Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Our Queen of Quilts

A very fine Welsh Quilt - what a bold design!
I never came across a quilter working in Cardiganshire while spending family holidays at our cottage there.  When I asked for stories, I was told by our nearest farm worker that as a child he sat round the kitchen table near the kitchen stove,  the quilt laid on the table with the paraffin lamp in the centre, and chairs for the children all round the table, with his mother directing the work.  His father sat in the rocking chair and read from the Good Book (bible) and that was how they spent their evenings.  When I asked where I might find some quilts, everyone said that they were old and gone, but my neighbour said to try the Butcher Boyo as it was known that he had sometimes taken payment in quilts from the poor people who could not afford to buy his meat.  And sure enough, when the little van came round with its load of delicious Welsh lamb he was able to find two lovely red Paisley pattern quilts for me, and the price was less than a whole leg.
   If you want to see the very best, come along to Yarlington Textile Fair on Friday, July 6th 2012 as Jen Jones will be there with a good selection from her stores of several hundred.  She is the acknowledged Queen of Quilts and her expertise and fame are world-wide.   She lives in Wales and has a new Museum there showing some of the rarest and best, but also has some of the very pretty inexpensive Manchester-made machined quilts which are in delightful pastel Paisley patterns. easily washed, and very practical.
People have now discovered the old Welsh blankets in soft muted colours and stripes and Jen always has some of these as well as good value picnic rugs.  She only exhibits at our antique textile fairs!

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