1816 Block Printed Quilt Panel made to celebrate the Marriage of Princess Charlotte to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg.
Commemorative panels were made specifically for use in larger domestic textile projects such as quilts and cushions. Manufactured throughout the first quarter of the 19th Century and were often highly cherished, with some being kept and used at a later date. The earliest panels celebrate George III’s Golden Jubilee in 1810.
This quilt has an excise stamp for 1816 and is inscribed ‘John Lowe and Co. Furniture Printers, Shepley Hall’, providing the name of the only identifiable manufacturer of these panels, although there are likely to have been others.
John Lowe was a well-known firm of calico printers with large cotton factories and extensive bleaching grounds close to the River Tame near Ashton-under-Lyne in Lancashire.
Hand-quilting is done on a frame using needles called ‘betweens’. The stitches are executed with one hand; the other hand is kept underneath the quilt to feel for the needle. Small, uniform stitches (usually a ‘running stitch’) are taken through the three layers to form a decorative design.
In ‘piecing’ or ‘patchwork’, small pieces of fabric are sewn together to produce a decorative design. The most enduring method in Britain is done by hand, and is known as ‘piecing over paper’. The pattern is first drawn onto paper and then accurately cut. Small pieces of fabric are tacked round each of the shapes, and then joined together from the back using overstitch. Most of the quilt top visible here has been pieced over paper, but in some areas the fabrics have been applied directly on to the earlier quilt that forms the wadding.