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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.

Saturday 5 January 2013

Red and White/Strippy Welsh Quilt

Here is another quilt that I bought before Christmas. This one is a Welsh quilt - a red and white Irish Chain on one side and a strippy on the other side. The overall size is a good double (will have to go and measure it when I have the time!)

The patchwork side is very colourful. White and red fabrics were very cheap and made a good contrast; the turkey red was colourfast and did not fade.

The patchwork is handsewn, although there is some smachine stitching to be seen on the strippy side of the quilt. This picture shows the central coin, a giant daisy with surrounding circles and twists.

The quilting is rather simple and there is only a very thin filling. On the back, some of the fabric is "dimity" a light ribbed cotton that was popular for womens dresses, childrens clothes, undies and nightware. It has a ribbed appearance and can be seen on the fabric to the left here.

The other side of the quilt is a strippy, you can see that it is remnants and striped cottons.

Another photo of the back and also the quilting.

The edge is worn in many places but in this area, you can see that the fabric (more dimity, here) is nicely hand stitched.

The information that I have is that the quilt was made in Aberdare and is at least 100 years old. It came from an elderly lady, 86 years old, called Bet Lovely. Her mother was Margaret Mackie, who helped make the quilt when she was young. It is unusual to know the  maker of a quilt - these quilts were quite often made by professional quilters who are now anonymous.

Red and white quilts are eyecatching, but were generally utilitarian quilts made from inexpensive fabrics. As they were made to be used, it is not surprising that the ones that have survived this long are often very worn, A testament to their strength and how well they wore!


  1. A lovely find Pippa and interesting you have the provenence to that goes with it.

  2. Yes, Sue, I always ask the question - I may not get an answer, but I always ask the question. And sometimes I get some interesting facts about the quilt!

  3. Interested in the Aberdare connection. I know of Sarah Lewis of the Rural Industries initiative. Do you think these two quilts are purely coincidental or I wonder if there is a hidden history of quilting in this South Wales valley.