Friday, 11 June 2010

V&A Exhibition: Quilts 1700 - 2010

Jon told us we had a meeting to go to in London. Sarah and I said we'd cadge a lift but go to the quilt exhibition at the V&A instead. Ooh what a treat! We love the V&A. Just having coffee and cake in the beautiful, grandiose cafe there constitutes a day out.

And the exhibition didn't disappoint in the slightest. This is a quilter's feast. A history of quilting dating back to the 1700s when every scrap of any textile not in use was sewed together to make extraordinary coverlets. The detail and work involved is mind blowing.

We found many favourites including the one pictured above, created in 1842 by James Williams, a master tailor from Wrexham. This coverlet contains over four and a half thousand pieces of cloth and took over 10 years to complete!

We loved the work created by soldiers from the war who were encouraged to sew whilst in hospitals recovering from injuries, made entirely from tiny circles of fabric cut from their worn, thick war coats; the amazing quilt made by inmates of Wandsworth prison commissioned by the V&A specifically for this exhibition - the inmates tell how sewing brings about feelings of calm and peace; the poignancy of the quilt made by a daughter grieving her mother's death and finally Tracy Emin's, 'To Meet My Past' bed with quilted messages that hint at the darker side of her life.

The exhibition runs until 4th July at the V&A.

We say it's well worth a visit even if you don't make it past the cafe!

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