Published: Wednesday, 4th April 2012 12:54 PM
Museums are in the business of telling stories, but that being said, they can only tell those stories that they have a fighting chance of claiming as true! The Quilt Museum has a wonderful collection and many of the items have stories attached to them that we simply cannot put on an exhibition label- primarily because they have no basis in fact that we have been able to discover. But, as the old saying goes, 'never let the facts get in the way of a good story' and it was with that in mind that we embarked upon a project with our very own writer in residence Libby Crofts.
Libby is currently a student of creative writing at St. John's University in York and has been studying some of the more intruiging objects in the collection. Her remit it to use the collection objects as the starting off point for pieces of short fiction that allow some of the stories associated with the items to be given a creative airing that ordinarily they wouldn't have.
In the Museum we have to stick to the facts, or at least be very clear about when we are speculating. Libby has the licence to use all of the colouful stories and myths associated with our collection and to weave them into little nuggets of literary loveliness. Her stories are designed to make people think again about the people and places linked with museum objects and to give them a more human voice that, very often, they can be lacking.
In her first piece for the Museum Libby has focussed on an item in the collection that is made up of hundreds of silk ribbons dating back to the first half of the nineteenth century. These have been stitched together to form a coverlet or 'top' but the centre panel has been mysteriously covered over with a seperate piece of patchwork. The story has it that this piece was associated with the famous Mrs Ftizherbert, mistress to George, Prince of wales later George IV, and was perhaps made from fragments of her wedding dress. We have no evidence to support this but Libby has been able to explore this association further.
Simply download the PDF, read on, and enjoy...
Close up of some of the silks in the Mrs FitzHerbert Coverlet
Applique four petal flower from the Mrs Fitzherbert Coverlet
Silks from the centre of the coverlet
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