Friday, 10 April 2009

Monday, 2nd March 2009

The snow stayed for about 10 days, but I went back to work after a couple of days. The roads and, more annoyingly, the pavements turned into ice rinks. It's all very well gritting the roads, but what about the pedestrians!

It has been announced that this winter has been the coldest in 300 years!

The Sevenoaks Mystery Quilt
For the last month, I have been negotiating with the curator at Sevenoaks Library and Museum to see a quilt which has been in their possession since the late 1980's, when it was bought from the Nicolson family, the owners of Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. It is rarely on display and is about to go on a 2 year tour of museums in Berlin, Warsaw, Zurich and Leeds as part of a European exhibition on inlaid quilts, but I wanted to see it before it left the country... and I got my wish!

The quilt is a military style coverlet (it is not quilted or tied) and is thought to have been in storage at Knowle before Vita Sackville-West and her husband Howard Nicolson took it to Sissinghurst in the 1930's, however there is no record of it in the Knowle inventories, so this is only hearsay therefore provenance remains questionable.

The coverlet (or is it a banner?) is made of wool and is most likely made from military uniforms. The technique used in piecing the half and quarter square triangles is called "inlaid" whereby the edges are butt joined by whip stitching them together.

The centre panel is of great interest and depicts King George III and Queen Charlotte.

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