Today, members of CE visited St Fagans for a talk about quilting and to their surprise and delight it wasn’t just about quilts but quilted clothes and related artefacts from the past were also shown.
We were taken back to the 18th century when women wore quilted petticoats. These were the days before zips, hooks and eyes and press studs and ties were used to keep clothing in place. Neither did clothing didn’t have pockets – they were also tied in place. The photo below is of a quilted petticoat and pockets made from recycled quilted fabric.
A child’s skirt from the same period was also shown.
Next we were shown some lovely little folding needlecases and a handkerchief holder that had been exquisiitely made and preserved. These would probably have been kept in the pockets (above)
We then moved onto the 20th century. In the depression of the 1930s cooperatives were set up in 6 areas of Wales to train women in the art of quilting. The quilts were made and sold to the wealthier population and brought in much needed income.
Individuals could create their own design and Welsh designs evolved.
Click here to view a quilt made in 1933 by the Porth Quilting cooperative which was one of 6 quilting groups established by the Rural Industries Bureau to revive the art of quilting in the depressed South Wales valleys.
This bed jacket was made in 1948
and around the same period this nightdress case
In 1951 a large-scale quilting exhibition was staged at St Fagans as part of Wales’ contribution to the Festival of Britain. Billed as ‘the largest, most comprehensive and the most interesting of its kind ever staged in the Principality’, the exhibition showcased the work of 60 contemporary quilters, alongside historic examples from the Museum’s collection and private owners.
This little baby bonnet won 3rd prize in the competition.
This quilt is thought to have been made for a bottom drawer. It has what appears to be a regal centre piece of fleur de Lys and crowns indicating it might have been made around 1911.
And this quilt is more of any every day quilt – well used but also well preserved
A huge vote of thanks to Elen, our host, who took us on a wonderful journey to explore the variety of ways that quilting has been used in the past – backed up with some fascinating Welsh history.
And before we left some of us popped into one of the galleries to see a beautiful 18th century silk gown that is currently being exhibited
Click here to view more examples of the Welsh Quilt Collection.