This is a multi-coloured hexagon patchwork quilt with a central medallion. It was made for Lady Aberdare of Blaenau, near Ammanford, by Letitia Davies who lived in the Llandeilo area, in about 1880.
The printed fabrics which make up the patchwork are predominantly from the 1860s/70s. There are also some plain weave printed cottons, and four red hexagons which are twill weave (Turkey red was fashionable in the third quarter of the 19th century – this is typical of the fabric used for petticoats).
The prints are multi-coloured – there are many florals in pale blues, sprigs on drab grounds, fruit images, polka spots and ultramarine blue circles. However, pinks are dominant – these were produced after the introduction of the synthetic alizarin dye. At that time it was exciting to have pink dress fabrics that did not rely on cochineal dye. 18th century pinks were very expensive and limited to young women. In the 19th century coral pink was worn by more mature women.
The wadding is a wool blanket. The piece is hand quilted with a white thread with the paisley pear, and flowers. The quilting lines are marked in blue on the reverse.
The printed fabrics were studied in September 2009 at a workshop with Dr Philip Sykas, Research Associate at Manchester Metropolitan University.