Archives for posts with tag: Patchwork Social
Controlled office chaos

Controlled office chaos

I think this picture of my office says it all – planning for the Patchwork Social, coming up this Bank Holiday weekend at the V&A, has had me organizing, cutting, prepping, and sewing for the last several weeks.  I’m in my element, though – a huge event requiring lots of logistical thought PLUS the creativity of sewing PLUS doing good for others?  Wow.  I couldn’t ask for more.

The weekend is going to be full of great activities – including sewing patchwork blocks by hand or machine, making a ‘virtual quilt’ from designs inspired by the museum’s collections, and learning how to re-purpose your old clothes and textiles into new treasures with Sarah Baulch of ReVampt.  There are also family activities and the chance to cheer on members of Girlguiding London and South East Region (LaSER) as they sew towards their craft badges.

The ‘doing good’ part is because all of the hand- and machine-sewn patchwork is going to be made into quilts for Project Linus UK, a charity supporting seriously ill and traumatised children.  Project Linus will be donating the finished quilts to Great Ormond Street Hospital and Kids Company.

I was running up some example quilts yesterday with the beautiful fabric we’ve got – all 200 metres of it donated by Coats Crafts, plus needles and thread too – and feeling so happy that what I was making was going to go towards making a difference in the life of a child in distress.  It was such a good feeling – now I realize why all the Project Linus volunteers I’ve met are so dedicated to their work.  Over 20 people from Project Linus will be volunteering this weekend, and some of them have already been a great help in cutting and prepping some of the fabric.  (If I’d had to do all 200 metres myself I’d have gone nuts!)

I’m really looking forward to the event and hope that everyone who comes will enjoy it.  In fact, I’m wishing it were tomorrow already.  I may not be able to sleep tonight!

'Here's one I made earlier!'

'Here's one I made earlier!'

Coverlet by Ann West, 1820.  Museum no. T.23-2007

Coverlet by Ann West, 1820. Museum no. T.23-2007

The Quilts exhibition has opened!  OK, so it opened last week and I just wasn’t on the ball to write a blog entry immediately after seeing it at the private view and I was on a plane to Ottawa right after that.  But I’ve just seen it again today and it is truly fabulous.  It’s garnering rave reviews, and quilters from all over the world are in London to see it.  I met with a trio of Texan ladies a few days ago who organize the International Quilt Festival, among other things, and they just loved it.  It was such a pleasure to talk to them about the events and courses my department has been organizing, and about the interactives that have been created to go with the exhibition (such as the fabulous Quilt of Quilts, where you can upload images of your own quilts!  I added three of mine.)

Chintz bed hangings, 1730-50.  Museum no 242-1908.

Chintz bed hangings, 1730-50. Museum no 242-1908.

The quilts themselves are breathtaking.  I particularly loved the patchwork commemorating the Duke of Wellington, with the paper pieces still intact on the back of the patchwork, and its odd little rhyme which is not at all what it seems at first read.  I also loved the ‘Alphabet of Love and Courtship’, especially Q for Quakings.  And the patchwork made by Girl Guides for their group leader while in Changi prison in Singapore during World War II was heart-rending.  There are a number of contemporary quilts commissioned for the exhibition, and I had the luck to meet maker Sarah Impey at the private view and talk with her about how she made her wonderful piece ‘Punctuation’.

V&A/Liberty limited edition fabric

V&A/Liberty limited edition fabric

Of course, the shop is also stocked with irresistible goodies.  I’ve already bought some of the wonderful limited edition fabrics made by V&A and Liberty Art Fabrics.  All 18 of the patterns are gorgeous but I like ‘Petals’ best.

The years of work that Sue Prichard, the curator, and Claire Smith, the assistant curator, have put into this exhibition has paid off – it’s just fabulous.  All quilters or sewing aficionados should go see it.  I hope they will also come to the Patchwork Social, which I’m organizing for the first May bank holiday weekend, 1-3 May.  We’ll be sewing patchwork blocks to be put together as quilts for the charity Project Linus UK to support children with serious illness or trauma.  I’m really excited about the event and we have so many lovely people from Project Linus who are going to be volunteering at the event and helping people with their sewing.  If you are a quilter or are interested in making a simple patchwork block for charity, it would be great to see you there.