These unfinished cushion covers were made by the donor in the early 1950s in Pembrokeshire. The Women’s Institute had revived quilting and experienced quilter and teacher Mavis Fitzrandolph co-ordinated the programme which continued until the 1960s.
Mavis Fitzrandolph wrote several books on quilting including “Traditional Quilting – Its Story and Its Practice” and “Quilting”. She was driven to capture quilting stories of the time, and to enthuse new adopters of the craft.
Mavis was originally taken on by the Rural Industries Bureau in the 1930s to look at the viability of supporting quilting as a growth industry in South Wales and North East England. The RIB organised quilting classes for women, helped promote their products to high class buyers such as hotels and upmarket stores, and supported them to buy fabrics and other supplies. Many of the original quilting classes disbanded with the start of World War 2, and Mavis’s activity in the fifties was spurred on by the WI revival of interest in the craft.
There are two unfinished cushion covers, one in pale pink and the other in green, each approximately 45cm square. The rayon fabric covers have been hand quilted in a wholecloth style over a wool wadding. Two quilting patterns feature – shell patterns in pink thread and a wineglass pattern in green. Tacking is still in place around the edges.