As you might guess from the previous post, I love folk art quilts and one of the best is a wonderful Welsh cow quilt in Ron Simpson's collection. It has been featured in many books - QUILTS OF THE BRITISH ISLES by JANET RAE being one (this can be found on Amazon and lots of other websites, the quilt is on page 117). The quilt was made around 1900 and its main feature is its central needlepoint panel of cow which is surrounded by wool pieces outlined in what looks like herringbone stitch. The name May Bowen is embroidered on the central panel, presumably the maker? She has quilted it in a rather strange diamond infill pattern which I haven't seen before.
A few of us had talked about doing our own version, but where to start? What inspired me was finding the Laura Ashley tomato red trellis fabric on eBay which is close to the colour of the original. I charted my own cow, which I based on a Staffordshire Cow Creamer, as I think this was the probable source of the pattern. To achieve the size I wanted, I worked it on Aida with Appleton's Crewel wool as then it can be washed..
As I don't do large quilts, mine is much smaller than the original and I used a mixture of fabrics from my stash, vintage Laura Ashley, ticking, shirting (I buy men's shirts on sale and cut them up) some Oakshott plains and last but not least Japanese woven fabrics as these are made in all the sludgy and taupy colours seen in old Welsh quilts. I did some Welsh quilting patterning all over it except for the cow panel which I outline quilted. I embroidered my grandmother's name Mary Evans instead of the original. This makes it more personal to me and it's not a replica but my take on an old quilt. It was great fun to do and I used up lots of bits but not nearly enough!
If any of you would like to to try herringbone stitch, which I use a lot, I have put a link to a demo video. It is so easy and quite quick to work once you get into the swing of it and here in GB it was a traditional way to applique, for example attaching embroidery slips and doing broiderie perse.