Monday, 3 November 2014

November update, and an old Welsh quilt

Finally our long Indian summer and warm start to Autumn has been replaced by cooler mornings, condensation on the windows and more autumnal colours in the hedgerows.  This is the view across our paddock.

Not surprisingly, summer plants are still flowering or have started to flower again, like this Borage . . .

These Pot Marigolds . . .

And these Nasturtiums.  I pulled out the main bed of them ("thicket" was more appropriate) a month ago, but could have left them I suppose.  Now the seeds which got left behind (though I saved a bucketful!) have started to grow - they will get a shock when we get the first frost.

After I did some more donkey-wrangling yesterday - I am teaching my friend and neighbour's donkey how to lead - I came back and tackled the worst area of overgrown-ness by the Magnolia.  Three large and overladen wheelbarrowfulls of leaves and stems were removed from here.  Note the Robin with an eye to getting lunch!  I wasn't too surprised to find Daffodils had sprouted an inch above the ground!

By way off a complete change, here is an old Welsh wholecloth quilt I bought at auction recently (just for the design).  Leaves often figure on Carmarthenshire quilts, so I guess it is a local design.

A rather inexpert fan in one corner.  It's good to see that not everyone was a quilting expert in these parts, so this was obviously made for a family bed, rather than by an expert quilt-maker, to order.

Central medallion, with more leaves.

Close-up of design elements.

The border.

It is a shame that the colours were not brighter and that the quilt had been folded and one edge left in the light, but it is a good record of an old local Welsh pattern.

This is the underside.  I think originally they were a very pale green (this side) and a dark green - the one which has gone browner now.  The flash doesn't show the real colours.

Meanwhile, my small-hexi runner is nearing completion.  Once again, the greens are skewed in shading by the flash.  The bud at the end was difficult to make up as the instructions just referred you to Diagram 2 (very helpful!)  I shall quilt it once it's all assembled.

Finally, you can tell it's Autumn as we have wall-to-wall cats!  Here is Alfie (aka Wild Thing).  His brother Little Whale is asleep on the sofa, and everyone else is in the kitchen.    Alfie is currently on the windowsill in here with me, giving me gentle meows.  Bless.


  1. Love the autumnal photographs. Love also that old Welsh quilt. I have a very similar old white one, which is almost worn out - long past being put on the bed, but I can't hear to throw it out. They were made not only with love but often also of necessity.

  2. Fascinating about the quilt- how old do you think it is? I am currently knitting squares for a blanket for L's bed. They are not neat and tide squares, but I absolutely love making them. A winter occupation and one that always makes me feel close to my ancestors, who would doubtless have used the long winter evenings for a similar purpose.

  3. Hopefully I'll have some more to put up later Pat - I was planning a walk, came up to get changed, and it promptly started raining! You can still use your quilt for the warmth and just pop a cover over it to hide any shabbyness.

    CT - I think it's probably 1920s or 30s. It's well done, just a wee bit wonky in places and that is probably due to quilting without a proper frame. Parts of it are beautifully done, but other bits just a bit unbalanced, but it's still a nice thing. Enjoy your knitted-squares blanket making. I did one for my eldest daughter when she was at Uni and in freezing cold student houses. Knitted front, a thick layer of batting and I think it was a piece of warm flanellette sheeting on the back. Making things is so satisfying.

  4. I see the wobbly stitches you pointed out, but overall that's quite a feat of stitching.
    I've noted self-seeded flowers coming up from earlier ones--all done now due to heavy frost over the weekend.
    Cats sprawled anywhere there is extra warmth--rather dangerously on the stairs to the basement!

  5. Sharon - take nothing awayfrom her - it's beautifully done, but I think she had trouble towards the edges - perhaps difficult at the edge of a quilting frame? A shame it has faded . . .

  6. Hours of work must have gone into that quilt, no quibbling about mistakes, all my work has some ;)

  7. Lovely autumnal photos - we still have flowers here especially Cosmos. The patterns on the quilt are wonderful - what a lot of work went into it.

  8. Love the Robin waiting for some snacks in the clearings you have made, great birds. That's a very lovely quilt too. Cats are changing their behaviour now-staying in more and sleeping in the winter sun spots.