I'm in love with the bold, geometric, seemingly random but still symmetrical designs found on traditional Welsh quilts. Quilts were often wholecloth, but some tops had added borders and some were pieced strippy style. Regardless of how the top was made, the patterns were generally arranged around a strong center motif, with several quilted borders repeated around. Favorite motifs included rosettes, paisleys, hearts, leaves, coins, and spirals. However, I've read that traditional Welsh quilts didn't include feathers. It seems every motif was echoed to help it stand out from the background quilting. Designs were not contained within the pieced structure, but were generally quilted outside the box. Many were finished with a narrow border all around and a knife edge, rather than an applied binding.
North Country quilts share some of those same design aspects but also had distinct differences. North Country quilters loved their feathers. Quilts were often pieced strippy style or with a center diamond and the quilting was contained within the piecing seamlines. North Country quilts were also finished with a knife edge.
During my design work (and play) with this design group, I tended to mix the two style together. I found it difficult to think outside the box, still wanting to place patterns within seamlines and I loved mixing the Welsh geometrics with my feathers.
Below is one example of Welsh influence on a strippy quilt, but with feathers rather than a large rosette, in the center. The leaves, paisleys, spirals, and Welsh Trail border finish the design plan.
I tried to stay true to many of the traditional patterns, but added some others, and then went off on my own when choosing how to put patterns together for the overall design. I hope you will enjoy that sense of freedom, too, as you design your own quilt.
Many people have asked if I would be offering my Welsh and North Country patterns in sets. I had to think a bit about what the best way to group and present them might be.
Strippy style seems to be a good way to begin. The layout is simple, can be done on a pieced top or on wholecloth, and does not require a large number of patterns.
I've designed four patterns to get you started. The zip file will include a v7 Project which includes the full layout shown on the CAD, all of the patterns sized to fit, and a pdf with instructions for piecing and quilting. If these projects prove to be popular, I will add more,
As always, there is a discount in pattern price when purchased in sets. Please note that as I design, some small motifs, such as coins, spirals, roses, etc. may be repeated. Because pattern prices are reduced when sold as sets, I am not able to replace or refund money on duplicate patterns received.
Cable Twist Strippy
Welsh Trails Strippy Quilt
Diamond Cable and Feathers
North Country Cable and Crosshatch
Individual Patterns - Mix 'em Up!
I've had great fun mixing and matching individual patterns to create new designs. Look down the page to see the variety of patterns in the whole collection.
Patterns are laid out on this sample quilt in a somewhat typical Welsh style, which ignores seam lines and lets the quilting speak for itself.
Frames are a good addition to any central medallion.
Wedges in repeat patterns along both sides of a border, create boxes which can be filled with small motifs.
Small Repeat Borders
Large, Long Borders
Welsh Trails, Tram Line Boxes, Tram Lines, and Boxes Borders. Tram Lines are double quilted lines, sometimes used as mock seam lines to separate one area from another on a wholecloth quilt. Box patterns take the place of the seam lines one would find in a pieced top. The long, bead line will work the same way.
Paisleys to be filled with the pattern of your choice.
Coins and Spirals
Welsh Beehive Fill cropped to fill a border
Fill Patterns designed specifically to stitch within hearts, leaves, paisleys, etc. without unnecessary retracing. Note, these are not background fills.
Filled Leaf sample
Filled Heart Sample
Filled Paisleys sample
Quilt layouts here are for inspiration. They were quick mock-ups and are not stitchable projects. Follow these guides or choose patterns that you love and put them into a new design of your own. I can't wait to see how you use them !
North Country Style
Cable Twist can be used in Strippy quilts or as a full border.
Diamond Cable Border and Corner was used on this quilt.
North Country Medallions
Click here for a pdf with pattern list, sizes, layout, and instructions for making the North Country Beech Leaf Medallion