This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
is one of the most popular textile crafts today.”


As you can see, Heather Bennett, self professed quilt ‘fairy’, patchwork and quilt tutor has a lot to say on this subject. “People used to create quilts


for warmth and survival”


she continues, “now it is mainly for pleasure, relaxation and an enjoyable way of de-stressing in a busy and hectic world.”


Whether as an act of remembrance or celebration, a solitary moment of peacefulness or a shared experience, one thing is certain, that quilting is always about something. Partly, this is a testament to time spent; the dedicated hours of planning and piecing are visible in the detail and this in itself creates a sense of legacy.


However, quilts are as much about the quilter as they are about the creative process - ‘keepsakes of identity’ as Sue Prichard from the V&A puts it. Quilts have been made from military uniforms by 19th


18 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2011


Century soldiers substituting rakery for sewing, by prisoners as a form of rehabilitation, by the wealthy and by the poor.


Traditional quilts are adorned with appliquéd images of the quilter’s life, others with images of political and social commentary; secret codes (although unproven) may have helped slaves find the Underground Railroad to freedom; secret letters have been stitched into linings. Each story infuses into the fabric: whether functional or decorative the quilter is always present in the quilt itself.


As Heather says, “If history is the thing


that presses the buttons then quilting and patchwork has tons and tons of it.”


For myself and many others, the quilts and patchwork we possess are memory pieces – and it’s this ability to capture moments that first led me to truly appreciate the craft. There are no real heirlooms in my family –certainly none in my house- but of the few things I have by which to remember loved ones, the most precious is a patchwork cushion made from my grandmother’s dresses.


Visit the V&A website and you’ll


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120