Killhope, The North of England Lead Mining Museum, Durham
1800 – 1899
This is the oldest surviving North Country example of a traditional strippy quilt.
It was made in Allendale in the North Pennines. Its maker, Hannah Peart, took it with her when she emigrated in 1854 to join her sweetheart, Joseph Graham, from Weardale. They married, settled into a farming life in upstate New York, raised a family and never returned to the Dales.
But the quilt did return, brought back by Joseph and Hannah's great-grand daughter, who presented it to Killhope, the North of England Lead Mining Museum. The museum is less than a mile from where Joseph Graham was born. With the quilt was a bundle of letters written to Joseph by his relatives at Killhope. The quilt and letters bring us very close to the hard life of Pennine lead mining families.
North Country quilts, also known as Durham quilts, are an important part of folk art. Distinctive in style, they reflect the social and cultural conditions in which they were made. The craft was practiced throughout the counties of Northumberland, Durham, Cumberland, Westmorland and Yorkshire.
By Hannah Graham (dates unknown)
On display at Killhope Museum
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