Thursday 16 July 2009

Welsh Quilts - an Inspiration for Amish Quilts?

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.


  1. Thank you for sharing the information on Welsh quilts.

    I'm descended (great-grandfather) from a Welsh imigrant to Pennsylvania!

    I spent my early years in Pennsylvania and still have many relatives in the western area of Pennsylvania and I also have relatives in Lancaster and Lancaster county. At one time we lived next to an Amish farm so I'm very familiar with the Amish lifestyle and quilting.

    Windy Meadow

  2. What fascinating history, Jacqueline. The Quaker quilts have such colorful color schemes. I am going to visit Jen right now.

    Wendy Sheppard

  3. This is what makes the blog so interesting, to keep meeting up with people who are connected to the needlework I see - and for them to share their first-hand aquaintance with stitchers all around the world. How much we can learn and share together. Wonderful!