In March 2010 the V&A will present a major exhibition which will showcase over 300 years of British patchwork and quilting. For the first time the museum’s collection of extraordinary quilts and coverlets will be displayed together with examples from some of the country’s finest regional museums.
Creating a major exhibition is a bit like embarking on parenthood. The responsibilities are enormous and everyone has an opinion. Have you thought about doing this, including that, why aren’t you tackling this issue, will it really have a audience? The awful 2.00 am periods of restless wakefulness, fretting about the enormity of the task ahead. The sudden, unutterable feeling that actually, after all, you might not be up to the task – all fade into the murky depths of your unconscious the moment you go back to working with objects which are totally fascinating, completely absorbing. Every quilt has a hidden history, an unspoken story which is concealed within its layers.
This exhibition aims to showcase the skill and creativity involved in making highly complex and decorative quilts and bedcovers from 1700-2010 – we will also reveal some of the extraordinary stories behind some of the most superb examples. Most importantly this exhibition is about the hand and the heart, the sheer emotional response to objects which are so much part of all of our history, we simply need an opportunity to rediscover them.
This blog sets out to chart the progress of the exhibition, providing an unique ‘behind the scenes’ look at a process which is both complex and challenging. It will also be an opportunity to share work in progress with you our audience. We hope you will join us on our journey, we appreciate your support and look forward to your comments..
Wool felt applique coverlet, Ann West, 1820, Museum no. T.23-2007