Quilts from the other cupboard

The understairs cupboard that stored all my spinning junk  supplies is right at the back of our house and is really not as large as my last post may have led you to believe – here it is, complete with sewing machine in front as a guide to the height of the door

Just to prove that I actually did make a start on the self-imposed ReLearn Spinning programme, here’s the yarn of the moment

The quilt cupboard is in the same part of the house but in the bedroom above and is much larger.  Once upon a time (the house dates to 1640) there would have been a ladder stair going directly from beside the fireplace in the room below and coming out directly into the upper room.   Before we arrived here 20 years ago both of these chimneyside places had been converted into very basic (ie unfitted) cupboard spaces with latch doors.  And over the years it has proved to be a very useful space for keeping quilts, old or otherwise, and all sorts of other textile treasures – away from the keen gaze of Himself, who rarely ventures to this part of the house.  There isn’t enough space to keep the quilts layered and rolled as they should be, but at least they can be away from sunlight and the attentions of the warring cats.   Those of you who live with cats won’t need reminding that any self-respecting feline has radar that can detect quilted items, fabric, batting etc at a distance of several hundred yards and several brick walls.  All of our cats have always felt that quilted texture is the perfect setting for them.

As there is quite a cupboard theme going on this week I thought it might be a good time to show a couple more vintage quilts. 

The first one is crib size, never been used and is dark cream satin with carded wool batting.  The quilting design is very straightforward, running feather with a diamond grid and a lined twist border.  I bought this ten years ago from a general textiles dealer who had no information on it – my guess would be 1930s-ish.  It’s nothing special, just very charming.

The second quilt is rather larger, being double bed size, but also 1930s-ish.  Bought from Jen Jones fifteen or so years ago, this is a Welsh quilt, cream sateen fabric front and back, carded wool batting, green thread, and a once-fashionable frill.  I use this quilt a lot for classes – the design is bold and simple and there is not one line that is perfectly drafted by our standards, but it is beautiful nonetheless.  The first picture shows a folded quarter of the quilt –

Time to get some stitching done …

9 thoughts on “Quilts from the other cupboard”

  1. Aww lurve the kitty!

    I wouldn’t mind owning either of those quilts but especially the Welsh one. It reminds me of my Welsh Nan who always had them on her beds. I never knew what happened to them!

    I still think it would have been the Welsh whole cloths I would have come home with from the V&A exhibition.

  2. I love the distinctive spiral motifs on Welsh quilts, and that’s a beautiful example. Re your note about facebook – I find facebook a bit of a mixed blessing, but OK so long as you stay away from all the noise and chaos. I have a very quiet corner there! Linda and Laura Kemshall have a new page there too. Is it worth all the extra admin/online time (at the expense of stitching time)? Not sure yet…

  3. HA! How do we know that your door isn’t the tardis in disguise and that you are not the doctor? Seriously, the colour of that wool you are spinning is a great shade. What a pity that the baby quilt wasn’t used, that may be a sad tale it has to tell. Love the quilting on both quilts. After our exhibition I am going to do some proper quilting. Watch this space.

  4. I love Welsh quilts that don’t have perfect marking, I don’t like perfection but prefer the human touch to shine through. The old country quilters didn’t worry about achieving perfection their way was more organic and much more appealing I think. One can almost follow their thought processes where they went wrong and used ingenuity of disguise the lapse. I just love that – it’s folk art and this is what I try to do when I do Welsh quilting, make it up as I go along just as they did.

    I promised you a comment Barbara!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing, Barbara. Theses quilts are marvellous, I want to call them silent beauties.
    My cats love my quilts too… and their radar works perfectly as well!

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