Quilt Museum, York

collages from 2012 for blog illustration 004
AW, collage, 2012


Just back from a trip to York and my first visit to the Quilt Museum (please see link above for details). The museum is located on a site that includes a sensory garden which must be delightful in summer time. I’m not a quilter but I enjoy looking at quilts, and am interested in the re-use of fabrics and embroidery.

One exhibit that caught my attention was Kaleidoscope Coverlet by Elizabeth Watson of High Burnthwait Farm, Cumbria (1890-1910). Elizabeth hand-sewed the silk coverlet as an item for her bottom drawer. However, she never married and the quilt was passed down through the generations. At first I thought, “poor Elizabeth”, but, on reflection I wondered if Elizabeth preferred it that way. Perhaps, unmarried, she had more time for quilting and other creative pursuits. And, although my imagination likes to suggest that such a delectable coverlet would guarantee the most passionate nights, maybe it wouldn’t have been like that. If she had married, her husband might have been indifferent to all those tiny stitches and carefully chosen colours. Perhaps he would have used it to cover his tractor in the shed. Other quilts have been discovered covering tractors.