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quilting-msg – 1/21/08


Quilting in period.


NOTE: See also the files: Hist-of-Quilt-art, applique-msg, embroidery-msg, sewing-msg, weaving-msg, linen-msg, tapestries-msg, beds-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: EPSTEIN at ksuvm.ksu.EDU (Emily Epstein)

Date: 3 Mar 91 16:40:00 GMT


Greetings unto the Fishers of the Rialto from Alix Mont de fer.


While I claim no great expertise in the subject, I attended a series of

quilting classes in the Crown Province of Ostgardr some years ago, taught by

the Vicereine Katherine. As I recall, the main points she made were:

1) Quilting is period.

2) The geometric and pictorial patchwork and applique quilting we see at state

   fairs began in America and crossed the Atlantic back to Europe well after


3) Crazy quilts were popular in period.

4) The most common quilt design was a single ground color, with the design

   formed by the quilting itself, worked in different colored threads. (I did

   a pillow cover like this for the class-- it's a very pretty effect)

   Apparently the legend of Tristan and Yseult was a popular theme for

   quilts of this sort. (Appropriate theme for a bedspread, no?)

If I've misstated anything, the fault is with my memory, and I apologise.

Her Excellency had some wonderful books on quilting, but I'm distressed to

say that I've lost my notes with the bibliography. If anyone from Ostgardr

could get a list of the relevant books from her and post it on the Rialto

(along with any comments she'd care to make), I'd be most grateful.

In service,


Alix Mont de fer          |=======|

    (Emily Epstein)       |* * * *|

Shire of Spinning Winds    XXXXXXX

    (Manhattan, KS)         VVVVV


epstein at ksuvm.ksu.edu         |





From: Caitlin.Nic.Raighne at f350.n280.z1.fidonet.org (Caitlin Nic Raighne)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Quilting

Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1993 21:55:00 -0500


jj> Many years back at a UWEKAT (Univ. of Western East Kingdom at Thescorre)

jj> I attended a class suggesting some period possibilities for quilting.

jj> Never saw any definitive documentation but maybe you could

jj> follow it up.


I don't know what sources your class used but I have been researching quilting

pre-1600 for a little over a year.  I am very close to having a research paper

ready for the upcoming A&S competition here in Calontir next February.  It is

approximately 60 pages.  It just broadly touches a lot of the information.

I'm seriously considering  using it as a jumping off point for a book. I have

so many sources I can't get hold of because the books are out of print or in

libraries out of state (groan).  Our local library really freaks at ILL out of

state unless I can do all the work on finding where the books are located.

Any body interested in telling me whether they have some of the books I need

in their local/ University library?    I don't have e-mail capability so if

you are interested let me know and I'll snail the list to you.  The closer I

can get to Kansas obviously the cheaper it will be for me to ILL them.  Thanks

in advance.


Beannachd leibh,

Caitlin nic Raighne



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: tnez3 at isuvax.iastate.edu (april ammons)

Subject: Re: Quilting

Organization: Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1993 14:41:17 GMT


I have also recently looked at a book titled "Embroiders" by Kay Staniland that shows photos of both applique and trapunto quilts from period.


Fiammetta Attavanti



From: pp003060 at interramp.com (Laurie Brandt)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Quilting?

Date: Wed, 12 Apr 1995 12:33:17 -0500

Organization: the Polyhedron Group


dahense at aol.com (DAHense) wrote:

> >Could you share your info on period quilting? Is there a fee?


>Rosalyn MacGregor of Glen Orchy

> >Pattie Rayl of Cynnabar


> Pattie,Rosalyn,  I need your e-mail addresses.  I will give you what

> information I can via e-mail, and if you want the entire handout- it will

> cost me $3.25 to mail it first class.  That is what i would request from

> you.  


> I don't have a full-time job right now, or I wouldn't even ask for that.  


> Kateryn de Develyn (Calontir)


Add me to your list. There is an exapmle in Alcega Tailors Pattern book of

ca. 1589, a war  banner of taffeta done in nine patch with an applique.


Laurie E. W. Brandt|aka Her Ladyship, Pegasus Devona, A.o.A., G.d's.

5814 Gloucester Ln.|    Barony of Bryn Gwlad, Kingdom of Ansteorra

Austin, Tx 78723   |Gules, a pegasus rampent within a bourder argent.

                   |Society for Creative Anachronism Membership #04720



Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 08:33:41 -0400 (EDT)

From: Carol at Small Churl Books <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Welch embroidered coverletts]


>I am in the process of make a Welch Coverlett (quilt circa 1300 or

>so)for my recreationist society and need to know what subjects were

>embroidered on the quilt top.  I know that the coverletts were seldom

>pieced, because the Welch quliters took pride in being able to afford

>fine cloth for their works.  So large blocks of embroidey were used

>instid. Can any one help me?

