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Buttermilk Welsh Wholecloth Quilt

Buttermilk Welsh Wholecloth

This relatively small wholecloth quilt (75” x 77” (214 cm x 219 cm)) is made from deep cream cotton sateen fabric on one side, and a small, pink & burgundy on cream floral print on the other.

It is known to have been made in the Cwm, Llandudoch (St Dogmaels), Pembrokeshire, close to the border of Cardiganshire. It is reported that there was a well known quilter living in the Cwm towards the end of the nineteenth century, but her name is not known.

It is filled with springy wool fleece, which gives a good loft, and shows up the quilting designs in high relief.

The quilting design is of the typical framed layout found in Wales, with double lines separating a square area in the middle from a wide border.

The central area has a “coin” with a ring of five large, double-lined beech leaves leaving a slightly irregular five-pointed star shape within. This section has a small flower in the middle, ringed with a simple twist and trefoils; the beech leaf ring is bordered with a sequence of small double “figure-of-eight” spirals within double lining.
Cross-hatching fills the rest of the central space to fan corners, which each have a single large beech leaf, flanked by two large spirals, bordered with the same double spiral design seen around the coin.

The deep outer border section is composed of a repeating motif where longitudinally cut half-leaves surround the beech-leaf-with-spirals combination found in the fan corners. Two repeats of the border design are used for the short side borders, and then three repeats make up the longer top and bottom borders butted across them. The repeats are carefully planned to fit the space, with a full pair of leaves, similarly stitched with concentric echo quilting, neatly finishing each sequence at both ends – so although the design does not turn the corners, it appears balanced. Some of the border repeats have additional spirals filling the sides, but careful inspection shows that these are not consistent – in some places there is more echo quilting.

The quilting is done with cream thread, and is of good quality, with small, even stitches.

The butted edge is hand-stitched with a double line of stitching.

This quilt was bought from Jen Jones in person at her shop.

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