St Fagans – Old Welsh Quilts

Welsh quilt

Wales has a rich quilting tradition, and the Welsh Folk Museum at St Fagans, Cardiff, has a collection of old quilts which I saw on a trip with my C&G course. They showed us some quilts which were not normally visible to the general public. These are mainly wholecloth quilts and instead of batting they used a woollen blanket. The woollen industry was big in Wales and wool would have been readily available (lots of sheep on the hills too steep for growing crops). They had professional quilters who would travel from farm to farm.

This quilt had been unused, filled with sheep’s wool, well washed and carded. It was easier to quilt than a blanket and gives a higher relief.

This shows some of the predominant Welsh quilting motifs – leaves, cross hatching. Spirals are another.