Thursday, 9 February 2017

Bedtime Story Quilt at the Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh

Land of Counterpane (detail)

The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh is not a place I would generally go to see a quilt, but what is more associated with childhood than a favourite blankie or quilt?  Unsurprisingly, I don't think any of these are on show as generally by the time a child has grown up, the fabric in its comforter has totally disintegrated through love and use.
Bedtime Stories Quilt

At the moment though, it has a small, but sweet exhibition about the links between bedtime stories and quilts.  For many of us, the idea of snuggling under the covers with a favourite book even as an adult is a lovely treat.  And it can bring back many happy memories of childhood as we recall the magic of the first time we discovered Narnia, Harry Potter or the land at the top of the Faraway Tree.  

Taking this as a theme, curator Alice Sage asked people to make a quilt block based on their memories of bedtime stories. These were then put together into a quilt which is large enough for a bed.  

As well as this quilt, there was a quilt based on the book 'The Dream Quilt' by Adèle Geras.  There is also a simple quilt on a bed with the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, 'The Land of Counterpane', complete with toy soldiers marching across it.
Land of Counterpane
Whilst I wouldn't necessarily recommend a special visit to Edinburgh to see such a tiny exhibition, if you are there, I would definitely pop in to see it and be reminded of all those magical bedtime stories.
For those unable to make it, I've written a fuller review for British Patchwork and Quilting and there is a lovely website with details of stories behind each of the blocks, which is well worth a look.

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