Gwenfai Rees Griffiths was the winner of the Traditional Quilts Category in last year’s competition.

Learn about Gwenfai’s extensive process in creating her quilts, what motivated her to enter and how the journey to creating this beautiful piece began several years ago on a trip to Pennsylvania in our exclusive interview below.

Gwenfai Rees Griffiths

I bought the fabrics for this quilt several years ago on a trip to Pennsylvania. Using the Orange Peel block as my starting point I get a picture in my head before I draw the design onto squared paper. The hand appliqué blocks are great to stitch while away from home or pick up in the evening. There is very little machine stitching on it as I found it easier to appliqué the blocks together.  I enjoy the hand quilting and like to quilt a competition quilt to death. It always pleases  me if the finished quilt matches the picture I had in my head.

I was encouraged to enter competitions by my quilt teacher in the early 90s and I have loved the challenge ever since trying to improve my quilts each time. Saying that though I don’t make the quilt to please the judges but to please me, if the judges like it that’s a great bonus.  

I started quilting in 1992. Quilting keeps my creative mind happy, planning something in my head, designing on paper, choosing the fabrics, cutting and stitching……I just enjoy the whole process.

I’m a traditional quilter at heart but with no desire to replicate old quilts. I’m always looking to make my quilts original. I enjoy most techniques particularly appliqué and will always hand quilt a competition piece.

I think the most important thing is accuracy while cutting and stitching. When I sandwich a quilt I always tack it well, this will give you a nice flat quilt. I use a round wooden hoop and two thimbles while quilting. An useful tool for marking lines is a Hera Marker.

Sadly I won’t have a quilt for the virtual competition. As my methods are so time consuming it takes me several years to finish a competition quilt……maybe I should give miniature a go!

With so many beautiful quilts in the Traditional Category I was thrilled to bits when I was told that my quilt had won. It’s such an honour for my quilt to have been awarded this prize at the best quilt show in Europe.