>                             Lady Katherine Malvernen McGuire


The only quilt that I have seen pictures of is (I think) Italian 15th c.  It

has scenes from the story of Tristan and Isolde, with brief captions.  I

have been told that it was done in back stitch, not the usual running

quilting stitch.  The story was set up like a Sunday cartoon, but with more

blocks.  If you took scenes from King Arthur stories, drew them very simply,

and set them between barley sugar (like a braid of two rather than three) or

within arcades, I think you would have something very lovely.  (This is not

the Society for Compulsive Authenticity, but I like to do things reasonably

based on period sources.)


This, of course, is a quilt.  If you are thinking of colored embroidery on a

coverlet, I do not know of an example that would be helpful.  


There are wonderful huge hangings with animals, real and fictional, done in

pattern darning, and further ornamented with cross stitch designs on the

borders, done all over northern europe in the 14th and 15th century.  They

would be the right size.  I do not know if they were used other than on

hangings.  So many articles that got used did not survive, so a lot of our

extant pieces are less "practical", like church hangings.


Lady Carllein



Date: Fri, 30 May 1997 16:14:55 -0700

From: Lady Catherine Mcgire <lcatherinemc at hotmail.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Welch embroidered coverletts]


Carol at Small Churl Books wrote:

> >I am in the process of make a Welch Coverlett (quilt circa 1300 or

> >so)for my recreationist society and need to know what subjects were

> >embroidered on the quilt top.  I know that the coverletts were seldom

> >pieced, because the Welch quliters took pride in being able to afford

> >fine cloth for their works.  So large blocks of embroidey were used

> >instid. Can any one help me?

> >                             Lady Katherine Malvernen McGuire


> The only quilt that I have seen pictures of is (I think) Italian 15th c.  It

> has scenes from the story of Tristan and Isolde, with brief captions.  


     Thank you for you help, my Lady. The King Author theme sounds like

a good source.  I was thinking of using unicorns in various poses,

embroidered in dark blue wool on the quilt top, which is natural linen,

with dark blue thread running vertically through the weave.  The bottom

is of dark blue 100% wool flannel.  Then I was planning to stich the

quilt using back stich with a soft lavender color linen thread usin a

pattern of celtic designs I found in an article in "Threads" Oct/Nov.

1991 on Early Celtic quilts.  My other sources (for Morgan) were the

Encyclopedia Britannia Vol 18 published 1968, "Needle Work Through The

Ages"  Encyclopedia Britannica Supplment pub. 1949 "Historical Costume

for the Theather"  by Lucy Barton, and "Historical Quilts, The British

Iles"  (found in the reference section of the Public Liberary.)



Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 19:59:05 -0800

From: Chris Laning <claning at igc.apc.org>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Welsh embroidered coverlets [WAS: Welch embroidered...]


I forwarded this question to Heather Rose Jones (Mistress Tangwystyl verch

Morgant Glasvryn), who probably knows more about things Welsh than anyone

else in the SCA. Here are her comments; this may or may not be the kind of

information you were looking for.


>> >Subject: Welch embroidered coverletts

>> >

>> >I am in the process of make a Welch Coverlett (quilt circa 1300 or

>> >so)for my recreationist society and need to know what subjects were

>> >embroidered on the quilt top.  I know that the coverletts were seldom

>> >pieced, because the Welch quliters took pride in being able to afford

>> >fine cloth for their works.  So large blocks of embroidey were used

>> >instid. Can any one help me?

>> >                             Lady Katherine Malvernen McGuire


>The first thing to know is the details and context of where you got the

>information you already have.


>Coverlets certainly existed in medieval Wales. The Geiriadur Prifysgol

>Cymru gives 14th century examples of the use of the borrowed word

>"cwrlid" (coverlet) by poets such as Dafydd ap Gwilym ("Ac uwch dy

>ben, fedwen fau; Gaer loywdeg o gwrlidau" -- "and over your head,

>o May-birch; the bright fortress of a coverlet"; hey, Dafydd ap Gwilym

>isn't an _easy_ poet!) and Iolo Goch ("Cysgu ar blu neu bliant; A llennau,

>cylchedau, cant; Ymysg o gwrlidau mil;  A'r porffor drud o'r pwrffil."

>-- "Sleeping on feathers or _bliant_ [type of cloth]; and sheets, covers,

>a hundred; among a thousand coverlets; and the expensive purple of

>the hems.")


