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I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Green and Gold Stamped Quilt

Here is another "stamped" quilt. These designs were marked on the quilt top in blue pencil by professional quilt designers, usually in Allendale. Then the buyer could either give to to a local quilter, or quilt it herself. Church groups often sent off for these, too. You could buy them ready made, or send your own fabric to be marked. FitzRandolph surmises that most quilters lost the ability to mark the more complex designs as a result.

The colours of this quilt do not show very well in the photos. The colour is actually a pea green! Green and Gold were considered to be a popular combination.

The centre has flat iron designs with ferns and roses, and the corners echo this. Here, there is a feather creation with the longer feathers outermost....not seen this before. The swag border has little trefoil uprights. The designs were marked on large tables, so the background infill is always nicely done, unlike many other wholecloths where the grid is often decidedly wonky.

You can see that, as is common in dark coloured quilts, there are fade marks where the folded quilt was exposed to sunlight in storage.

The reverse of the quilt is gold colour. Unusually, the quilting has been partly done in green thread, partly in gold would usually expect the thread to match the right side, green in this case.

The machine edging has been more neatly done than most. You can see remnants of the blue pencil marking on the green side.

More blue pencil in this photo...a very elegant quilt in good condition.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Red and White Welsh Cot Quilt

Here is a cute baby/cot quilt. It is Welsh as it comes from Cardigan, but there are few obvious clues to its origin. As is usual with these small quilts, the design is very simple and the quilting just enough to hold it together.

Many of the patches are what the Americans call "poverty patches"; ie where two or three smaller pieces have been sewn together to make a larger piece.

Nearly but not quite the same cloth !

There are small roller printed cottons teamed with turkey red. Even where the fabrics are similar, some have faded more than, one fabric has the background visible while in the other fabric the background has faded...

This quilt has been well used and I can just imagine it being made by a mother or grandmother for a newborn....

The quilting is more apparent from the back, which is in plain white must have been quilted from this side....

Cot quilts while not rare, seem to be not so common, as often they were " used up". Few are in pristine   condition. The size is 25" square and the little quilt probably dates from the turn of the century.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Traditional Welsh Womens' Clothing - Quilt Museum, Lampeter

Traditional Welsh Costume was first identified in Wales from the 1770's. Tourists described it in detail as it was different from clothes worn by rural English women. The main difference was the over-garments.

The bed gown was a short loose jacket, worn almost everywhere except in bed. They were sometimes made of wool, but mostly of printed cotton. Here we can see a deconstructed bedgown, which shows that it was a complex, tailored garment.

The Welsh hat with its tall crown was first worn in the 1830s and became an icon of Wales. Many were made by English hatmakers who used the same materials and techniques to make mens tophats. Welsh hats were expensive, fragile and awkward to store, hence worn by wives and daughters of affluent farmers at market and at special events. Production ceased after 1880.

Wool Shawls woven in Welsh woollen mills were worn for warmth.

 A collar could replace the shawl for dress events.

Stockings were handknitted, most that survive today were special gifts, such as these wedding stockings seen here.

The gown was finely tailored: the front was low cut above the waist and open below and there was a long tail. The gown was worn over a chemise and a shawl kept the neck warm. An apron covered the skirt at the front. A long cloak with a large hood was worn in bad weather.

Quilted flannel petticoats....

More knitted stockings....

Photo of two Welsh women...

An older woman, who looks to be wearing an old fashioned outfit.

A catalog is available from Jen Jones, and is well worth having. More details:


Monday, 29 August 2016

"Unforgettable" Quilt Museum Lampeter 2016

The highlight of our trip was a chance to see the Quilt Museum in Lampeter. This year, the exhibition was titled "Unforgettable" and featured quilts from Jen Jones' collection and also that of Ron Simpson's.

Unforgettable is dedicated to Roger Clive-Powell, the highly celebrated Conservation Architect, who rescued  the Town Hall and turned it into the Welsh Quilt Centre. Roger sadly died in the autumn of 2015.

I am not putting titles to the photos below, in the hope that some of you may purchase the 2016 catalogue, at the following address:

If you email Jen and her team, they will gladly answer any questions you may have about price and postage costs to your country.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Sandy Lush - Welsh Cot Quilts

Sandy Lush is a well known hand quilter who often uses traditional designs as inspiration and a jumping off point. This summer the Quilt Museum at Lampeter showcases a series of her hand quilted cot quilts. All develop the use of Welsh quilting designs, especially the paisley motif.

The original inspiration was this Welsh strippy from Jen Jones' collection by Mrs May Thomas.

Sandy combined the paisley motif with another pattern called the Welsh trail to create a cot quilt she called "In the Pink". Still rather a North County style format!

Excited by the design possibilities, Sandy went on to create a series of little quilts with a more Welsh flavour, having the all-over Welsh format.
See how experimentation with a few simple designs can create a great variety of results!
Varoius fabrics, plain and patterned were used....

Find out more on Sandy's website: