Thursday, 3 June 2010

V&A Quilts 1700-2010

If you get the chance to go - take it, what an amazing exhibition and it finishes 4th July.

No photography but there are great web links on the V&A website.  It was incredibly busy, you really need to prebook your ticket and then queue up and collect it well before your alloted time to make sure you don't miss it!  Your journey through the exhibition is themed so there is a mix of old/new, male/female, professional/amateur, group/individual quilts.  For more details click here for the V&A account of it all and lots of pics. Youc an also find curator Sue Pritchard's blog- good for more pics and info and fun stuff like design a textile or upload you own quilt into their big online display.  Quilts and sewing is an emotionally connecting activity, it was hard not to cry on some exhibits-

Grayson Perry's exploration of abortion with 'Right to Life',  

The HMP Wandsworth quilt commisioned for the V&A 2010, a floor map of the prison and embroidered with heartbreaking statements-'One man one portion', 'I miss my family'

Changi Girl Guide Coverlet made in Changi Prison, Singapore 1943 meeting once a week, all hexies and some embroidered with names in their handwriting style, a secret present for their guide leader.

   The exit from the exhibition was directly into the bookshop where all the fabric and quilting/sewing/art books are housed- v clever ploy, and a lot was v expensive- but  couldn't resist a bit of fabric.  One bit will be for my Modern Swappers. 

 I couldn't stay in there forever and my camera was allowed elsewhere.  This Tracey Emin bag designed for Lonchamp 2004 was in 'Fashion'

Incredible digitally printed Alexander McQueen dress, don't normally like a lot of designer stuff but the cut and finish was breathtaking 

This beautiful pieced dress by John Loss 1966

An exquisite appliqued and hand detailed Ossie Clark dress 1970, the year I was born

and a whole 'Textiles' gallery that I'd not been in before full of fabrics, samplers, lace, linen.

Sorry for poor pic, these are dimly lit rooms- I love text fabric and this takes it to a new level- silk stitched on linen by a young girl circa 1850 telling the story of her early life.

Gorgeous modern block printed linen but from 1913, Vanessa Bell

A dress maker's promotional doll mid 18th century, 

I never quite know what to do with myself in places like the V&A,  I have been twice before and I always feel like rushing up to people and telling them to make the most of it, look at it, don't walk by, I can never quite believe we are all allowed in.  

I hadn't been in 'Ceramics' gallery before and I do like a pot

this above and below, Eric Ravilions for Wedgewood 1937

Stig Lindberg, wow! I love his designs -Fairytale Country pattern 1951

and Bersa tablewares 1960

In the 'Modern' gallery, great fabric, 

and a simple and beautiful netsuke in the Japanese gallery

I am always overwhelmed.  If you haven't been to the V&A it is the most fantastic way to spend a day.


  1. That was very interesting, I love places like that!

  2. I am in awe of people who do wonderful things with fabric- I just don't seem to have that coordination.

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for the link to my giveaway.

    I'll be back to see you soon, enjoy the hot weekend, Ali x

  3. I appreciate you both wading through such a long post!

  4. Thanks for the absolutely fantastic post kerry. I had wanted to go this weekend but a had a friend in crisis instead, and doubt i'll have another chance. So it's great to read your interesting post and also find out there's other good stuff there so it would be worth a visit even if the quilt exhibition is closed. Thanks so much!


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