>The synonym "cylched" appearing in the second quote is significantly

>older, appearing as early as the 9th century as a gloss for Latin "velum"

>(sheet, among other things). The following uses appear up through the 14th

>century, but none of them makes any description of the coverlet being

>decorated in any fashion.


>13th c. "ygkylchet ym perued rwg deullin teyrned." (in a coverlet in the

>middle between the knees of princes -- I have _no_ idea what the context

>is here)

>13th c. "Athrychant gwely o eur ac aryant acheymeint arall o

>gylchedeu achlustogeu." (And three hundred beds of gold and silver, and

>sufficient otherwise of coverlets and pillows -- this is from a romance,

>so the "gold and silver beds" shouldn't be taken literally!)

>14th c. "pan gysco pawb ar gylchet ... Kynn bu vygkylchet croen gauyr

>galet" (when everyone would sleep on a coverlet ... though my coverlet was

>a hard goat's skin)


>I have never found any suggestion that physical evidence of such an item

>survives from the 14th century -- I'd be very interested to know if it

>does! On the other hand, I believe it is possible to find references from


>the 14-15th century of English embroidered bed furniture, and while most

>of the embroidery surviving from this period is ecclesiastic, a source

>such as Mrs. Christie's "English Medieval Embroidery" would be a good

>place to start for ideas about techniques and motifs. The book "Fashion in

>the Age of the Black Prince" by Stella Mary Newton (Boydell Press, 1980)

>contains a great many quotes from 14th century wardrobe accounts,

>describing the materials and motifs being used in embroidery on secular

>items. When I looked at the book, I was looking for references to clothing

>specifically, so I can't say whether there would be information on

>embroidered bed furniture specifically, but I wouldn't be surprised.


>The English court, however, is a bit of a far cry from Wales, particularly

>the average Welsh household (as opposed to the households of great Marcher

>lords). The question is how much extrapolation in what directions she's

>interested in doing.


>And, by the way, it's "Welsh" not "Welch". "Welch" is a brand of jelly.


Heather can be reached at <hrjones at uclink.berkeley.edu>.


(lady) Christian de Holacombe [SCA]


O   Chris Laning

|   <CLaning at igc.apc.org>

+    Davis, California



Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 20:09:03 -0800

From: Chris Laning <claning at igc.apc.org>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Early quilting (long) [WAS: Welsh embroidered coverlets]


Good gentles,


I did find the article on "Celtic quilts" that Lady Katherine mentions.

It's in _Threads_, Oct/Nov 1991. (Confusingly, it says "Celtic Quilts" on

the spine, but inside the magazine the article is titled "In the Nature of

a Curve," which makes it hard to find.)


The designs are certainly fine ones, and clearly derived from the many

surviving 19th-century whole-cloth quilts from Wales and the north of

England that have made this type of design famous. [1] The author, Martha

Waterman, is undoubtedly right too when she points out that "extraordinary

circular motifs have been left by practically every culture in the world."

And she points out (also correctly) that circular and spiral motifs are

found carved on standing stones throughout the "Celtic" area, most of which

seem to have been done in the Neolithic (New Stone Age) era.


To connect these 2500+-year-old designs with those in traditional

19th-century Welsh quilted coverlets, though, is kind of a big leap to

make. I don't think we can conclude from just this evidence alone that

anything similar was necessarily being made in the medieval period. From

what Kay Staniland of the British Museum says about early quilting in her

book _Embroiderers_ [2], it sounds rather as though no one knows much about

*what* designs were being quilted in the 12th to 15th centuries.


Basing motifs for a coverlet on the legend of Arthur certainly sounds to

*me* like exactly the kind of thing that might have been done by a medieval

stitcher. I have to admit, I'm a bit biased here, since I'm making a small,

pseudo-14th century quilted piece of my own right now. But for myself, I

try to keep in mind that I'm stretching things a bit beyond what we

actually have evidence for, and that my guess as to what a medieval person

might have done could be *way* off. Medieval people did some extremely

weird things by our standards.


Also, something labeled a "coverlet" doesn't necessarily *have* to be

quilted. An embroidered coverlet could just be a decorative bed cover,

perhaps with a backing attached so the back of the embroidery doesn't show,

but not necessarily with anything between. The 14th century quilt Lady

Carllein refers to (the "Tristan Quilt" or "Guicciardini Quilt") only has

cotton stuffed into the design areas; the background is simply the front

and back layers of linen stitched together. Even as late as the 18th

century you find from Southern plantations (U.S.A.) bed covers of

embroidery or applique that simply have a loose backing and are not quilted

or stuffed.


