Monday, 24 June 2019

Have you heard of Bertha?

I stumbled across a pretty quilt recently, a reworked version of an old quilt. So-o-o- my latest project is to make Bertha Mitchell’s Cumbrian Triangles Quilt.
I'm using * Deb McGuire's free pattern, it's an interpretation of The Quilters' Guild Museum Collection Bertha Mitchell Cumbrian Triangles Quilt from 1899, which she's remade in British fabrics by UK fabric designers working today. 

* "The original quilt was made in Cumbria in 1899 by Bertha Mitchell. This is one of two quilts in the Guild Collection made by Bertha Mitchell for her sister Elizabeth's wedding in 1899. The two quilts were then passed on through the family to celebrate another three generations of marriage, until the quilt was donated to Collection in 2005. What interesting lives these quilts have lived?
Bertha Mitchell was a seamstress who worked at Keswick Boarding school, sewing repairs to clothing. She married late in life to a widowed brother-in-law." 

The original quilt {on the L)hand side of the above pic} is indeed perfectly imperfect, but I'm aiming for slightly more of a regular grid. 
It's a scrap friendly quilt, charmingly wonky, in a pretty colour palette of pinks, red, and blues. The simple HST layout works easily if there's a good contrast between the lights and darks. Along with a healthy dose of plaids, I'm also adding in a few solids, always good for contrast, and one random large floral print {which may or maynot work, we shall see}.

I have played with HST's lots of times, see back here to a quilt I made in March 2015, with a scattered value layout just like this one. Only that quilt was real scrappy colourwise, and this one's using more of a controlled palette, but both do require focusing on the lights & darks, and not the pretty fabrics.

Yayee, that's all the prep work done, onto making a zillion more HST's now

* The photo & info about Bertha from Deb's quilt pattern have been reposted with permission.The original permissions for the photographs are from The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection. You can see Bertha's quilt and over 7,000 other items from British quilting past and present in The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles collection if you follow this link here -

* And you can find Deb here on ig or over at Deb from plainstitch - her post here about the Bertha Mitchell Quilt is such an interesting read.

Until next time, Linda


  1. Your fabric pull for your version of the Bertha quilt will work well. If that vintage quilt could talk I wonder of the tales it would tell?

  2. Oh, I love the fabrics you've chosen Linda! The ginghams, the florals and the pretty pink cross fabric! You are on to a winner here!

  3. I like the fabrics you’ve chosen - brighter than the originals but not glaring. And a few shades off. This will be fun to see as you progress. I love these random HST quilts but my attempts never work out as well.

  4. This is marvelous - I've gone to Deb's website and read her post - DELIGHTFUL. Looking forward to your version and perhaps one of my own using my large stash of plaids and florals.

  5. Another lovely project... you've got a great mix of fabrics. I'm looking forward to seeing how yours comes together... the original and Deb's version are just wonderful.

  6. This looks interesting and still very you with it's scrappiness. I don't envy you the making of all those HST.

  7. I'm looking forward to seeing this one grow Linda.

  8. I like the random abstract look, very comforting. I'm piecing a HST quilt using Yankee Puzzle for the block.
    HSTs are versatile. Nice work with contrast and piecing.

  9. I love the fabrics you have picked out to make this quilt.

  10. Ooh, love this quilt! I've looked at it over and over and wondered about making it! Your fabrics are great. This is going to be a fun one.:)

  11. Love those colors it's going to look great!

  12. The original quilt is a beauty so I'm looking forward to seeing how your version evolves. You are off to a good start.


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