The Welsh Quilt Centre

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    As Good As It Gets this year's main exhibition at The Welsh Quilt Centre, is a celebration of magnificent Welsh Quilts made especially for a luxury market. These fine quilts were produced in Wales from 1921 to 1939 during a time of hardship in the socially and economically depressed areas of South and West Wales

    Quilts were made to order and sold in the luxury markets of London, Cardiff and other large cities. This was a post-war government initiative and the Rural Industries Bureau was set up to keep traditional skills alive and to provide employment. The quilters involved were carefully chosen by Mavis Fitz Randolph, a craft adviser appointed by the RIB in 1928. She would travel around South Wales looking for skilful quilters by asking around the villages, even checking quilts on washing lines for clues! Quilters were chosen, classes were set up and teachers appointed. These women were now part of a scheme whose aim was to provide work in South Wales. The areas chosen included Aberdare, Abertridwr, Merthyr Tydfil and the Rhondda.

    Prestigious orders during the 1930s came from the Royal Family, aristocracy, and distinguished hotels. Most importantly, Claridges Hotel in Mayfair, London commissioned quilts for their new Art Deco wing and when it opened in 1932 there were Welsh Quilts on every bed. The opulent fabrics used in the quilt-making process came from mainly Liberty and included silks, satin, taffeta and velvet, and each quilt was filled with Welsh lambs-wool.

    Jen Jones is the proud owner of a 'Claridges' Quilt, which will be exhibited along with many more marvellous Welsh Quilts from this era in the main courtroom gallery.

    As 'Good As It Gets' a highly original exhibition designed by Gwenllian Ashley opens on the 10th of March and will run until the 4th of November at The Welsh Quilt Centre, Lampeter.

    The Welsh Quilt Centre
    The Town Hall,
    High Street,
    Wales UK
    SA48 7BB