c. 1900. Shown here on a bed in the open air museum at Cultra.
To the right is a handsewn mosaic-pieced patchwork of velvet dress fabrics, made by Miss Annie Millar c.1890.
Pictured left is Miss Annie Millar of Gracefield, Co Londonderry, picture with her sister Sarah, c 1900.
Below is a log cabin quilt, machine pieced patchwork of wools. Made from the offcuts at Armstrong’s tailors, Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh in the 1930's.
Pictured left is a visitor guide at the The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, in period costume, demonstrating patchwork 1900s style, in the Dressmakers house at Cultra.
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