Saturday, 20 March 2010

V&A Quilts 1700-2010 Preview

Quilted Cot Cover 1690 -1720

Wednesday was a very special day this week as I had been invited to the Bloggers Preview by the V&A. I travelled down to London on the train with fellow blogger Janet and we had a great day. We signed in for the event and were given a pack of postcards and a press pack. We then had two hours to wander around the exhibition and were allowed to take photos too. It was well worth the journey!

I'll try to share photos of my favourite quilts exhibited - this will take several posts!

The above quilt was a stunning example of a quilt made around 300 years ago which is amazingly well preserved and the maker's skills in design and stitching. I took photos of the display labels to record the historical information:

The quilt was displayed with a diary written by Priscilla Redding recording the events of the time. It made me think about the importance of labelling and recording details of the quilts we make now.

In the next display case were examples of quilted items also made for babies.
I love wholecloth quilts and was particularly impressed with the applique on this quilt:
Another favourite was the Bishops Court quilt also made between 1690 and 1720:
The colours are really vibrant and you could be excused for thinking this was made much more recently!

Lastly for now, a stunning example of patchwork block designs in this coverlet dated 1797. Janet and I studied this for some time, fascinated by the use of tiny pieces of fabric and the variety of blocks. It reminded us of the famous American 'Dear Jane' quilt but this was made more than 60 years earlier!
Here's some detail - the blocks were mainly about 6" and the ones in the centre around 4". Can you spot the scissors?

The exhibition opened to the public today and I really recommend you try to see it - it was much better than I expected and you can get quite close to many of the quilts. There are many more I want to share with you both historical and contemporary. I'll be back to blog more soon!


  1. What wonderful quilts, and beautiful work on them, so much detail.


  2. Great pictures, I look forward to seeing the rest of them :)

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to share these wonderful quilts, I'm really excited about getting to see them myself when I get back to UK. I've been following the (mixed) comments about the exhibition but I think the items speak for themselves.

  4. Just beautiful works of art!

  5. Greetings from New Zealand. What beautiful quilts and how lucky you are to be invited to see the preview. I'm sure that the UK quilters will be eager to get to see this marvelous exhibition.