Posted by: brendaintheboro | February 10, 2019

More patchwork than cycling

Storm Erik blew through this week so cycling hasn’t been the best, although in the early part of the week I braved the 20 -25mph winds  and did get out a few times . As the week progressed winds reached over 50 mph in this area but were much worse in the west. In addition DH and DS1 are still down with a viral infection – coughs, snotty noses and a temperature too so they weren’t up t going out.

On Thursday, I went to my local quilt group and learned that on Friday, the quilts from Hannah Hauxwell would be available to view before an auction on Saturday.  I had arranged to pick up my friend J and was so glad I had. The weather was awful – high winds and heavy rain – but I drove over to collect her and we drove to Tennats Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

For those who are familiar with the lady, she came to prominence in 1972, when a documentary was made about her.  She lived alone on a farm having outlived her parents. It was a hard life on the boarder lands of North Yorkshire and County Durham and she lived without electricity and got water from a beck. She said that “in summer she lived and  in winter she existed.”

She was a hoarder and even when she left the farm brought lots of stuff with her,  She had family quilts and all the women in the family were talented seamstresses. Many of the quilts had patterns and styles reminiscent of Durham Strippy quilts.



Nothing was wasted so in the top left corner , you can see the pieces were pieced together to make up the strip. These were usually about 9 inches wide.



I was interested to see that some had traditional turned in and stitched edges and some had actual quilt bindings.

It was amazing to see that some quilts had clearly never been used as the turkey red colour hadn’t faded,


I loved this one from the late 19C. It would have been one that was kept for “best” and only brought out on special occasions or if the doctor was called .

Another that caught my eye was this one.


Each block had different fabrics in the corners and as also obviously a best quilt.


There were a number of what I call utility quilts – made from multiple fabrics which grew as they went along and were used, You could see that by the worn edges.



One of the attendants was very helpful and showed us the back of a reversible quilt. I loved how even the smallest pieces were used. Nothing was wasted.



The sale also included  knitting sheaths and a family sampler. There was also a “clippy” mat but I didn’t photograph everything. Aren’t you glad heehee.


After WW1, my great aunt made mats like these to support her family. Her husband had been gassed in the trenches and then developed arthritis that stopped him working. In those days, without social support she made and sold these.  Most families had them and old clothes would be repurposed and used on the wooden floors.

So I only rode 23.5 miles this week so YTD 289 miles. Lets hope I stay well and don’t catch the lurgy. Spoke too soon. I have got the lurgy.

I found this link to the documentary about Hannah Hauxwell



  1. I hope that you do stay well. It is very boring being ill. That was a lovely collection of quilts, well worth braving the bad weather for.

    • unfortunately , here I am at 5.00m even my eyeballs are aching.

  2. Fascinating to see all those quilts – your photos are much appreciated! I’ve always thought Hannah Hauxwell was an interesting character.

    • I did hear an unkind comment about her , that she lived in a mucky place when she moved. I can understand why she was a hoarder

  3. Were you tempted to buy any of the quilts? Jean /Winnnipeg.

    • Not really Jean. I love the red, white and blue snowball block one but wouldn’t spend that on something I could not care for. They should be in local museums

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