Friday, 25 June 2010

Quilt Exhibition - Victoria & Albert Museum

At The End Of The Day (detail) - Textile Piece - Natasha Kerr
At The End Of The Day (detail) - Natasha Kerr

Whilst I was in London earlier this month I visited the quilt exhibition at the V & A Museum. This contains around 70 quilts covering 300 years of British quilting history, some of the quilts belong to the V & A collection and some key loans and special commissions.

You can see spectacular 18th century bed hangings, beautiful and intriguing 19th century Chapman coverlet and creative reinventions of the quilt by contemporary artists such as Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin, Jo Budd and Pauline Burbridge.

One interesting quilt was one made by men in Wandsworth Prison, showing in stitched pictures and words how they spend their time there and some comments about how they feel about being there. You can find more information about how this quilt came about by visiting:
Fine Cell Work - Needlework In Prisons

Another quilt with a story is the Rajah Quilt. In 1841 women prisoners were sent to Australia on a convict ship. Elizabeth Fry formed the Quaker Group the British Ladies Society for the Reformation of Female Prisoners who supplied the women with needlecraft supplies including fabric, needles etc and the quilt is the result of the prisoners' work. You can find more information at:
National Gallery Of Australia - Rajah Quilt

There are many more quilts that tell a story and well worth the £10 entrance fee.

The exhibition continues until the 4th July.

Whilst I was going around the exhibition I met up with Dodie Smith who had been, Programme Secretary for the Cornwall Embroiderers' Guild until her move to Winchester, just shows you never know who you might meet in London!


  1. Fascinating work and how lovely to meet Dodie there. What a lovely coincidence. Look forward to seeing your postcards and hearing more about the exhibitions


  2. Really interesting post. Thanks.

  3. Hi

    I went to the exhibition last week, the prison quilt was one of my favorite quilts just because we hear their stories, some of them very moving.

    Did you like the quilt made of paper all of those tiny tiny squars representing a life, I was nearly in tears.

    And the one about altzheimer's.. that is where I lost the plot...

    Great post ~ Julie


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