And sew it goes – Hitchin museum’s replica quilt is a modern marvel

The unveiling of the replica Victorian Quilt which was handmade by volunteers

The unveiling of the replica Victorian Quilt which was handmade by volunteers - Credit: Archant

Nimble-fingered volunteers at Hitchin’s British Schools Museum have spent more than 300 hours sewing a replica Victorian quilt the size of a double bed.

Detail of the replica Victorian Quilt which was handmade by volunteers

Detail of the replica Victorian Quilt which was handmade by volunteers - Credit: Archant

The quilt marks the completion of a project to replicate a bedspread made by hand nearly 200 years ago.

The original 1830 quilt has been on display in the Queen Street museum but the colourful fabrics – some dating back to the century before – are very fragile and in need of conservation.

The museum’s curatorial assistant Emily Shepperson said: “This replica quilt will enable us to retain the look and feel of the room whilst removing the original for a much needed rest and some conservation repairs.

“Visitors will be able to marvel at the many hours of work which have gone into this replica.”

Barbara Millman, Project Leader with the replica Victorian Quilt which was handmade by volunteers

Barbara Millman, Project Leader with the replica Victorian Quilt which was handmade by volunteers - Credit: Archant


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Only traditional hand sewing techniques have be used by the team of seven volunteers. All the volunteers are members of the North Herts branch of the National Association Decorative & fine Arts Arts Societies.

Project leader Barbara Millman said: “We have sewn together nearly 4,000 hexagons. We chose fabrics similar to the original colours and patterns.”

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A fundraising appeal raised more than £300 for fabric and materials and at the unveiling of the new quilt on Tuesday curator Andy Gibbs thanked everyone who had supported the project.

He said: “We are very grateful for the support of NADFAS and the hard work of this friendly team of volunteers.”

Detail of the replica Victorian Quilt which was handmade by volunteers

Detail of the replica Victorian Quilt which was handmade by volunteers - Credit: Archant

The replica quilt is now on public display at the museum, which is open from 10am to 4pm on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm on Saturday and 2pm to 5pm on Sunday. Visit www.britishschoolsmuseum.co.uk for more information.

Barbara Millman, Project Leader with Ann Agar unveil their replica Victorian Quilt which was handmad

Barbara Millman, Project Leader with Ann Agar unveil their replica Victorian Quilt which was handmade by volunteers - Credit: Archant

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