At any rate, an embroidered coverlet sounds like a fine project! I'm a

little envious of your good materials. They must have been a "find"!


*              *              *              *             *


[1] Martha Waterman also says that there is no book on making Welsh quilts.

There isn't one in print as far as I know, but I have a copy of _Quilting:

Traditional Methods and Design_ by Mavis FitzRandolph and Florence M.

Fletcher, Dryad Press, Leicester [England], 3rd revised edition, 1968 (no

ISBN#). The bibliography cites _English Quilting Old and New_ by Elizabeth

Hake, Batsford, 1937; _Traditional Quilting_ by Mavis FitzRandolph,

Batsford, 1954; and _Notes on Quilting_, published by the Victoria and

Albert Museum, H.M. Stationery Office, 1949. These would all be very

difficult to find, and also books of this vintage tend to be more than a

little vague about *when* things were done, usually just saying, "In old

times . . ." by which they can mean anything from 1066 to 1914.


[2] _Embroiderers_ in the "Medieval Craftsmen" series; North American

edition from the University of Toronto Press,  1991; ISBN# 0-8020-6915-0.

This is, IMHO, the best inexpensive source on the history of embroidery

I've ever seen. *And* it's still in print, *and* it has color pictures,

*and* you can find it for under $25. Kay Staniland certainly gives more

information than *I* had ever seen all in one place before.


Here's what she says on quilting (p.38-40)





  Surviving examples of medieval quilting are exceptionally rare. Raw wool or

  cotton sandwiched between two pieces of linen had long been used in the

  creation of protective doublets for wear under chain mail or plate armour.

  Some stitching was used to keep all layers in place, either vertical or

  diagonal cross-hatching, and this is frequently indicated in tomb effigies

  and manuscript illuminations. Garments of this kind were the responsibility

  of the tailors and linen armourers in major western cities like Paris and

  London from the thirteenth century at least.


  The practice possibly originated in the Near East or India but it is not known

  when more decorative and elaborate quilting came into use in Europe. The

  mastery of the technique evident in the large Tristan quilt worked in Sicily

  at the end of the fourteenth century suggests several centuries of evolution.


  Only small amounts of cotton wool were used in the Tristan quilt, in the

  "stuffed quilting' technique where the cotton wool was introduced at the

  back of the work after the decorative stitching had been carried out. The

  ground of the work between the motifs was worked with close rows of running

  stitches in white linen thread, whilst the outlines of the figures, ships and

  buildings were worked in back-stitch in a brownish thread.


  A large fragment of a German coverlet of the fifteenth century is made of a

  much coarser linen worked firmly in back-stitch with stylised animal motifs

  within octagonal compartments formed by corded quilting, a method whereby

  a cord of plied cotton thread was introduced after the parallel rows of back-

  stitches had been worked. This is a very early example of the technique and an

  equally interesting example of the combination of stuffed and corded  



_Embroiderers_ has several photos of the Tristan quilt and one of the later

quilt mentioned (which looks rather clumsy by comparison -- the earlier one

is quite elegant!). A caption notes that half of the Tristan quilt is in

the Victoria and Albert Museum -- that's the half you usually see pictured

-- and the other half is in the Museo Nazionale, Florence. If anyone has a

literature reference for the Florence half, I'd be interested in hearing

about it.



(lady) Christian de Holacombe


O   Chris Laning

|   <CLaning at igc.apc.org>

+    Davis, California



Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 10:37:29 -0500

From: Debra Hense <debh at microware.com>

To: "'sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu'" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: RE: Welsh Embroidered Coverletts - long response


In all my researching of quilting in SCA period, I have not found anywhere

where the quilt was directly embroidered upon, until the late 16th century

with the Portuguese or India quilts.  In the 14th and 15th centuries,

elaborate, colorful embroidered designs were found on some quilts in

england.  But the embroideries were always done on a separate piece of

cloth and then applicaqueed to the quilt, with the backstitch or quilt

running stitch done around the designs.


In Japanese Quilts  there is a picture of a quilted carpet found on the

Koslow expedition, which dates back to the second century, showing figures

of animals and spirals. The animal figures are an applique using the

backstitch to sew through multiple layers of cloth and padding to show the

different types of animal fur. The backstitch here is obviously an

intricate part of the overall pattern, being used not only to define the

figure, but to differentiate the different fur types and contours of the

animals. The outlines of the limbs and the animals themselves is emphasized

by the usage of cording. The colors of the threads on the different figures

corresponds to the underlying cloth, of which different colors were used to

outline the figure's different limbs.

