Quilts: 1700-2010 Victoria and Albert Museum

{above} Bishops Court quilt, Unknown, 1690-1700.

Love history and historic quilts?  The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has their first ever exhibition of British Quilts, with examples dating from 1700 to the present day.  This amazing exhibit will be on display at V&A thru July 4th, 2010.  Plenty of time to plan a trip to see this great exhibit.

This exhibition show cases 65 beautiful quilts., the majority of which are quilts from the V&A’s own collection, but rarely exhibited. And, many beautiful quilts are also displayed that are on loan for this exhibit.  A rare opportunity you will not want to miss.

{above} Set of Chintz bed hangings (detail), 1730-50.

There are early silk bedcovers, with insights that link this item to King Charles II’s visit to an Exeter manor house in the late 17th century. Yet, more recent examples will include works by leading artists such as Grayson Perry and Tracey Emin and commissions for the exhibition by a number of contemporary artists including Sue Stockwell and Caren Garfen.

On loan for the very first time from the National Gallery of Australia will be the Rajah quilt, made in 1841 by women convicts aboard the HMS Rajah as they were being transported to Van Diemen’s Land (present day Tasmania). The women used sewing provisions donated by Elizabeth Fry’s social reform initiative to create what is now the only transportation quilt in a national collection, never before shown outside Australia. The exhibition will celebrate the astonishing vision involved in the design and making of each quilt.

{above} George III reviewing the troops (detail), Unknown maker, 1803–1805.

To celebrate this exhibit, the V&A collaborated on a  limited edition collection of 18 quilting fabrics, vividly bringing to life designs from quilts in the V&A. This collection of fabrics is amazing, and all high quality fabrics. They would certainly help a modern day quilter make a spectacular quilt, with ties to these spectacular historical quilts.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 {above} Shells fabric design taken from a patchwork coverlet composed of block-printed cottons of the 1780s and 1790s, Britain, 1797

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
{above} Rose (pink) fabric design taken from a patchwork coverlet composed of block-printed cottons of the 1780s and 1790s, Britain, 1797

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
   
 
{above} Seed Head (blue) fabric design from a patchwork coverlet of printed cotton and linen with appliqué and embroidery,  England, 1802-1830

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
{above} Seaweed fabric design from a quilt that commemorates the Duke of Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Vittoria, England, 1829

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
   
{above} Ikat (pink) fabric design taken from a patchwork coverlet composed of block-printed cottons of the 1780s and 1790s

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
   
{above} Hearts (green) fabric design taken from a patchwork coverlet composed of block-printed cottons of the 1780s and 1790s.
 
I do hope you can visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and enjoy this amazing exhibit.  But even if you are unable to attend, please check out the V&A website and online store. They have some delightful books and fabrics, as part of this amazing exhibit!  And I do think their limited fabric collection will make some beautiful heirloom quilts!

For more information on this exhibit:  http://tinyurl.com/yz8hqfx

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