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I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Coventry Quilt Exhibition

On Saturday, I took the opportunity to make the short drive from the NEC to Coventry to see an exhibition of antique quilts in the Herbert Museum, Coventry. This was quite a straightforward drive.

This is a Jacquard loom for making ribbons. Coventry was at one time the world's largest manufacturer of ribbons. This loom is set up for making five red, white and blue ribbons. There is a large set of punch cards at the top which control the process.

The owners of this private collection of quilts had a stall at FOQ to publicise the exhibition. Of course, I was interested to find out how they had managed to arrange this exhibition at their local museum (the museum at Ipswich has a lovely display room!!) They told me that it had taken five years of effort - plus some personal connections amongst the museum curators! The exhibition runs until October and is well worth seeing. Only a quarter of the collection is on show - a good mix of British and American quilts, some old, some newer. Some are hung on the walls while others are draped over bed forms, much more attractive than laying flat on a board. Of course when I turned up, others in the BQSG had the same idea, so we were able to share ideas.

Unfortunately, no photos allowed of the quilts.

You will not be surprised to hear that the museum has been amazed at the numbers of people viewing this exhibition - the usual story! I don't think museum staff fully realise how much the general public connect with textiles and quilts.

The new wing of the Herbert Museum - directly across from Coventry Cathedral and next door to Coventry University. Entry to the museum is free.

The Cathedral - bombed during the Second World War, the ruins still stand, with a modern and very moving new cathedral built next door. Well worth seeing.

As I left I could hear the tenor bell being rung up! I hurried over to see if it was a visiting band and if I could get a "grab". Unfortunately, it was just the tower captain adjusting the height of the ropes.....

I had been worrying about how to manage the return of my Welsh quilts from Jane Rollason in France - how would I get the three bags of heavy quilts plus the two new quilts back up the hill to the car park? A builders merchant provided the answer - a small handcart or trolley. It worked extremely well on Sunday afternoon.


  1. What an interesting exhibition Pippa, thanks for sharing. I will try and get to the Herbert Museum before October. I am sure there are lots of museums with hidden textile treasures - they just do not seem to realise how much interest there is in old quilts and samplers etc. - such a shame.
    A pity you didn't get a chance to do some bell-ringing!

  2. Museums should realise that people are interested in Quilts and the history of Quilts, especially in places of textile industry.

    A great post. Thank you Pippa!

    Sft x