The backstitch was more than mere decoration, it was also part of the

stitching which held together the multiple layers of the quilt.


Even in the 14th C. with the very famous Tristram quilts (of which there

are three - One in the Victoria & Albert Museum, one in an Italian Musuem,

and one in a private collection.), there is very little evidence to show

embroidery done directly onto the quilt material itself. While the

principal figures are outlined (using the backstitch as the quilting stitch

also) in a brown thread, the lesser figures and words are outlined (using

the backstitch as the quilting stitch also) in a lighter colored thread,

and the back ground is quilted in the running stitch in a thread that was

the same color as the quilt ground.  The Tristram quilt in the V&A shows

clearly in photos (that I have from the V&A collection) that it was done in

three major strips - the center, and the two side or end pieces. With the

pieces joined and then the joining covered by the scene divider quilting of

either the vines or the clover motifs.


Not until the latter part of the 16th century do we see quilts with

embroidery done directly upon them.  These quilts came to us from India via

Portugal.  These colchas, use red and blue silk threads to define the

patterns on the coverlet. The backstitch is used in combination with the

chain stitch, french-knot, and daisy stitch. The pattern is entirely

embroidered onto the top layer of fabric. The background stipple stitching,

using a thread which matches the underlying fabric, is the stitch used to

anchor the top, middle, and bottom layers of the quilt together. Several of

these quilts and the thread colors used are clearly shown in Portugal and

the East through Embroidery.


My recommendations:


For a 13th century Welsh quilt - no elaborate patterns were used yet. As

far as I have been able to trace quilting patterns, the elaborate,

intricate quilting patterns didn't make their way into the north until well

into the 14th century. Take the patterns you see in British Quilts for the

Welsh and North country and simply them greatly.


In the 14th C, it was the cording which was used on the bed-hangings to

keep the drafts out. I've looked at a lot paintings from every country for

the entire period that the SCA covers.  Even in the paintings, the covers

shown on the beds are usually plain.  Not until very late in period do they

begin to show embroideries on them. And those are known to be appliqued to

the coverlet and the matching bed-hangings.


If you're going to make a quilt - better to make it a whole cloth quilt

with no embroideries for earlier period. Mid-period to late period - use

appliqued embroideries. Late period - you can embroider elaborate scenes

and use colored threads. But you still can't use the satin stitch or other

ground covering/hiding stitches.  To use those stitches, you must wait

until the late 19th or early 20th century.


Liddle, Jill and Watanabe, Yuko

Japanese Quilts

E.P. Dutton NY 1988

ISBN: 0-525-48386-1


Museum National de Arte Aniga, Lisbon

Portugal and the East through Embroidery

Eastern Press, Inc. New Haven, CT 1981

ISBN: 0-88397-038-4


Harding, Valerie

Faces and Figures in Embroidery

Branford Company, Newton Centre MASS. 1979

ISBN: 0-8231-4257-4

(contains a closeup scene from the Tristram quilt that shows the actual



One of the best books to read on historical quilting - is Quilting by

Averil Colby.  Sorry I don't have the rest of the details for you at this

moment. This lady really knew her stuff! With photos and personal

examination of what she is talking about to back her words up.


Kateryn de Develyn

writing this 29th day of July from the Barony of Coeur d'Ennui in the

Kingdom of Calontir


debh at microware.com



Date: Fri, 30 May 1997 21:58:41 -0700

From: Lady Catherine Mcgire <lcatherinemc at hotmail.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: quilting


     Thank you all for the offered help and information. As usual there

is a wide difference of opinion as to what is "period".  I down loaded

and printed out your responses, took them to the University Libarary for

a consultation with the Historical Libararian.  She in turn called in

the Fine Art's Libarian and they put thrir heads togather. The upshot

of this conference was that they then placed a call to the Libarian of

the Victoria and Albert Museum.  After much discussion, the verdic

was...Yes there were embroidered Coverletts in Britton( Welsh ones were

know to be especially fine.  Being sought at Fairs and Markets by the

nobility  who were not skilled or who sought a gift)at the time(made of

whole cloth).   Yes these coverletts were sometimes quilted, although

the reference to "cotton-wool" being used for the "stuffing" of the

quilt puzzled the British reasearcher.  Cotton was being imported from

the "Holy Land"(Egypt etc..) at the time, but only in the form of

already spun yarns(white and dyed with bright colors using Egyptian

plant dye sources).  Combed wool "bats" were used when "stuffing" was

needed.  Most embroidered "quilted coverletts were made and used by the

nobility for infants and were given as christening gifts, and to gain

favor with an overlord or as a jesture of "pledging loyality" to the heir

of the Lord vasseled to.  This info was  the most concrete I have so far

recieved.  As usual there is a wide spectrum of opinions concering

"period" craft work.  One good thing. I realy wanted to make a infant

sized coverlett anyway (less work).  Now I can feel better about being

just a little lazy.

