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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Welsh Babe!

This time last year, while giving a talk to Region 12 ( South and West Wales ) of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles to give it it's full title, I set a challenge entitled "Welsh Babe". This is my contribution.

Basically the "Babe" in the title could refer to the quilt being a small homage to the traditional style of Welsh Quilts, or to the depiction or interpretation of oneself or someone else as a young Welsh girl, or both.(Apologies to anyone who finds the use of the term 'Babe' in anyway demeaning or offensive, but let me tell you if anyone referred to me as Babe these days I wouldn't look on them too shabbily!)

This grainy black and white photo was my inspiration. It shows me dressed up in my Welsh hat ready for the St Davids Day celebrations that always take place here in Wales on March 1st.
I remember these days fondly. A morning in school of singing and competition results, ending with the Chairing of the Bard for the best poem and followed by the afternoon off. I can always remember walking home in the sunshine!

As I was stitching this piece I began to realise the significance of this photo. The big old pram behind would have contained my baby brother barely 4 months old, and the shadow on my dress, which you can see better in the before stitching pic, is that of my mothers head as she took the photo.
By the end of this year I was in hospital with a suspected brain tumour, which in pre MRS scan days, meant that I had to have exploratory head surgery. Hats became very significant for me as my hair was shaved off, (although they did leave my fringe, can you imagine!) There was no tumour thankfully, but I still remember my mother crying at my bedside, as if it was yesterday, and now being a mother myself I have a greater feeling for what she and my father must have gone through.

Soppy, personal stuff over, this is how I did it.
Image printed on fabric using Bubble Jet.
Hand painted fabrics... yes it all started off as white cotton.
Random, 'liberated' piecing.
Lots and lots of stitching.
Voile Marche embellishment.

Hopefully I will have pics to show of other interpretations after the weekend. I can't wait to see what people have done.


  1. Mmmmm.... love this colour pallette. Every once in a while I see an advertisment for a book about Welsh quilting and I always think, "I should buy that" because the cover always intrigued me...

    I also love to see how quilting has developed in different parts of the world... blah, blah.

    Wow. Suspected brain tumour - scary! Did you understand what was happening at the time, or did they tell you something else? And why did they think you had a brain tumour? Did you have headaches or something else?

  2. No I didn't know what was going on, but my one eye had turned in creating double vision. They gave me an eye patch to wear. Another good look!
    In the end it was put down to a virus that caused too much spinal fluid, which caused pressure on my eye. A series of injections into the spine to remove the fluid sorted everything out.
    I'm touched by your interest Kit. Thank you.


  3. oh an eye patch must have been quite rakish with that hat! ;)

    And how funny - I had terrible headaches caused by leaking spinal fluid two years ago, and one of the possible early diagnosis was a brain tumor. I didn't have any other symptoms though, so it was quickly dismissed. They injected some stem sells in the hole and it filled right up - all better now. :)

    Glad you're better too!

  4. admired this piece in flickr and clicked over to read more -- The piece stands on its own, but I think the personal details are so interesting. Thanks for sharing.


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