Thursday, January 21, 2010

Welsh Quilts on exhibit at the Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Center


The _0011729Welsh Flannel geometric patchworks were the focus of the inaugural exhibition at The Jen Jones welsh Quilt Centre. They are thrilled that, at last these wonderful artifacts have become universally recognized.






Welsch pieced and wool qlts 

Opening March 6th 2010

Their new exhibition, 'Unsung Heritage: The Quilts Of Wales'  will be a further revelation in terms of the enormous spectrum within the Welsh quilting tradition.

Thpaisley panel quiltey will feature the fiery reds including red paisleys and paisley shawl quilts.








Alongside these will hang the contrasting and diverse cotton patchworks and whole cloths that represent a major portion of the output during the 19th and early 20th century.

Early Cotton patchwork Merthyr Tydfil C1840

Early Cotton patchwork Merthyr Tydfil C1840


My thoughts:

There is joy in viewing Welsh quilts due to the simplicity of the patterns, the contrast of the fabrics and a WOW in the incredible stitched quilting patterns. Welsh quilter's seem to bring the art of quilting (stitches) to the forefront of their work and of the times.

They share quilt styles with the English, and wool contrasting concepts with the Amish, but the quilting, it stands alone, in an outstanding way from most quilts through time. Our American made whole cloth wool quilts, or  are the closest quilts I know with ornate quilting. French made quilts have stuffed quilting with ornate designs, but they mostly favored channel quilting, or straight lines and angled quilting, not the swirls that are common on Welsh and fancy wool whole cloth  quilts.

If any of you visit the exhibit, please let us know more about it. We'd love to hear. You can email me, or leave comments.


Scrapiana said...

I'm glad this collection (or part of) has made it Stateside. A few years back I saw an exhibition of Jen's quilts alongside Amish examples from the American Museum here in the UK. Fascinating. And I heard Jen speaking about how she obtains her quilts: brilliant stories of little old ladies keeping them under the mattress to protect it (i.e. the mattress) from the frame! Or used as animal blankets. These quilts are often made from coarse woollen cloth so were happily tough enough to handle such (ab)usage... Anyway, enjoy!

Scrapiana said...

Ah, think I may have misconstrued the location of the exhibition... Sounds like it's a permanent space in Wales. How wonderful! Thanks for flagging that, Kimberly

Kimberly Wulfert, PhD said...

HI Scrapiana! Since you live in the UK, maybe you can be our eyes and ears?
Mary Jenkins mentions their quilts being similar to the Amish in her book on making reproduction Welsh quilts, patterns included.,_by_Mary_Jenkins.html
thanks for checking in, it's good to hear from you my friend.

Judy Anne said...

Thanks for telling us about these amazing Welsh quilts. We get so American centric in our thinking and miss learning what had been done elsewhere.

Quilt Fabrics said...

I love Welsh quilts, probably for the same reason- their patterns. This sounds like it would be an incredible event to attend.

mary jenkins said...

I was at the opening of Jen's latest exhibition last Friday and it was stunning. The colour red was dominant including wonderful rich Paisleys.
Deidere McSharry who opened the exhibition likened it to "swimming in strawberries". Definitely worth the journey - Welsh quilts are like no other, absolutley unique!

Kimberly Wulfert, PhD said...

Thank you Mary for sharing your personal experience. I love the metaphor- swimming in strawberries- Yummy! Old Red Paisleys are one of my favoite fabrics. The variety is endless. Becasue Welsh quilts often utilize large pieces of fabric, it allows the pattern to be fully employed and shine!

Anonymous said...

I have a quilt that my Great Aunt made when she was maybe in her 30's.She was born in 1860, and lived to be 100.She was born and lived in new Quay South Wales,and taught voice.My whole family were from that little fishing village, and we spent all our summers at Loyalty House.Anyway the quilt is a myriad of pieces ( some tiny tiny)of all kinds of flannel and cottons and linens.I still recognize some of my Grandfathers pyjamas, and also some of the Welsh red flannel, and coarse striped petticoats.It is remarkably in good shape with the exception of one puppy episode on one corner, and the backing is rotten.I do fondly remember it being on my bed as a child,and swear I can still smell the Lavender water Aunty Elizabeth used!Roma Braun-Eiseman nee Picton Jones.

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