                                Lady Katherine Malveren McGuire



Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 15:42:56 -0700 (PDT)

From: lifitz at wco.com (Lisa Fitzsimmons)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Queen's Wardrobe Unlocked


>Is there anything at all in this book "Queen's Wardrobe Unlocked" that

>mentions quilted items in any fashion?  Be they quilted caps, quilted

>bedcovers, quilted bed hangings, quilted slippers, quilted anything?  And

>do they have pictures of said items?


>kateryn de Develyn


In the book Medieval Craftsmen Embroiderers by Kay Staniland there is a

small section on quilting that is quite interesting.


Catherine Lorraine



Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 18:37:28 -0400

From: "lwperkins" <lwperkins at snip.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Queen's Wardrobe Unlocked


> From: Debra Hense <debh at microware.com>


> Is there anything at all in this book "Queen's Wardrobe Unlocked" that

> mentions quilted items in any fashion?  Be they quilted caps, quilted

> bedcovers, quilted bed hangings, quilted slippers, quilted anything?  And


> do they have pictures of said items?


There aren't any pictures of quilting per se, although there is some raised

embroidery that's really spectacular.  In the text,( which I have only

begun to explore), page 105, where the author discusses gifts made to

various people it says:

    "{for William Shelton foole]... One fetherbedde a bolster: a Coveringe:

a peire of Blankettes:two peire of Sheetes: six Shirtes: *two quilted night

Cappes* and sixe peire of Showes for the said fole all of our great


  There may be more references, I just havn't gotten there yet--it's going

to take weeks.


--Ester du Bois

lwperkins at snip.net



Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 08:40:50 -0500

From: Debra Hense <debh at microware.com>

To: "'sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu'" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Quilting sources


I have the following noted as where some great quilting pictures are



Plates 448 and 450 from the Book of Costume, Davenport, Millia, Crown

Publishers, NY 1962 - shows  a jack with plates of iron quilted between two

folds of canvas and a waffenrock (military skirt) qith quilted gold



A quilted slipper - found in Japanese Quilts, Liddell Jill and Watanabe,

Yuko, E.P. Dutton, NY 1988.


A large patchwork and applique quilt from Dahlem Sweden. The patchwork is

the large squares (in a semi-checkerboard pattern) upon which have been

appliqueed designs. From The History of the Patchwork Quilt, von Gwinner,

Schnuppe, Schiffer Publishing, LTD. West Chester PA, 1988.


A knight shown wearing a stripped and quilted coat. Seefeld Miracle Panel,

1500 West Germany. Also from the History of the Patchwork Quilt.


A white cotton coverlet, embroidered in dark bule and red tussah silk. The

embroidery is made with a limited number of stitches, chain, backstitch,

french-know and daisy. The oriental influence on these portuguese coverlets

is clearly visable. The motifs that appear are plant, animal, mixed,

anthropomorphic and inanimate. Looking at a black and white photo, you

would almost think these were worked in incredibly intricate blackwork

patterns. Late 16th century. From Portugal and the East Through Embroidery,

Museu national de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, Eastern press Inc, New Haven CT,



German Quilt - late 16th century, it is made of two layers of a coarser

linen than the Tristram quilt. It displays stylized animals, worked in

stuffed quilting, outlined with linen thread in a back stitch. A flat

quilted ground in darning stitch surrounds the upadded animal, bird, and

leaf shapes, behind which the backing material has been cut. These motifs

are enclosed withing octagonal and diamond compartments. Also from The

History of the Patchwork Quilt.


A beautifully quilted campaign vest is shown both front and back in color.

Found in Japanese Quilting.


A coat armor or Jupon of Charles VI of France from the end of the 14th

century. Shown in Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight, Edge, David &

Paddock John Miles, Crescent Books, Avenel NJ, 1988.


Arming doublet, late 16th century  shown in Arms and Armour of the Medieval



Heavily padded and quilted arming cap, 1484. Shown in Arms and Armour of

the Medieval Knight.


A good book for just reading about the history of quilting is Quilting, by

Averil Colby. Charles Scribner's Sons. NY 1971.


Hope this helps some of you.


Kateryn de Develyn

debh at microware.com



Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 02:06:50 -0500

From: Gunnora Hallakarva <gunnora at bga.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Quilts


We had been discussing quilting in period a short while ago, so I offer the



While looking for something else entirely, I just stumbled across a

photograph of one of the medieval quilted bedspreads from Sicily in:


Foss, Michael.  Chivalry.  New York: David McKay Co. 1975. ISBN

0-679-50681-0, pp. 64-65.


The quilt appears to be a solid sheet of white or light-colored fabric (the

photo is black and white) with the design quilted on it in black thread.

The  scene shown is a king greeting an armored knight, the knight's man at

arms and a couple of musicians, while behind the king are a number of pages

and ladies on the walls of a castle looking on.  Behind the figures are

quilted letters inbetween the various figures which appear to read








If there is enough interest, I can scan the picture and stick it on my

website where people can get a look at it.


Gunnora Hallakarva




Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 13:40:12 -0700 (PDT)

From: lifitz at wco.com (Conny Fitzsimmons)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Quilts


>While looking for something else entirely, I just stumbled across a

>photograph of one of the medieval quilted bedspreads from Sicily in:


>Foss, Michael.  Chivalry.  New York: David McKay Co. 1975. ISBN

>0-679-50681-0, pp. 64-65.


The I believe that this quilt is the Sicilian quilt done in three pieces.

It could have been bed coverings or wall hangings .  It is not know whether

it was supposed to be three pieces or one very large quilt.


The scenes on the quilt are from the Legend of Tristam , in his battle with

King Languis.  The quilts were orginally made as a wedding gift for two of

Sicily's aristoracy Pietro di Luigi Guicciande and Laodamia Acciaiuli.  The

scenes were labeled in quilting, done in the Sicilian dialect.   The quilted

patterns were worked with back stitch on two layers of heavy, pieced linen.

The three pieces were unusual because many of the design figures were

stuffed in such a manner as to create a relieve effect similar to other art

forms of the time.


The outlines of the principal figures were stitched in brown linen thread.

The areas between the motifs were worked with close irregular rows of

running stitches, in white line thread.


Above information taken from  the "Historical Perspective of Quilting by

Lady Caitlin nic Raighne.


There is some information qbout quilting in the Kay Staniland book in the

Medieval Craftsman series  the Embroiders  which is currently in print.  A

book that is out of print that is good is Quilting by Averil Colby


Catherine Lorraine



Subject: Re: Quilts and Applique

Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 05:48:30 -0800 (PST)

From: Manly Summerfield <jophelia at yahoo.com>

To: Atlantia at atlantia.sca.org


Poster: Manly Summerfield <jophelia at yahoo.com>

---Betty & David Eyer <Betty_and_David at compuserve.com> wrote:

> She asked me to

> scout around for references of any sign of quilting in period.  I have

> seen: quilted armor, monochromatic patterns done in quilting stitches on

> late period (1450+) coverlets and table rugs, some applique in Ital. Renn

> and Elizabethan times, and some Elizabethan embroidery that is done on a

> stuffed and stitched surface in a very narrative style.  Am I warm?

> Magdalena de Hazebrouck



In a book I was looking in called Noble Lovers (forgive me I loaned it

to someone else and dont remember who wrote it) there were several

pictures from the 14th century of an Irish quilt depicting a king and

several knights. It appeared to be white and the stitching only in

black but it was definetly a quilt. I believe the same quilt is also

pictured in Henry McClintocks Old Irish Dress. I know this is only a

tidbit but I hope it helps:)


Mainly, currently trying the name

Murigheal ighen Anloun ui Ogain

Falcon Cree



Subject: Quilting reference found

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 15:29:12 -0800 (PST)

From: Manly Summerfield <jophelia at yahoo.com>

To: atlantia at atlantia.sca.org


Poster: Manly Summerfield <jophelia at yahoo.com>


A few days ago I posted that I had found a quilting reference and

erroniously said it might be in the McClintock book. I found the

reference, its in a book called Noble Lovers by DDR Owens.

The first such picture is a white cloth with black embroidery (Im

assuming, the picture isblack and white) there is a floral border and

a scene of men bowing to a King, there are building s in the back

ground and letters. The caption reads:

The Irish king Languis appoints Morholt to lead his army to Cornwall.

Morholt holds the glove and mace, symbols of his ambassadorial office.

Additional information in the bibliography of the book reads: Morholt

appointed head of Irish army. Quilted embroider. Sicilian, c.1395.

London, Victoria and Albert Museum


There are several other frames depicting a battle between Morholt and



The ISBN on this book is 0-8]47-7365-6

Library of congress number:75-4303


Hope this helps, sorry I mixed up the books, I got the Irish right in

any regard:)



Date: Sun, 07 Feb 1999 14:52:21 -0500

From: Carol Thomas <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Period Quilting?


