Tuesday, 15 June 2010

V&A Quilt Exhibition

I finally made it to the V&A last week to see the exhibition
QUILTS: 1700 - 2010. There are 65 quilts on display, predominantly from the V&A's own collection and some quilts are on loan to the museum. There are also a number of commissions by contemporary artists.
I love going around quilt shows. There's nothing like being able to see, up close, the work that someone has put into their piece. Historic or modern, each has a story all its own. 
 It's hard to say which pieces or aspects of the show I enjoyed most, but I was touched deeply by a video made at  HMP Wandsworth. The video features male prisoners sewing, showing their work and talking about what quilting means to them.

A collaborative piece by 53 inmates Of Wandsworth Prison commissioned for the exhibition.

The whole cloth quilts from the 1920's and 1930's made by women from South Wales and areas of the North of England were stunning. The quilt makers were encouraged and helped by the Rural Industries Bureau to make quilts as a source of income. Some, similar to the one above, were sold to Claridges  Hotel of London.

The last exhibit in the show is Tracy Emin's "To Meet My Past" 2002

Visit http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/textiles/quilts-1700-2010/ for more information about the show and special web features. 

Be sure to have a peek at  Quilt of Quilts  a virtual "patchwork of quilt pictures."
You can upload a picture of your quilt and "share your quilt's story with the world."
I've uploaded my quilt!
To celebrate Quilts 1700 - 2010, the V&A shop and Liberty Art Fabrics have collaborated on a limited edition collection of fabrics which have been selected from quilts on display in the exhibition. There are 18  gorgeous designs.

 I bought three fabrics with designs taken from English patchwork coverlets:  "Seaweed" from 1829, "India Flower" 1797, and "Seed Head" 1830 - I simply couldn't resist!

Outside the V&A - elephants are taking over the city!

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