Welsh Quilting

You have heard me talk about Welsh Quilting – but what is it?

Of course there are many aspects to Welsh Quilting, including piecing, but I decided to focus on the actual quilting designs. Why? I just love how they look and each motif has meaning – and of course there are rules, but rules are meant to be broken because I love to live on the embroidery edge!

Traditionally, Welsh Quilts we made by hand and were whole-cloth quilts – meaning that the fabric is one entire piece of fabric with the quilting added by hand. That’s not really workable with the embroidery machine (although I think the Luminaire would work well with it – kind of like endless quilting designs). I modernized these two ideas to be quilt blocks sewn on the embroidery machine. Not quite the same, but the end result is gorgeous!

Welsh quilts are full of bright colors – usually a red in the quilt somewhere – and can be pieced or quilted. You will see leaves, swirls, paisleys, more swirls, hearts and more. You can add swirls to just about any design and it will look great. In keeping with tradition the swirls are evenly spaced in each round – so the end result is a perfect circle, and every swirl makes a perfect circle too. Half Circles can make up borders, cable quilting and very complicated cable quilting (i have not mastered the 4 to 8 cables that cross over in the round and then form a square, but I am working on it) Traditionally, a Welsh Quilt will have a center medallion (like the Sunshine in my Welsh Quilt below) and then rows of designs are built around the medallion.

Another tradition in Welsh quilting is that each line is stitched twice, with some space between each line. Each leaf, heart, flower, fan will have two outlines. I love the look of two outlines, so I am keeping with this tradition.

You will find that stitching these designs on your embroidery machine is a real pleasure to watch and finish. This is actually a quilt that you will finish and “wow” everyone that sees your work! This quilt style looks complicated, but it is NOT – it’s a nice, smooth stitch out with hardly any trims and zero thread changes. Ahhhhhhh, it’s nice to stitch!

It took me weeks to perfect the design and I made a lot of changes along the way – but it won’t take you that long to stitch each block first making your own quilt plan and picking the size blocks that you want to make.

“Starting the work is two-thirds of it” – Welsh proverb

you can also start smaller and make a placemat sized design:

or even smaller with mug rugs with Welsh Designs:
Happy Stitching!

Sue Brown

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