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Diamond in a Square Welsh Patchwork

Made in Nantgaredig, Carmarthenshire, at the end of the 19th century

(The Welsh Quilt Centre)

Size: 211 cm x 185 cm (86 in. x 73 in.)

Top fabric: coarse linen/cotton

Backing fabric: cotton

Wadding: blanket

Construction: machine pieced and hand quilted

The stitching patterns are a zany combination of leaves, fans and crosshatch. This is one of many eccentric Welsh patchworks that break the obvious rules while still managing to delight.

We wanted to use this particular quilt in our 2012 Amish/Welsh exhibition ‘A Quilted Bridge’ as its central ‘diamond in a square’ was a key design that united the two traditions. Unfortunately the quilt had been folded for many years and as a consequence was severely creased down the middle. It was also in need of some repairs and although not stained was desperately grimy, to such an extent that the colours were dull and lifeless. We elected to choose it as our 2012 Conservation Candidate.

Weeks later when it was returned our choice was validated. The quilt simply glowed. Conserving a quilt is very costly but the end result is always very rewarding. We can only manage to have one, possibly two, done every year, but little by little The Welsh Quilt Centre’s collection is being cared for item by item.

©Jen Jones 2013