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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.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Welsh Quilt with Art Deco Fabric

Here is a Welsh quilt in Art Deco fabric - the background is a bronze/salmon colour and it is covered with lively roses and sprays of flowers.

It never ceases to amaze me that each Welsh quilt can be quilted in such an individual style - no two seem to be the same. This quilt is no exception - the quilt is covered with spirals with a chevron border, unlike any of my other quilts. And, the corners have large "Baptist fans".

A closer look at the colourful fabric, which is the same on both sides.You can also see the chevron or zigzag pattern on the border. This quilt dates from the 1920's or 30's and measures 75 by 72 inches. It is a very heavy quilt (it weighs nearly 3.5 kg) and probably has an old woolen blanket inside - perfect for chilly winter nights.

The surface is covered with spirals densely quilted. A good example of what happens when some areas are quilted and other areas are not - the unquilted areas puff up a bit. And can you see that the maker has not bothered to match up the motifs on the lengths of fabric? This is the usual case - Welsh quilters were very frugal and could not afford to buy the extra cloth that would have been required to match up the motifs. This is sometimes not so obvious with smaller patterns but can be very obvious when fabrics with the largest patterns are used in a quilt.

The corners are neatly finished by hand in the usual Welsh style.
Here you can see the fan or elbow quilting in the corner.

This is the top side of the quilt as it went in the frame and seems well done. You can see that the spirals are not marked but just freehand sewn in the frame.

But the reverse or underside has some very odd stitching - perhaps it was made very quickly or by an inexperienced quilter?

Another view of the stitching on the underside of the quilt.

No provenance on this quilt. Other colourways of this fabric have ben seen in other quilts.


  1. Interesting quilt. I think they're concentric circles rather than spirals. Do you think they used stab stich to get that effect on the back? Rocking stitch usually produces much smaller stitches on the back.

  2. A beautiful quilt and a very pretty fabric! I would love to use it...
    To me the stitches on the underside of the quilt look like the ones I do when I try to stab stitch!

  3. Yes - looking more closely they are concentric circles. This is a very heavy quilt and perhaps it was necessary to stab stitch instead of the usual rocking stitch. As you know, the quilters often put new covers on older quilts - but I cannot feel any "ridges" on this quilt.

  4. Another lovely quilt Pippa! I've noticed the same thing on some of my quilts - the 'spirals ' are in fact concentric circles, glad you posted this as I was wondering about them! By the way where do you store all your quilts? you have so many they must take up a huge amount of space especially as the British ones all seem to be so much thicker than American ones!

  5. As I am an empty-nester, I store the quilts in two spare bedrooms. The Welsh room is closed off and has moth proofing as I am a bit worried about those little pests. If I ever win the lottery, there will be a special quilt storage facility!!