>There is a series of books called Medieval Craftsmen, and there is one on

>needlecraft, it has period examples of quilts!  I don't know where to find

>it, except in my father-in law's basement library, but I did get the one on

>scribes & illuminators at Estrella at The Green Duck.




I got mine, titled Embroiderers Medieval Craftsmen Series, from Poison Pen

Press.  You could ask Devra if she has any more.  Addy: devra at aol.com


In general, the quilts I've seen period pictures of are one solid piece of

fabric, with the design quilted in.  If there are piece-work quilts from

that time, I've never seen them.  There is a 15th c. Romanian clerical

garment with what appears to be a piece-work cross, but there is no

indication in the picture I saw that it was quilted.


Have you checked Stefan's Florilegium?  He must have info on this.


Lady Carllein

Small Churl Books catalog: http://www.neca.com/~scbooks/



Subject: Re: ANST - Quilting in Period (WAS: Documnetation)

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 99 09:12:42 MST

From: "Lael Portwood" <laepor at fisd.hub.ofthe.net>

To: <ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG>


>Piecework appears to be later.  Quilting in period was wholecloth or

>whitework; the examples I have seen used panels to tell a story, such as

>from the Bible or a legend.  The figured might be additionally padded for

>better relief.  I think the extant examples (the ones I remember anyway,

>and I think I have photos somewhere) are in Italy.


>                                        ---= Morgan


Also, applique in quilting is period.  And, one of the oldest forms of

quilting is trapunto which is a decorative quilted design in high relief

worked through at least two layers of cloth by outlining the design in

running cloth padding it from the underside.


I believe that piecing is period.  I have seen many examples in medieval art

of clothing made from many different materials pieced together.  Whether

they were quilted or not was difficult to tell.





Subject: RE: ANST - Quilting in Period (WAS: Documnetation)

Date: Mon, 22 Feb 99 09:44:32 MST

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

To: "'ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG'" <ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG>


> >>>> Quilting is definitely period.  If by "quilting" you mean

> >>>> piecework -- I haven't come across it in period, but I

> >>>> haven't gone looking.


> Piecework appears to be later.  Quilting in period was wholecloth or

> whitework; the examples I have seen used panels to tell a story, such as

> from the Bible or a legend.  The figured might be additionally padded for

> better relief.  I think the extant examples (the ones I remember anyway,

> and I think I have photos somewhere) are in Italy.


>                                         ---= Morgan


Here's a little tidbit to fan the flames:


History Tidbits from the Net


From: Katherine

Subject: Patchwork history discovery


The following article was in the Louisville, Ky "Courier-Journal" Sunday,

June 19, 1994:


A missing piece in the puzzle of quilt history has been found, according to

a report in the Louisville-based biannual "Quilt Journal". American scholar

Janine Janniere, who teaches English at the National Institute if Applied

Sciences in Toulouse, France, recently discovered a reference to an early

16th century patchwork banner. It was composed of 8,000 pieces by Philippe

de Vigneulies, a draper and hosier in Metz. The discovery stands midway

between the first known reference to patchwork quilting in a 13th century

French poem and the next, which occurs in the early 18th century in

Gulliver's Travels."


It is from:






From: nweders at mail.utexas.edu

Date: November 3, 2006 11:36:10 AM CST

To: bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] more on quilting and patchwork


Okay, after a second cup of coffee, I found this.


from and article by Colleen R. Callahan, Metropolitan Museum Journal, Vol

19 (1984-1985) pp. 97-141.

Article is entitled "A Quilt and Its Pieces."


Page 101 fnote 5.

         "Six existing European whole-cloth quilts and quilted panels from

the 14th through 17th centuries are illustrated and discussed in Averil

Colby, Quilting (New York, 1971) pls 6, 100, 101, 105, 108, 109; chaps 1,

6, 7."


and fnote 6.  "There is one early (12th or 13th century) mention of a

pieced quilt in a French poem: "The bed was prepared of which the quilt in

a French poem: 'The bed was prepared of which the quilt was of a

check-board pattern of two sorts of silk cloth, well-made and rich' (quoted

in translation by Colby, Patchwork, p. 22. from The Lays of Desire,

Graelent, and Melion, ed. E. Margaret grimes).  As this appears to be the

sole explicitly descriptive reference to a pieced quilt until the 18th

century, no conclusions can be drawnfrom it about the early history of

pieced quilts."


Hope this helps.  If I find something else, if anyone is interested remind

me and I'll send you the info I find.


Clare (the other, other Clare)


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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