Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre, Lampeter Old Town Hall

19th C. flannel quilt from west Wales

I went to the opening of The Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre last Friday evening at the converted Town Hall in Lampeter, Ceredigion in west Wales. Having been to the shop run by Jen in Llanybydder recently, I was really interested to see the collection. There were many people there to celebrate the fruition of this long term project which has taken ten years to realise.

The Centre was opened by the Mayor of Lampeter and a short introduction to Jen's collection was given by the V & A textile curator, Sue Pritchard, currently researching and compiling the large show planned at the museum in 2010 Quilts 1700-2010.

The Centre is going to be an astounding addition to west Wales' cultural resources. Jen has over 300 exceptional quilts in her possession many of which will find a home at the Centre.

I was fascinated by many of the single colour pieces, intricately sewn and patterned, but my favourites were the rustic, functional quilts with their imperfections and unusual combinations of colours and textures - many have been rescued from barns and animal sheds where they had been relegated to make way for machine produced newcomers.

I feel excited about the groundswell of interest in textiles in west Wales, along with the National Woolen Museum in Drefach Felindre and the number of working mills such as Rock Mill in Capel Dewi that still produces, there is a strong local tradition and history.

Click here for a BBC news piece about the Centre.

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