Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Favorite Welsh-Inspired Quilt,

It's been a really long couple weeks.  My husband is recovering from a fall and it's beeen all too convenient to blame that situation for everything I'm not getting done.  But, thanks to Tia Curtis' encouragement (and others, thank-you!) I'm finally getting the quilt pictures scanned for transferring to the blog. As you can see, that process still needs some polishing up! Please be patient, I'm not a technology person and would much rather do something rather than read computer books.  Wish me luck.

When the weather and my husband finally get better, I'll get some of my antiques photographed.  I don't have a huge collection but I do have some interesting quilts.  So, as soon as we have a good overcast day with minimal traffic on our gravel road, I'll hang the quilts on the end of the wood shed and shoot them.  Sadly, my budget no longer allows for professional photography.  The pictures on this posting were taken by Mark Frey (and are copyright protected).

Cottage Quilt
This little wall quilt (about 32"sq.) was inspired by the Welsh quilts I photographed in 1997 at St. Fagans near Cardiff, Wales.  The quilts were stacked up on a couple beds in an upper bedroom of one of the cottages.  These quilts were mostly everyday quilts but I've always believed that they were some of the most interesting.  More on these later.

One of my favorite features of Welsh quiltmaking is that the quilting designs usually had nothing do to with the piecing or patchwork.  This quilt is made from cotton sateen using leftovers from other quilts which is why there are irregular rectangles of tan sateen inserted in the center of each side.  I didn't have enough blue for the borders so I stretched it with the tan pieces which aren't the same size or centered. In the blue/tan borders, the quilting pattern runs across the patchwork, elsewhere on the design, I pretty much stitched patterns as they fit the corner blocks, the gold border and around the hearts.

The binding on this quilt isn't the traditional British folded edge finish that I usually use but is a separate, sewn on binding of red sateen.  I thought it needed the touch of red around the outside.  This quilt hung at a The Assoc. of Pacific Northwest Quilters show in 2002 and when I entered it I was quite certain my binding corners wouldn't meet a judge's approval and they didn't.  I don't recommend sateen for binding if you want nice square corners but it's a pleasure to hand quilt with. 

The hearts are also sateen which is a challenge for needleturn applique anytime you have an inside point because sateen is inclined to fray.  I lined the heart pattern up so the sateen's straight of grain was aligned with the inside point on the top and the point on the bottom.  This way, when the clip is made to turn the inside point of the top of the heart, it's less inclined to fray as much.

As I said, this is one of my favorites, I hope you enjoy it as well.  May it inspire you as the cottage quilts stacked on the beds inspired me.