2016 Britain Tour

My husband and I just returned from Britain, where we spent a wonderful 3 weeks! I took photos of everything fabric-related! I found some wonderful quilts, embroidery, and other beautiful things, so here is a small tour!

These first pieces were found unexpectedly in the Bath Abbey. There was a wall quilt and a hand-painted scripture for different scenes from Christ’s life, combined as a diptych. The wall quilts are very contemporary and abstract, but Christ was always represented by the white circle. I love the embroidery stitches on each piece. They were all created by Sue Symons (which is a man) and the entire collection is called One Man’s Journey To Heaven. They were all so beautiful, I wanted them all, but here are just a few.

Wall quilt

Journey to Bethlehem wall quilt and Flight into Egypt art piece.

Wall Quilts

Fisher of Men wall quilt and The Storm is Restrained wall quilt.

Wall Quilt

Lazarus Rises Again wall quilt and close-up detail.

Wall Quilts

Jesus Overthrows the Money Changers Tables wall quilt and Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet wall quilt.

Wall Quilt

Jesus is Betrayed diptych.

Wall Quilts

Jesus Before Pilate wall quilt and The Way to the Cross at Calvary wall quilt.

The next quilts and pillows were antiques from 1800’s, I think. (We saw a lot of stuff from different times!) They are being preserved by having a very fine netting over the top, which the photos don’t really show. They were in Cotehele House, a great manor house in Cornwall (South-Western England).




Also in Cotehele House was this fabulous embroidered throw.

Throw Cotehele House

This beautiful quilt was found in Penrhyn Castle in northern Wales.


We went to a woolen mill in Trefriw also in northern Wales, where they weave wool, and we were able to see the whole process from making the yarns to the weaving. Here was a schematic they use to make their patterns, and my throw I purchased. (It’s a bit hard to see the deep purple color, but notice the back is the reverse colors.)

Woolen mill and throw Trefriw

Next we were off to Edinburgh, Scotland! The next piece was found in Edinburgh Castle, where they have a large military museum. Handicrafts were encouraged for the men in the army, to keep them busy!

Embroidery Sampler

Embroidery Sampler made by Regimental Sergeant-Major John Sherrington in India, c1895.

There were all kinds of interesting things in the Scottish Museum! (National Museum of Scotland?)

Pillow cover

Festival of Britain cushion cover, designed by Robert Stewart, made by Kathleen Whyte, Scotland, 1951.


Silk Bedspread

Silk Bedspread by Phoebe Anna Traquair, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1926.

Also in the museum we saw this Jacquard loom, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in France in 1801. Weaving looms were the world’s first computers… they used punched cards for the pattern guides.

Jacquard Loom

Then there were these antique sewing machines!

Sewing machines

We also visited a little church in Edinburgh, but I can’t remember the name. St. Somebody’s! (If you’ve ever been there,  you know what I mean.) I found this little appliqué piece by the altar.

Altar piece


This last one was found at a place called St. David’s. The town and the Cathedral share the name. It was kind of a needlepoint/embroidery combined, and was dedicated to St. Caradog.

St. David's embroidery piece

Hope you enjoyed this small sampling of wonderful things to be found in Great Britain! It was well worth the trip!


  1. Jenny Benton August 3, 2016
  2. Cheryl August 9, 2016
  3. Holly June 12, 2017
  4. Cheryl June 12, 2017

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