On Friday I had to pop into London for work. Fortunately we finished at about 3pm so I took the opportunity to slip on over to the V&A to visit the quilting exhibition.
I really enjoyed it, and not just because work had paid my train fare! The quilts were lovely, and some of the stories behind them were quite touching. I admit to having a moist eye when I read about the quilt made by Changi Girl Guide Group in a detention camp in Singapore in 1945. They created it in secret using bits of their dresses for the guide leader's birthday gift. They each embroidered their name on one of the hexagonal patches, leaving a permanant reminder of who they were.
The thought of these girls aged 8 - 18 creating something so lovely in such horrendous circumstances was quite moving.
Another quilt with a sad tale is the Rajah Quilt. This was stitched by ladies being deported to Tasmania on a ship called the Rajah and this is how they spent their time on board.
Elizabeth Fry (a Quaker from Cumbria) gave thread, needles and fabric to women convicts who were bound for transportation. They used these gifts to create something so beautiful and so meaningful.
All in all it was a great way to spend the afternoon.
I obviously had to visit the shop and came away with 6 fat quarters to use at a later date. One thing that I did find diasappointing was that the fat quarters were priced at £3.50 each, but the bundled up version of 6 fat quarters cost £25. Now 6 x £3.50 = £21 last time I looked. When I queried this with the assistant, she gave a heavy sigh and said that there had been complaints about it - the V&A charge you £4 for the 'packaging' (a bit of ribbon). I thought that was downright cheeky of the V&A and quite frankly a bit of a rip off!. So if you do go - make sure you buy your fat quarters separately to avoid the 'con'!