The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Putting the new with the old!

Many old Medallion quilts look as if there is a time lag between the centre and their outer areas and this is very often the case. Maybe someone started a piece of patchwork or embroidery which never got finished - we all know about that don't we?  Then years later someone else comes along and decides that it would make a nice centre for a quilt and extends it. Sometimes the quilter herself will find something she made years ago and decide to use it - I have done this a few times!

Here is an intriguing example -

made by Anne James, who was born in 1796, and who lived at Aberelwyn Glandwr, on the Pembrokeshire /Carmarthenshire border.  In 1830 she married John Morse, who was a farmer and moved nearby to  Cefnpant, Llanboidy.  This is an area that has rich  Welsh quilting traditions and it is said that Ann was taught to quilt by her mother, Mary and that she made the central panel of hexagons when she was 14 years old.

Now we enter the realm of speculation!  Did Ann come across her early piece of  hexagon patchwork and decide to use it many years later, perhaps when she was preparing for her marriage?  We shall never know the whole story!

I love studying these quilts and speculating about their makers.  Of course one will never know the actual circumstances, but one can pick up quite a few clues about the social circumstances of the different quilters from their style and the quality of fabrics and of course fabric dating will give you an idea of the timescale.

This quilt is in the collection of Jen Jones and was dated 1820-25 at the one of the Quilters' Guild Documentation days and a plan of its wonderful quilting is on Page 80 of the book Quilt Treasurers.
It has recently been conserved and here are some pictures of  Catherine Vicic, the Conservator, finishing the process in the gallery at the Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter.  These also show us a close up of the wonderful quilting.

The last picture is a reproduction the conservator made which will give anyone interested a good idea of the process of making a quilt.  This was part of her degree course at Camberwell College of Arts, where she gained a B.A in Textile Conservation using this lovely quilt as her practical project.

Now here is some news, this stunning quilt will be in next year's exhibition which is to be called (this piece of news is hot off the press) - "Early to Bed" and will feature quilts with a folk art element to them.

Hazel, who works with Jen, has sent me several images of quilts that might be included, which I may well be sharing with you soon!


Sue said...

Very interesting Mary. I love seeing medallion quilts and this one is just lovely.

Vicki said...

Loved reading your post this morning with my coffee. Thanks for posting!

Virginia said...

Very interesting post! I have a quilt from my maternal grandmother that the blocks were made for her hope chest in 1935 and then finally put together and quilted in the 1970s when she got interested in quilting again.

Donna in SW PA said...

Love the quilt . Thanks for sharing!

regan said...

Thank you for the link to the Welsh Quilt Centre, Mary. I just watched your friend Jen Jones' video about her shop. What a lovely lady, and her shop is filled to the brim quilty treasures! What a delight! Thank you!

Susan Briscoe said...

If the fabrics in the Anne James quilt centre can be dated to 1810 or earlier, then she could have made the centrepiece when she was 14, otherwise not. It's a nice idea and it has the feeling of one of those family history tales that gets embellished a lot as time goes by (we have a few of those!) Do you have a detailed photo of the centre?

audrey said...

Very enjoyable reading through this. The quilt is so lovely.

Rose said...

Lovely quilt. I enjoy looking at the hand stitching on the old quilts. Great source of ideas for hand quilting designs!

Little Welsh Quilts and other traditions said...

You may well be right Susan! The maths seem to be a bit out! Maybe when the quilt is exhibited next year we will have more precise fabric dating. If I find out more I will update the information.