Welsh Quilts …

24/08/2011 § Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I visited Dad in west Wales.


We often take a day trip ‘down memory lane’ when I visit – down to Pembrokeshire to my great-grandparents’ farm or to the valley where he was born in South Wales.  My visits are always a complete maelstrom of emotions – relief to find ‘home’ is just the same, excitement to see Dad, interest to meet & chat with people I’ve known for most of my life, sadness that Mum isn’t still there making tea and watching Poirot from her favourite chair.

This year, I took long trip west alone.  Our youngest had already made the journey and had been staying to do a bit of decorating.  He and Dad had other plans for the Wednesday, so I had a rare and delightful day to myself.

I decided a trip to Lampeter was in order – and most especially the Jen Jones Quilt Exhibition …

Jen Jones Quilt Exhibition

What an exhibition; what a venue.  Lampeter Town Hall, already famous for its role in The Edge of Love, the 2008 film loosely based on the loves of Dylan Thomas, is now home to this heritage exhibition.

Lampeter Town Hall

The upstairs has been complete refurbished since its days as a Court Room and has received some famous visitors …

Opening of The Welsh Quilt Exhibition 2010The exhibition was opened in 2010.

This summer’s exhibition was simply amazing.  Quilts from the 1800’s up to about the 1930’s displayed expertly and very simply against an atmospheric and well lit backdrop.  I really enjoyed myself.  The quilts were inspiring and there was an additional mini-quilt display room too.  As interesting as the quilts themselves, was the basket of ‘offcuts’ – pieces of genuine old quilts, very damaged and aged, showing the layers within – anything from sheep wool to layers of old dress fabric & shawls!

The quilt stitching was awe-inspiring.  How could these women have achieved these works of art, many whilst still running a home and working in the evenings by candlelight?  I learned about  Welsh culture too – the scheme to enable skilled women to earn money during the depression, by stitching quilts for nobility and London hotels; the travelling quilters who would stay on a farm for a couple of weeks and make a quilt from the materials they were given; the groups of women who quilted together to enable a neighbour to have a finished quilt; the quilts made by family members for younger sisters – every quilt told a story.

I bought some postcards, to remind me of my visit …

Quilts in a wood near LlanybytherQuilts in a wood near Llanybyther

Welsh Quilts against the Brecon Beacons

Welsh Quilts against the Brecon Beacons

Below the gallery there is a shop with interesting books and CD’s all about quilting – Welsh quilting in particular.  Jen Jones also has her original shop a few miles away in the village of Llanybyther.

Jen Jones Llanybyther shopYou’ll need to get directions to this 1730’s cottage that houses the most remarkable number of quilts and blankets for sale.

This is my favourite picture postcard …

Lassie the cow, keeping warm

Lassie the cow, keeping warm under a heavy cotton “strippy” Welsh Quilt!  Just goes to show, they love their old cows in Wales!!

If you have the opportunity to visit Lampeter, then do take it.  There’s also a fantastic quilting shop Calico Kate just a few doors away from the Town Hall – say no more!

Hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my trip.  I can’t wait for the next exhibition.

Adaliza x




Other tales from Wales …

Mum's Quilt

Red Kite Days

Manordeifi Church

Manordeifi Church

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