Monday, 1 July 2013

Monday Group - Win's 100 year old Quilt

Hello there my Quilty Friends, here I am back and rested and relaxed after my two week holiday.
I spent one week in Zante (Greek Island) and the second very lazy week at home.
I’ll sort through some pictures for Kickback Friday.

But as today is Monday we will get on with Monday Group activities.
In July and August we intend to finish off our log cabin quilts. I have three – in various stages of their quilt growth. I’m going to dig them out and finish them over the summer.
And then as lots of you hare on holidays/vacation or engaged in grandparent duties, we shall simply coast along and perhaps finish off a U.F.O. or two over the next couple of months.

In actual class today our most Senior Member, Win, brought in one of her mothers quilts. Obviously being in Wales this is a Welsh Quilt.  It is about 100 years old.
Above, Win with her mum's Welsh Quilt
Below showing both sides of the quilt.
The plain side shows off the quilting beautifully
While the patterned side has some wonderfully colourful flowers on it.

 Above and below are close-ups of the lovely quilting patterns.

I was tempted to record her telling the story behind the quilt. But she was half way through when I thought of it and I didn’t like to ask her to start again.

Anyways. As I said this quilt belonged to Win’s mother. And in typical Welsh fashion, the quilt was made by the village quilter/sewing lady.
Win was brought up on a farm. And sadly her mother died when Win was very young.  But she knows the story of her mums quilts very well.

I’ll try and tell you the story as best I can.
This story is set in Pontrhydyfen in South Wales in the U.K.  One thing they had plenty of on the farm was sheep – no surprise there – if you come to Wales – your gonna see sheep.

And after sheering, their wool was taken to a wollen mill in Neath Abbey where Win’s mum would insist that   A, the wool she took in was used for her blankets (she insisted that her wool was of the best quality and very clean going in and she didn’t want anyone elses wool in her blankets) and B, that only the best, most skillful girls worked on her wool to make her blankets. 

Win has previously brought in one of her mothers blankets which had a beautiful woven design.
However, they also got plain white blankets and these were used as the ‘wadding’ in their quilts.

I have been teasing Win, that her family must have been well off to afford a Wholeclothquilt – and when I heard the wadding was a brand new blanket – they must have been very rich indeed! As the more lowly people would have used old bankets, wornout clothes, an old worn out quilt, or even paper,  as their quilt wadding. But Win assures me that they were not rich – they just had lots of wool.

We then had a discussion about how the quiltmaker may have been paid. I thought maybe a barter system – with woolen blankets as payment  - but who knows.
Anyway this quilt was kept for best (Doctors visits etc).  Which is why it has survived all this time in such a good condition.

We marveled at the quilting designs used and sat and stroked the quilt for ages. I just love, love, love the texture that quilting makes on fabric.
We noticed that the valance had been stitched on by machine. And thought most probably at the time the quiltmaker would have been the only person in the village to own such a modern invention.
 Above the central Medallion pattern 
such a tradition feature in a Welsh Quilt
 Above is a laughing Win
and below is
a concentrating Win.

So, can I say thank you, thank you, thank you Win for bring your quilt in to share with us all today.
And of course I must mention that Win herself has made many a beautiful quilt over the years.


Sally Byrne said...

It was lovely to read Win's story, and to see her lovely face.. Pass on my love and best wishes to her when she comes to class x

Chris said...

The quilt was truly wonderful

Joy Richardson said...

Thanks for sharing Wins mother's quilt story. Owning a sewing machine back then would have been a luxury for many.
Today was our quilting groups midwinter Xmas lunch - hard for you to understand seeing you are enjoying summer temps.

Ros said...

Oh how nice to see a genuine Vintage quilt still being loved and not in a "collection", tho' much better to be saved in a collection than lost forever.
Beutiful quilt, wish I'd seen it, but we were in Clifford's buying my elder daughter a little Janome.
See you next week

Anonymous said...

I remebember 'Aunty' Win (not a real auntie to me – not related at all, just a good family friend) in her house close to the forest in Pontrhydyfen. She looks fantastic. Da iawn Anti Win. Thanks for the fascinating post
x x
Bethan Mair (Dorothy's daughter – she, and Mair, will know)

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