Friday, 10 May 2013

Stokie Girl

I was born in Stoke on Trent, home of the finest tableware ever produced and occasionally I get the urge to go back to my roots. We did the Staffordshire Moorlands bit for my husband and so it was my turn to do my heritage trail.

First stop was Wedgwoods. Coincidentally, there was a programme on TV whilst we were staying there all about master potter Josiah Wedgwood, the most famous potter and he certainly gave his all to producing the fine china for which he gave his name to. He practiced and practiced over and over until he had the perfect product, carefully documenting each process.

This is he stood outside the entrance to the shop and museum. Apologies for the darkness of these pics but hopefully you will be able to click and enlarge and see them a bit better.

There is much to see in the museum from beautiful crockery to jewellery with lots of video links. Wedgwood is probably most noted for it's Jasper Ware that has little white images in relief on a coloured background. In the museum is a handy computer generated gadget that can take a photo and portray your image as it would look on a piece of Jasper Ware.

This is me.

This bruiser is my husband.

We found a snatched hour to meet up for a cuppa in the cafe with Barbara Chainey. Another fellow Stokie.

At the end of the week we had a visit to the Burleigh Pottery. Currently it is my favourite everyday tableware and the factory shop is a must place to visit. Click on the link to read about this wonderful piece of our heritage and also follow the link to see Prince Charles on You Tube. Ha! Love that Stokie accent.

The entrance to the pottery works looking above at the beautiful tiles, notice all those clamshells.

This is called a bottle oven and at one time they dominated the area belting out smoke as they fired and cooked the pottery inside. The area was known as Smoke on Trent. Now there are only a few and this is the only one left standing at Burleigh. Burleigh and the area surrounding is being regenerated by a grant from Prince Charles and his Trust. In my opinion they are doing a great job and a good deal of the terraced housing is being revamped into smart looking homes. Anything which helps to save this wonderful heritage of ours has to be a good thing. This is one of a few Pot Banks left that makes everything from start to finish.

This week, on the sewing front the perfect fabric presented itself to me for the scalloped border for the centre of Hertfordshire. Already in my stash. It needed a bit of re jigging and drawing to get the scallops in the right place and hopefully you can see how I did it. I made a little template out of tracing paper and drew the outline of the flower motif so that it could be centred over each one along the line. I marked it with a General white charcoal pencil.

It was placed on the background, pinned in place and tacked down ready for appliqué. Nearly there with it and I am pleased.

Not sure where I go from here with this. Will just sit and stare at it for a while I think.

Happy Stitching.



  1. Great post, you have such a long history compared with Australia. Hertfordshire is looking fantastic and like you, I have come to a standstill not sure about the next group of fabrics.

  2. I went to the Wedgewood factory years ago, and have still got my lovely purchases. It was a great day out, and I don't know why I have never been back!

  3. Nothing wrong with pausing to think LOL! some wonderful inspiration on the way no doubt. Love the little fussy cut flowers! Thanks for the interesting tour - it is a wonderful history of creativity in that region.

  4. What an ingenious "chick" you are with your scallops. So perfect! Must remember that trick.
    I have long had a weakness for bone china and Wedgwood is one of my favorite. Are they still in business? I thought I read somewhere that they went broke?

  5. Love the fussy cut scallops and the pink stripe border.....

  6. Very interesting post Shirley....I love Wedgwood, love the pretty blue. You know I love English chinaware.
    Great way of dong the scallop border...

  7. Oh feeling very jealous here Shirley...what a wonderful post. Your block looks amazing.

  8. Not born in Stoke but we did move there when I was three. I bet you always turn cups and saucers etc upside down to see where they were made too! I remember the old bottle kilns well. It was impossible to hang out anything white to dry as it would get covered in sooty specks. Love you both as Wedgwood cameos and what a great solution for your scalloped borders

  9. Sometimes sitting and thinking is good for you, particularly when you have such a lovely block to sit and think about. Really enjoyed our Wedgwood meet - we could always develop a sideline offering Quilters Tours of our beloved Potteries, complete with oatcakes and cheese....

  10. Take small steps and I am sure that you will have a very special and beautiful quilt. I am finding that I should stick to my original choices. Once I start playing and changing I get myself in a real mess.
    Your time away sounds wonderful and thanks for sharing your visit. Sounds like a very interesting place to visit.

  11. Fantastic that you're getting out and about and I love to see where you've visited. The scallops for your border are beautiful.

  12. It is nice to catch up on your travels Shirley. Very interesting to see the history and the countryside. I love the photo of the sun-baked pork!! Your Hertfordshire is going to be beautiful... I love what you have done with the scallops...great fabric choice and fussy cutting.

  13. Perfect fabric for the scalloped border!
    I love it!

    Hugs, Evelyne

  14. Aw, you get to travel to all those lovely places...great photo of the guy in the fancy duds! I do not own a piece of Wedgewood, although I do know someone who does. Very pretty too!
    Scallops are very cute, makes me think that I could finish a border like this.

  15. This would be something to visit ..someday in the future....thanks for showing and telling us about all this.. Love history...:0))
    And your pretty quilt is coming along real nice....those scallops will be perfect!!

  16. Great post! I have links with Wedgwood (apparently...and according to my uncle) we have an ancestor that worked with him when he was developing jasper ware and then went off and tried to copy the technique...he wasn't successful...but still interesting. I watched the documentary hoping they would mention him..but they didn't LOL

  17. Always nice to go on holidays with you.