A Quilted Bridge

A Quilted Bridge

This year, two of our favourite textile-related museums, the Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter, Wales, and the American Museum in Britain in Bath, England, have joined forces to stage a memorable exhibition. The inspiration for this exhibition was a book by Dorothy Osler. She has done extensive research into whether Amish quilts were influenced and inspired by the quilts brought to America by Welsh immigrants settling in the same Lancaster and Ohio areas as the Amish.

All pictures courtesy of The American Museum in Britain, Bath, and The Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre, Lampeter

Strippy Quilts

Seeing Amish and Welsh quilts hanging side by side in the major exhibition hall of the Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter, their similarities become strikingly evident: Daring colour combinations, sometimes dark, sometimes bright, woollen fabric, mostly abstract and very intricate quilting motifs.

Medaillon Quilt

Amish Centre Diamond

Despite Dorothy Osler's research and the comprehensive and tremendously convincing evidence her research has provided, we are still waiting for definite, scientific proof that Amish women indeed got their first inspiration from their Welsh neighbours.

But the question is whether we quilters really need more proof than that which Dorothy Osler's book gives us. Don't we know perfectly well how we can be inspired by other quilters' work? Haven't we, too, been inspired by quilts, whether antique or contemporary, which have touched our hearts and the creative wiring in our brains? And isn't it sometimes more interesting to believe rather than to know...

Red Welsh Medaillon

Our opinion:

If you live in the UK or plan to travel there before 10th November, we strongly recommend that you visit this extraordinary exhibition. The quilts are beautifully presented in the Welsh Quilt Centre's wonderful major exhibition room. Being able to see these powerful quilts up close is a feast for the eyes and will make this a very satisfying, inspiring detour from the more beaten Welsh paths.

A Quilted Bridge

And there is no need to go hungry either - there is a wonderful café located in the museum building where you will get excellent sustenance after all the excitement of visual stimulation and inspiration. Don't miss Kalico Kate, the quilt shop right beside the museum, and make sure that you have seen EVERY room there...

Related articles:

The Welsh quilts shown in the Welsh Quilt Centre come from Jen Jones's  extensive collection of antique Welsh quilts while the Amish quilts are on loan from the American Museum's collection. If you'd like to learn more about both museums and "meet" Jen Jones and Kate Hebert, the collections manager of the American Museum, why don’t you read the following articles previously published at Quilt around the World:

American Museum in Britain

Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre (including Interview with Jen Jones)

Three Quilt Jobs Every Quilter Would Love to Have

Outlook:

In 2013, Quilt around the World will collaborate with a leading German tour operator to organize a group tour for quilters and textile lovers to England and Wales. Both the American Museum in Britain and the Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre (the 2013 exhibition will show Kaffe Fasset's work together with the Welsh quilts) will be on our itinerary, as well as other highlights such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Quilt Museum and Gallery in York, Chatsworth House and the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. Although the trip is geared towards a German speaking audience, we are very happy to accommodate English speaking guests in our tour bus.


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