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Burgess Hill, West Sussex, United Kingdom
I love patchwork and quilting; I love learning new techniques and perfecting the old ones, but most of all I enjoy passing on what I have learnt to others. The most important thing is that we all have loads of fun!

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

V&A Quilts

Spent the day at the V&A yesterday, visiting the Quilts 1700-2010. I have mixed thoughts about the exhibition, but on the whole it was great and I'm really glad I went.
I was really interested to learn that early quilts were displayed by the wealthy to demonstrate the expensive and exotic fabrics that theycould obtain, so we shouldn't feel too guilty about buying lovely new fabrics especially to make our modern-day quilts. The utilitarian quilts made from scraps seem to have appeared a bit later, as printed cotton fabric became more widely available to the middle / working classes.
It was interesting to see how quilts were used to make political statements or to commemorate military or historical events. Nowadays we do a similar thing, but on a much more personal level i.e. we might use the quilt to remember an event in our own lives, but not usually a national event.
Of the quilts from the modern era (20th and 21st Century) there were two or three that I liked (Grayson Perry's Right to Life, Liberty Jack and the Wandsworth Prison Quilt) but on the whole I felt that the exhibition didn't really reflect what Quilting means to me, or what is going on in the Quilting world today.
They missed an opportunity to showcase the great variety of modern techniques and fabrics that are around. There is a fantastic gallery of recent quilts on the V&A website, but I only found this after I got home - I didn't see this being promoted at the exhibition.