This is not going to be a post showing you everything I saw in the Victoria and Albert museum.
It would be too lengthy, too in depth, and somewhat still fall short because you can spend days, weeks, and more exploring the wonderful exhibits here. If you were to come to London for ONE THING and one thing only –make it the Victoria and Albert museum.
We loaded up onto our bus, and off we went through the streets of London, having to take some alternate detour routes as it was a Sunday, and there was a triathlon happening in London which closed the route we normally would have taken. Oh good! New streets to discover through the windows of our comfy bus --- only the bus had to make tight turns and narrow roads and it started our morning out with quite the adventure.
And there…on the steps of the V & A even before entering, I found my LIFE MANTRA:
Check the line beneath the bottom step!
I am an Artist. Your rules do NOT apply!! HA!
You CAN'T miss the chandelier in the front entrance!
Our group, gathering in the lobby area.
We had arranged for a guided tour of the most important textiles the museum houses. The quilt collection however, is not on site at the museum anymore – we are not worried, we’ve got the American Museum in Bath and the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham coming up. We were very excited to see a special piece dating from the 1300s…
Description of coverlet.
I don’t have the commentary to post between these photos, but believe me..it was MAGNIFICENT in person. Photos are not great behind glass, and also not great with a crowd of people ((Which is why I didn’t take many photos in the museum at all. I wanted to concentrate on seeing the objects myself, not worrying how they would show up in a photograph to readers….sorry!))
Stop to contemplate what life was like in Italy in 1360.
The average life span….the living conditions. What it took to weave just the fabric, not even thinking about layering it with batting, doing the trapunto and stuffed work, doing the close stitching…how many years would it take YOU to make this piece…and it is HUGE! This is only half of it. The other half lives somewhere else!
Of course there were loads of other fiber inspiration at the museum. Tapestries are another thing I just love. While needle point is yarn stitched through an already woven canvas, tapestry is the art of weaving in the design with thread, creating the fabric as you go, changing thread colors where required by the use of bobbins.
Our guide explaining to the group the significance of this piece.
From behind the group.
Another significant piece…this one is all applique!
See the stitches around each shape?
This knight is slaying a dragon which has downed his horse….if I remember correctly the whole tapestry portrays the story of Tristan and Isolde.
My group enraptured with EVERYTHING!
Quilt inspiration, anyone?
Don’t forget to look DOWN!
Do you see this as a spider web quilt?
Does this look MODERN to you?
And there was so so so much more. Take it from me…JUST GO. It was unbelieveable and I didn’t get to see enough of it, I’d love to go again. And maybe again. And then later, again. What a gift London has in the V & A Museum!
What makes it even more special is that remarkably, through the 59 nights of continuous bombing during “The Blitz”, and even though the V & A did receive damage, it still stands.
Some scars remain.
These pock marks stand as a reminder of all that London suffered during the bombings in WWII. I’m glad they left them. May it never happen again!