Sunday, 12 July 2020
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  • Textile Details

    'Sew and Sew's quilt', by Casrlerock Quilting Group. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    'Sew and Sew's quilt', by Casrlerock Quilting Group. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)

     

    Title of Textile:Sew and Sew's Quilt
    Maker: Castlerock Sew and Sew's Quilting Group
    Country of Origin: Northern Ireland
    Year Produced: 2009
    Size (cm): 230cm x 320cm
    Materials: individual blocks, made from shirt and pyjama fabrics, embellished with cuffs, collars, tie pins, cuff links, buttons and ties.
    Type of Textile: Quilt
    Description:

    While visiting a quilt exhibition in Cultra, Castlerock Sew & Sew quilting group were approached by the curator, Valerie Wilson, who inspired them to make a quilt on shirt making. The quilt, comprised of individual blocks, is made from shirt and pyjama fabrics, embellished with cuffs, collars, tie pins, cuff links, buttons and ties.

    The back of the quilt is made from squares of stack and whack, inscribed with the names of the shirt factories that were based in the North West and the names of all who made the quilt. Working on the quilt evoked many memories of work, now virtually gone, which was the backbone of the local economy, mainly done by women, where their earnings supplemented or in some cases were the only family income. One woman, reflecting on the deep tradition of shirt making in this area, reminisces: "My great grandfather came over from Scotland to manage one of these factories; there's a bit of all our families in this quilt."

    The women enjoyed the communal experience of making the quilt: "especially when we were together as a traditional quilting bee for the quilting and binding of the quilt", commented one participant.

    For this group, similar to many groups in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, through their sewing they stitched their heritage and identities, bearing witness to a past long gone, at a time when the strife and realities of the present may have seemed unbearable.

    Owner: Castlerock quilting group
    Location: Valerie Wilson. Curator of Textiles, National Museums Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Martin Melaugh



    Textile exhibited at: Sew and Sew's Quilt, 6/04/2009 - 5/05/2009
    Threads of Life: Quilts and arpilleras that speak out, 16/10/2009 - 1/11/2009
    Cultural Stories in Textiles, 25/02/2010 - 27/02/2010
    Story Makers 2008-2011, Twenty-five textile stories, 13/03/2012 - 18/06/2012
    Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles-phase 1, 5/09/2012 - 29/09/2012



    Textile Detail Image(s)

      Northern Ireland quilt: Sew and Sew's quilt (back). (Photo: Martin Melaugh)