The 1718 Quilt


Since the end of last year I have been working on making a replica quilt based on the 1718 Coverlet.

This amazing quilt is one of the most precious in the Quilters Guild of the British Isles Collection. It is  one of the oldest, dated patchwork pieces ( The date 1718 an initial EH are just below the top central heart block) and is a sampler quilt made in silk in the Jacobean period of British history. It is it’s 300 year birthday this year and will be on display through the spring at the American Museum in Bath and then at the Festival of Quilts in August. As it’s so precious it’s a big deal to even get to see it as it needs specialist care to keep it intact as its age renders it so fragile.


copyright The Quilters Guild Collection.

I needed an absorbing project and have always admired this quilt, fascinated by the motifs within it, so old but so modern looking? I had played with motifs from this quilt before in my Medallion Quilt, but the whole thing was a rather larger undertaking!


Inspired by a colour palette from a bundle of Dollhouse fabric by Amy Sinibaldi from @prettyfabricsandtrims I raided my stash for soft greys pinks and mustard yellows. Armed with the fantastic book by Susan Briscoe I started appliqueing. It was completely addictive and I loved it. I changed up the animal motifs to add in my own pets and the animals I see around me. Mindful of the hunt for the maker EH and the lack of clues I was suddenly seized with the idea that I had to leave clues! I added a red kite, so characteristic of the Chiltern Hills where I live.

The quiet comfort of stitching little 4″ blocks made the scale of the quilt pass quickly and i’ve just made up the quilt top and am wondering how to quilt it. The original is a coverlet with the papers still within, but I plan to hand quilt mine.