Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Welsh Quilts

Old quilts have always served as inspiration to my own work and Welsh quilts, as in from Wales (the western-most region of Britain) are one of the oldest sources of America's quilting tradition. The photo is of a little sample quilt of Welsh-derived design that I show in my Quilt Marking class.

Most often Welsh quilts were made of wool and hand-quilted in whorls, spirals, and other Celtic-like designs. These primarily wholecloth quilts are enjoying a huge revival in the UK. Their patron is no less than Prince Charles whose most famous title is Prince of Wales.

Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, bought an estate in Wales and refurbished it to serve as a royal residence when visiting in the region. Eleven Welsh quilts were bought from a transplanted Yank, well known antique quilt dealer Jen Jones. This video, if you watch it through to the end, takes the viewer on a tour through the estate and you'll see quilts both on the walls and on the beds. Here's the link: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/7470135.stm .

Occasionally a wonderful Welsh quilt comes up on ebay. Good luck finding one at a reasonable price now that His Majesty has joined the ranks of antique quilt buyers! Here's one that went way out of my price range very quickly. The front is bronze-y green and the backing bright orange. Why don't more of these Welsh quilts turn up? It could be that out of desperation, many Welsh quilts were rolled up, stuffed in the stove, and burned as fuel to keep warm. No kidding. An older Welsh lady told me she remembered her mother doing just that when times were tough.

1 comment:

Kwiltsfl said...

I love wholecloth quilts! I would love to have one - but given that Chas has driven up the price, I guess I better get stitching! What a shame to think historically some people had to burn their quilts to keep warm!