The quilt is beautifully stitched and has lots of wonderful stitched clues to its origin. Here it is, with Adrian, the caretaker, very kindly giving some scale!
Further investigation revealed clues to its origin. Luckily, I had no problem dating it!
There is some damage, as it's obviously not been stored well, but the stitching is wonderful.
The colours are still quite vibrant in places.
Alongside all the flowers, birds and insects, there are more wonderful images.
A clue! This is the coat of arms of Kendal, in Cumbria
There are several naval emblems, and anchors, and this seems to be a British naval Petty Officer's insignia.
Plus there are these school emblems,
and household objects like this kettle.
So I have a date, a place, and some information about the family of the creator of this quilt!
I hope to find out where the local people got it from, and I'm going to contact the Quilters Guild, the American Museum and possibly the V&A to find out how it might be assessed. I also wondered about contacting quilting groups in Keswick , just in case?
If anyone's got ideas or experience in historic textiles, or knows someone who has, I'd be so grateful to hear from you.
This was such a thrilling find, and a great piece of social history. x