I am ashamed to admit that I have never thought of quilts as being a particularly 'Welsh' thing! Perhaps this is another result of the great North-South divide ( anyone who is Welsh will know what I mean!!) and as a 'Northerner' my idea of typical bedcoverings are the lovely woollen blankets still being made in a few traditional mills in Wales! This theory is actually supported in the book as , with the exception of 1 quilt from Wrexham , every other one featured is from the South !
These are a few pages from the book, some are photos of the originals plus a few others showing a 'modern' reproduction.
Most of the original quilts date back to the mid 19th century and some of them can be seen at the Welsh Museum of Life at St Fagans whilst others are in private collections.
The claim that Welsh quilts may have been an influence on Amish quilts will always be debatable I expect, but it's a historical fact that large numbers of Welsh families emigrated to Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas, to work in the iron/steel/mining industries, so who knows !! Whatever the answer, in my opinion, the quilts featured in this book can stand on their own merits!!
About 2 years ago I was lucky enough to become the owner of a Welsh quilt, which my son bought for me off E-Bay at a pittance ! It's a wholecloth quilt with the most intricate hand quilting I have ever seen ! A little mis-shapen with some damage and a few small blemishes , but these only show that it has been loved and well used over the years !
What I think is meant to be the front (!) is covered in delicated rosebuds, not quite pink and not quite pale orange, but very pretty! The back of the quilt is plain pink , but just look what else is there...
It's impossible to get a good photo of it this time of year, and these certainly don't do justice to the amount of workmanship involved - and what a shame that the quilting can only been clearly seen on the 'back' of the quilt ! Well, I know which side I prefer, what about you!!
The centre layer of the quilt is a mystery, and I haven't been able to decide what it is! It might be a very thick wool which is now disintergrating , but I am not at all sure! It's extremely thick (how anyone managed to quilt it I can't imagine!) , heavy and very, very spongey !! Any ideas ?? It's also in need of a clean of some sort as it is rather grubby, but without knowing what I am dealing with, I think it is best left as it is for the moment!!
PS - Thanks to Gina for writing to tell me that the 'front' is officially the ' back' !!