Thursday, 16 July 2009
In 1681 William Penn devised a project to establish a Welsh Barony in what would later become Pennsylvania. Here members of the Society of Friends from Wales could live by their Quaker tenets free from persecution. And what is more: they could speak their native Welsh, which was not permitted under English rule. Pennsylvania became such a magnet for Welsh Quakers and Baptists, that there was a saying that there were more Welsh in America than Wales. Adept miners, Welsh labour would later supply the Pennsylvanian anthracite mining industry. It does not seem then too far-fetched to consider that the quilts and bedrolls the Welsh took with them to provide comfort and warmth should have an influence on Amish quilt development. This Welsh quilt is of pieced flannel, the sections of which might have originated from a tailor's sample book of serges, flanels and tweeds. Simply quilted it could originally have encased a worn blanket, or perhaps have been filled with fleece gleaned from hedgerows. Or, again, filled with fabric rags beyond use. Jen Jones, a collector and historian of Welsh quilts has written a wonderful book on the subject, and is producing another book in French. To visit her web-site simply click here.
Posted by N E E D L E P R I N T at 11:59