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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.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Red and Blue Flannel Quilt

Here is a flannel quilt that I bought using Carol's money as I was keen to have a flannel quilt. As no doubt you have guessed from the famous gate, it was bought from Jen Jones. The size is 216 cm x 167 cm - that is, 85 by 66 inches. These flannel quilts are rare now as few have survived - the woollen cloth is prey to moths. I assiduously use modern moth proofing in my storage room - the smell is not as bad as the old fashioned moth balls that was familiar when I was growing up....

I have traced the patterns on this quilt and the stitching is very neatly and precisely done - the work of a professional quilter. The patterns include wonderful church windows, fans, spirals, twists and a central medallion. the colours are a bright royal blue and a bright red.

A very heavy quilt. It was made about 1880 in the Swansea valleys, probably near Aberdare where a great many quilters lived.
This flannel cloth was formerly a common product of many Welsh mills, but is now, to my knowledge, made only at one factory - the Welsh Wool Museum, the former Cambrian Mills in the village of Dre-fach, Felindre in the Teifi Valley. A part of the Museum of Wales, the mill demonstrates the process from "fleece to fabric".
In 2007, the remote location led to the Museum having the dubious distinction of being Britain's least popular attraction with just over 17,000 visitors. I have not visited and am certainly looking forward to my visit!
You may have seen DeAnne Hartwell's quilts at the Festival of Quilts last summer. DeAnne, who lives near Cardiff,uses woollen fabrics sourced from the Museum in many of her quilts. Jen Jones also buy the fabrics to send to Ethiopia where it is used to make modern flannel quilts in the Welsh style.
A beautiful quilt - it was exhibited at the Quilt Associations summer exhibition in the Minerva Centre in 2009.


  1. I can understand the Museum of the Welsh Woollen Industry being at the bottom of the league table for visitors. I visited it a few years ago, in August, and I was only one of six visitors there on a beautiful summer day. It grieves me to say it about a Welsh Musuem, but I wasn't impressed and haven't been again. Being so remote they obviously need to try harder!
    Nor was I impressed with the fabric produced in the Mill. I tried hard to find something but came away with nothing. I tried a few times to contact the Mill afterwards but they didn't have an active website then. I haven't tried lately.

    Just being picky I know, but Aberdare is quite a way from Swansea and is actually at the top of the Cynon Valley which used to be known as the Aberdare Valley.

    1. Dear Mary
      out of interest I would love to hear more comments ...We are in the early days of setting up a museum exhibition and teaching center,where we hope to look a different aspect of the Welsh textile tradition each year.
      I would love to hear from Welsh textile enthusiasts to try to understand what they would be most interested to see,and what they would hope to gain from a museum or exhibition visit.
      with thanks