Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Family Friendly Museum Award 2015: The Winner

Some brilliant words from Jack about our recent win at Kids in Museums – a great blogger about museums – thank you Jack!

Jack's Adventures in Museum Land

The scores are in, the families have spoken, and the time has come to crown a new holder for the title of Most Family Friendly Museum in the UK. Previous winners have included museums such as the wonderful Horniman Museum in South London, the Haselmere Educational Museum in Surrey and everyone’s favourite conjoined museums, the Pitt Riverls and the Oxford University Natural History Museum.

Kids in Museums

That list alone should give you an idea of the level of overall awesome-ness that families and the team at Kids in Museums are looking for in their winners. The winners would have to be awesome, because this is the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one to give a powerful voice to families.

Before I tell you who won, I’d like to remind everyone of the shortlist from the length and breadth of the country:

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Amy’s Care Poems

Our Sky Map project continues with some great poems written by our Amy’s Care group for those with Dementia.

You can read some of the poems here and visit Tullie House in November to see the Sky Map in place!

Cumbria Sky Map

An anthology of the poems written by the group during their first session.

It’s Cooler at the Top

Glaramara, Cat Bells
Walking up hills
First of August
A lovely warm day
Borrowdale, Ashness Bridge
Past a tea shop in Grange

Can be cooler at the top
A change in weather
A change in altitude

In winter, you’ll need gloves
Brenda must’ve been keen
To go up Helvellyn
In the winter

Tullie House/Amy’s Care: Helen’s Poem September 1st 2015


Owls, owls
Pictures and placemats

Owls, clouds
When the frost comes

Stay warm
Quilts, jackets

Clouds, wool
Chill proof

Tullie House/Amy’s Care: Jeanette’s poem September 1st 2015

Jeanette’s Poem #2

Smouldering sky,
High, bright
Up into the clouds

Rain drops
Wet to the skin

Over the hill
Shrouded in cloud
Eye-kissing light
Twelve-winded sky
Tullie House/Amy’s Care: Jeanette’s Poem #2 September 1st 2015

Olive’s Poem

Feel it in your bones

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A Brief History of Cumbrian Quilting

We have a huge collection of objects here at Tullie House that are unfortunately not on permanent display in the museum, one that we get asked about a lot is our beautiful quilt collection. Eloise, one of our Curatorial Assistants and Exhibitions Engagement Coordinator worked with Melanie, our Curator of Fine Art on a recent afternoon study session when we got the quilts out for some of our visitors to see. Eloise has written up a brief history of Cumbrian Quilting to share this collection with you.

Quilts offer a fascinating window into the private lives and creativity of the women who made them. Stitch-work is the image of female domesticity and industry; represents virtues of thrift, practical skill, patience and artistic flair. It also shows a scope of pattern and colour design, geometry and technical prowess.


Cord Quilting is an early pattern technique, popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Typically made of white linen or cotton, into which raised designs were stitched using cotton or woolen cord.

Corded quilt c.1700-1800

Corded quilt c.1700-1800

The Tullie House collection starts in the 18th Century. Held up to the light, this cord-quilted coverlet c.1700-1800 reveals intricate and beautiful patterns of flowers and eternity knots, including daffodils, honeysuckle, primroses and other wildflowers, gorgeously rendered into a diamond pattern.

Martha Jackson's 1790 quilt.

Martha Jackson’s 1790 quilt.

Probably the most significant quilt from the Tullie House collection is this beautiful patchwork bedspread made by Martha Jackson of Westmorland in 1790. Rare in that we know who made it- Martha actually signed and dated her work! It is also an extensive catalogue of samples of 18th Century printed dress cottons and calicos, which presumably reflect the clothes worn by Martha and the Jackson family. It is easy to imagine Jane Austen’s characters Mrs Bennet or Mrs Dashwood wearing dresses in these patterns in their youth!

It is fascinating to see how modern some of the fabric patterns and colours seem compared to designs popular on clothes of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s.

Georgian quilt detail

Georgian quilt detail

This rare patchwork of Georgian fabric even includes import stamps, pieced into the quilt, revealing the early beginnings of printed cottons imported from India by dress-makers around the country. For a long time, such fabrics were illegal, since they began to replace the expensive embroidered patterns produced in Britain, which denoted the rank and status of the higher classes. Before Indian cottons, the costumes of 17th and 18th Century common women would have been very plain dyed fabrics.

Framed Quilts are those which have been designed around a centre piece (medallion), for example the large printed garden motif in the centre of the cotton and silk quilt c. 1820-40.

Log Cabin quilt, Ann Rawling, 1833

Cotton and silk quilt, c.1820 – 1840

Log Cabin quilt, Ann Rawling, 1833

Log Cabin quilt, Ann Rawling, 1833

The 1883 Log Cabin design by Ann Rawling of Lamplugh, West Cumbria has a 3D effect, with carefully matched reds and beiges. Such patterns were popular in the North of England, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man, indicating a distinctive regional technique.

Silk and velvet coverlet, c. 1860 - 1900

Silk and velvet coverlet, c. 1860 – 1900

The mosaic pattern on the silk and velvet coverlet c.1860-1900 has a strikingly 3D effect, almost an optical illusion, using geometric pieces of black fabric to create a cube pattern.

This truly is a form of art unique to women and also inherited; with the skills, labour and finished pieces overlapping one another, some preserved, some re-structured into other pieces; a patchwork of cultural and regional history

For more information, with further illustrations from our quilt collection a pamphlet book ‘Stitches in Time: The Tullie House Quilt Collection’ is available from Shop @ Tullie.

Painted Eggs

Our work with Amy’s Care on the Cumbria Sky Map continued last week with an art session, see what they got up to on the new blog post.

Cumbria Sky Map

Last week was our second session with the Amy’s Care group at Tullie House, and our first artist session with Alex.


We were excited to see the Sky Map parasol, which is currently being painted lovely cloudy shades of blue by the other groups. Can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finished, and everyone’s artwork gets added!

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We also looked at the map, which the other groups have added to with things from their sessions. We’re hoping to see the Carlisle section later today.

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The Kendal group also sent us a lovely message from their session. It was great to hear how they’ve been getting on.

This week we were painting eagle eggs, based on what looking at the real ones last week.

Alex showed us how to make lovely speckles and textures with wax crayons and watercolours, and we were a very productive…

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The Cumbrian Sky Map Project arrives in Carlisle!

Eloise and Catherine have been working with Amy’s Care and our other CMC venues to bring the Cumbrian Sky Map project to life – read about it here

Cumbria Sky Map

‘Sun, sea and the sky; kites birds and clouds.’…as Helen said; ‘the clouds often come out in the Summer as well as in the Autumn! But the time has really flown by this week as the season changes. We certainly were talking about flight in our first session last week we had our very first session at Tullie House, working with the Amy’s Care Group.


We had a very creative afternoon, looking at some of our objects, including the beautiful Golden Eagle Eggs used by Artist Uta Kogelsberger for her project. We all thought they were quite big, and it was interesting to look at how different the two eggs were. One was white and the other was very speckled. Andy even thought that the egg looked a bit like Alastair!


‘Big, speckled, golden brown, they fly and hatch. Fluffy like a baby hamster!’- Jeanette


We also spent some time…

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