Works in Progress…and hand quilted to boot.

The reason for dragging down off the top shelf these two WIPs I’m going to show, is I have just been tripping around blogland and looking at this blog called Little Welsh Quilts and Other Traditions.  It’s the blog of Mary Jenkins, who wrote this book with Clare Claridge.

Making Welsh Quilts, Mary Jenkins & Clare Claridge

Making Welsh Quilts by Mary Jenkins and Clare Claridge

I found the blog through Penny Tucker’s blog and have checked in to take a look a couple of times in the last few weeks as Mary and Clare’s book (above) is one I’ve had in my quilt book library since 2007.

So all that reminded me of an unfinished quilt a la gallois (or should that be galloise…but that sounds like a cigarette) on my shelf and because I’m having a quiet day (not a lazy day…a quiet day, I am hanging a quilt exhibition tomorrow and I need to conserve my energy) I thought “I shall get that down and blog about it”  and while I was at it I grabbed another one too…the thing these two quilts have in common is that they are the only unfinished Hand Quilted projects I have.

I’m not saying they’re going to be the last two things I ever hand quilt, but it’s a distinct possibility.

After going to Wales in 2006 and buying Mary and Clare’s book (and Jen Jones’s) I started taking a real interest in Welsh Quilts and decided I would like to make a reproduction quilt in that style…right down to the knife edge finished…no binding. (But of course I’m not up to that bit yet am I)

My inspiration came from a quilt picture I tore out of an English ‘housey’ magazine and I also had some old Welsh and North Country Quilting patterns to inspire me.   I’ve added Jen Jones’s book to the photo, because it would not be right to have a post about Welsh Quilts and not mention Jen Jones (several times) and add a link.


Inspiration, and my 'working' drawings.

Welsh Quilt

Can you see the similarity...You can say "no", I won't mind...

…when you see the whole thing, when it’s finished, you might see it better.

Of course I had to take a bit of poetic licence with the centre as the magazine clipping didn’t give too much away.

Now for some lovely close-ups

Welsh Quilt backing fabric.

Here's the back.

I really wanted red paisley, but three years ago I couldn’t find the density of colour and pattern I was after

(actually this, in red, would have been perfect) but I’m happy with this blue from Corliss.

Quilting Pattern, Welsh Flat Iron

Welsh Flat Iron, traditional Welsh quilting pattern.

My old quilt patterns came in handy, plus there are a lot in Mary and Clare’s book.

Paisley Pear

Paisley Pear, another Welsh quilting pattern.

Oh, and there’s some of that favourite pink I blogged about on the 17th Oct.

Two long-time favourite Windham fabrics

Two long-time favourite Windham fabrics. The larger print is the background for my Connecticut Quilt.

Centre detail

Detail of quilt centre.

The quilting of the centre is complete but there is still a lot to be done in the borders.

Though I have mapped out what is going where, that’s half the battle isn’t it.

Pattern sheets

Welsh Quilt, quilting 'maps'

This is one that will be a pattern, though I really need to finish it first.

I really want to continue with the hand quilting of this quilt,

even though I now own a Long-arm quilt machine and could quilt those patterns on Violet, I want to finish this one with the vision I had at the start, so it’s going to take a while.

But, hey, it’s down off the shelf now and blogging about things can give us a a bit of a kick.

And here’s a section of the other (WiP) quilt.

1860 - 1880 quilt

Double Pink, Indigo, Chrome Yellow, Madder Brown etc. The fabrics of 1860-1880.

This is only small, 39″ square.  Started in 2006 (?) and probably a third of the quilting is  done.

I did a one day workshop with Jan Gessin Baker, a lesson in the fabrics of the era and searching through ‘the stash’ to find authentic reproductions to replicate one of her (many) antique quilts… Because Jan also has an extensive collection of vintage fabrics, it was interesting to analyse the real thing, find the reproduction equivalent (and sometimes you can see the absolute copy) and see how well the designers are reproducing them.

Not just that workshop day but also the eight years I was attending Threadbear and Jan’s Quilt History Study Group, was when I really started paying very close attention to the detail in the fabrics (Antique and Repro).

Sometimes I think a repro is just not a good enough match for me…(I was actually going to stop blogging and get some dinner but I’m going to quickly grab the camera, take a snap and show you a case in point)


Kashmir V by Sentimental Studios for Moda, This fabric in a larger scale...I would have nearly bought the shop out. Instead I bought 30 cm.

Maybe I should have gone and  got dinner and not got on my soap box about this but…

…the larger companion print of this fabric (not shown because I didn’t buy any) should have been perfect for Broderie Perse but it just does not have the definition or sharpness of pattern nor the intensity of colour that this smaller print has. It’s just plain fuzzy and, in my mind, not suitable for BP even though it is clearly trying to be a reproduction of fabrics which were used for Broderie Perse but the pictured fabric with the appropriate definition/intensity etc is just too small.

Maybe I’ll start drawing up my own fabric designs…

but for now, tummy rumbling

Thanks for visiting…


  1. Hi Margaret, I found this post very interesting, especially the last portion dealing with reproduction fabrics and Broiderie Perse. I find that few repros are suitable for that purpose……much fewer than I would wish. I appreciated your comment on my blog about the Philip Jacobs I’m using for Mary Brown. I am really enjoying working with these, even though it is a hugely wasteful use of yardage! Talk about making Swiss cheese…… omelettes w/o breaking eggs, though. I love that the leaves on many of the Kaffe Collective prints are big enough to give you more options. Do you remember the Chintz grouping that came out last year? I purchased a good bit of it, only to find the flowers were far too small to use for BP……sigh. Until next time, Michele

  2. I love the quilt and the back is gorgeous. There is a similarity butwith a Margaret stamp. Love the paisley pear and all your working drawings. Cannot wait to see the quilt all finished. I see what you mean about the BP gorgeous colours but the print is too small and detailed. Love the Double Pink in Quilt two. Keep having Fun

  3. I love your quilt! Everything about it is perfect. I know what you mean about red paisley. It took me forever to find enough for my Old Virginia Calicos quilt. I’ve been collecting Broderie fabrics for the Morrell, and I suspect you have, too. :)

  4. Maggie G. says:

    Hi Margaret,

    I love your quilt in progress. Where can I get a package of the old patterns you are working from. Are they still available? Can you give me the details so I can try to search it out if you don’t know a source?
    Many thanks,

    Maggie G.

  5. Margaret says:

    Hi Maggie,
    thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. A couple of posts up from this one, ‘The Quiltery…is it still there’ describes where I got the patterns (from my local spotlight craft store) years and years ago, but it did open a bit of online discussion from others who had packs from the same series. The Quiltery in England is long gone unfortunately so I think these are well and truly out of print. An Ebay search is worthwhile from time to time for anything discontinued as people clear out their stashes, but that’s all I can suggest I’m afraid, or perhaps an online quilt group.
    Good luck and I’d love to hear about it if you’re successful.
    Cheers Margaret

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