Sunday, 27 February 2011

Copper and Beige Welsh Quilt

It looks like someone didn`t buy enough copper fabric for the front of her quilt and had to do some creative filling out.
The fabric looks silver in the photos but is actually a beige colour.
Here we can see it filling out one of the corners of the quilt.
A rather jazzy 1930`s print is also used on three out of the four corners. It is the print that makes up the back of this quilt.
A close up view of the central pattern. I wonder why the maker didn`t just use the beige fabric on the two ends of the quilt rather than have that tiny central strip.  
Here a  'Welsh Pear'  is used to fill out the awkward space around the circle.
The pattern was derived from the shapes on traditional Kashmiri shawls. Factories in Paisley, Scotland produced their own versions that were cheaper and they became very popular in Wales. In fact they almost become part of the national dress.

Sidney Vosper`s famous painting 'Salem' shows a lady in traditional Welsh dress with a magnificent Paisley shawl. 

Some people think that you can make out a devils face in the folds on her arm..... 

A characteristic of Welsh quilting is that it pays little or no attention to the underlying pieced work. It`s difficult to make out but the corner fan is quilted across all three parts of the quilt.
And this is the back. I don`t think you could pick a fabric better designed for hiding quilting stitches if you tried! 

This is another weighty quilt. Almost certainly with either a blanket wadding or tightly packed, carded wool.  It has to be something woolen as this quilt absolutely reeks of moth balls, almost to the extent that I thought someone had been trying some DIY dry cleaning with petrol.

It won`t be going within a hundred feet of a naked flame!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

They`re not all black....

Here`s a few photos of a one of my sadder and rather worn quilts. It`s rather light in weight with a cotton wool filling and handquilted in clamshell pattern.
 No black fabric at all in this one but it still has a few things in common with the black border quilts. A lot of the fabrics in this are in small pieces,

Here at least five thin strips of fabric have been sewn together to make an eight inch patch.

A couple of worn areas. You can see how the dyes in the darker areas are weakening the fabric compared to the background. That second motif looks rather Japanese in style.

This is a lovely design don`t you think?

Some of the fabric patches show faults in printing.
Here are two roller printed cottons showing faults in the roller printing process. The white patches are where the fabric has become folded or creased and the dye hasn`t been able to get to these areas. The three red stripes are interesting. I thought at first they were part of the pattern but then I spotted them on the second piece of material.

Are they part of the manufacturing process. Or maybe they mark imperfect and rejected material?

And finally some more fabric stamping.

You could almost make out the lettering here....does the last word spell 'SHOW'?

I find these rough and ready quilts a lot more interesting than a perfect quilt.

Monday, 14 February 2011

A couple that got away.....

Here`s a couple of bordered quilts that I spotted but didn`t manage to get. This one is from eBay. Black diamonds and wide black borders and rather uniform prints make this quite a subtle quilt.

The backing fabrics are more exciting though, great jazzy patterns there and I love the red fabric separating the strips!
This is the most sophisticated version of this type of quilt that I have seen yet. The piecing is of a high standard as is the blending of fabrics. I love the coppery border around the central diamond.
The other side is equally as gorgeous with a slightly different colour scheme.
Some of the wonderful fabrics used.

This quilt was for sale in a mid Wales antiques shop but for a lot of money. I had to pass on it.


Saturday, 12 February 2011

Another Black and Patterned Quilt

I bought this quilt last year at a large Welsh antiques fair. It is fairly basic in design and rather crudely constructed. And boy, is it heavy!

The familiar black borders in a range of fabric weights with stamps in a few places.
 Here`s one near the edge. You can get a feel of the rough nature of the contruction and the quilting from this photo.

 Another stamp. This fabric has a more luxurious finish but is still quite a low quality material. 

Some of the patterned materials look like furnishing fabric; 
 This fabric is lighter in construction, but the Tulip pattern is quite large and could be quite overwhelming for a dress. It does have a rather 1930`s feel to it.

Here a rather pretty floral sprigged cotton appears in three different colour combinations ;
This is a 'quilt within a quilt'. The filling is an older and very worn quilt. Parts of it can be seen where the fabric has been torn and in some places the new fabric is so thin that the fabric of the old quilt can clearly been seen through it.
Pink sprigged fabric visible through a tear.
You could almost tell what the older quilt looks like, it shows so clearly through this very fine and worn piece of cloth. The brown lines are two braided lengths of cord. I have no idea what they are doing there.

The quilting is very crude as can be expected with the quilter having to push her needle through at least five seperate layers of fabric.  It is also difficult to make out but does appear to be Welsh in style with clear spirals;
...and what would seem to be a central circular design in the Diamond.
The back unfortunately seems to have been replaced at some point and now consists of a single piece of floral fabric. It`s possible that the quilting was done at this time.

It is a 'rough and ready' quilt but shows the thrifty nature of the original quilter who was reusing and recycling long before we did.

Although I`ll bet her fingers were sore after quilting that!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Kalidoscope Quilt

This is the quilt I am working on at present. Inspired by a similar quilt in Quilts of Illusion.

This has been a bit of a long term project, started in the Spring, got taken on holiday with me in Summer and put to one side several times!

It is the only quilt that I have ever done any kind of colour planning on.
The original quilt used a combination of sea greens, slate blues, beiges and soft pinks. I chose orangy reds, sea blues and greens  and reddish shades of purple. 

I was a bit worried that the secondary patterns that appear on the original quilt and make it so interesting weren't appearing in mine.  But I can see a few of the larger circles now. Only time will tell if it will be as interesting a quilt as the original.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Quilts of Illusion

I picked up this interesting book a few months ago when I was in Hay-On-Wye. Written by Laura Fisher, it dates from 1988 and was published by Blandford. I can recommend a search on Amazon for a copy!

It has many well known optical illusion patterns like Log Cabin and Tumbling Blocks but also a few that are less familiar. This Cross pattern made from a combination of Tumbling Block pieces and hexagons.

This is another variation on the Tumbling Blocks which I think is very effective. I love the older fabric in this quilt.

The Pattern almost disappears in this quilt. Again some wonderful old fabrics. 

And this is the one which inspired the quilt top I am working on at present. I have completed all the blocks and am starting to piece the quilt together. I`ll post some pictures of it soon.

I also found yet more Black Border Quilts and I`ll post them too.