Explore over 200 years of British quiltmaking. Every stitch tells a story.
Quilts stimulate memories of warmth, comfort and security. They are familiar objects, yet carry a range of hidden histories and untold stories about textiles, women’s creativity and the lives of individuals and families. British quilts were often made for display as much as for use in the bedroom. Whether exchanged as commodities, made in professional workshops or created in the home, they became objects of immense family value, handed down through the generations.
‘Quilts 1700–1945’ comes from one of the world’s most important and loved collections of textiles and decorative arts — the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. This exhibition offers visitors an unprecedented opportunity to see over 30 quilted and/or patchworked bed covers and bed hangings, as well as sewing accessories, created over two-and-a-half centuries.
In addition, the exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to view Rajah quilt 1841. This extraordinary patchwork — generously lent by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra — was sewn by women on board the convict ship HMS Rajah, during their transportation to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in 1841.
Be inspired by these treasures of Britain’s past and marvel at the creativity and skills of the women (and one man!) who made them. Participate in the exhibition’s informative program of talks, tours and workshops; hear the stories hidden within the layers of these beautiful textiles; and gain an insight into the lives of the women, men and children who lived with them.