Mapping Memories



Heat pressing the maps onto cotton for group to embellish.
Heat pressing the maps onto cotton for group to embellish.

Twelve weeks, one double sided quilt… making new friends and learning more about each other, ourselves and the place in which we meet.  It is a challenge, but this creative group is up for it… better put the kettle on!!

The Material Memories group waste no time in getting down to making. We discuss how the quilt will grow over the next 12 weeks. It is agreed that the quilt will take the form of an open book. the panels of the quilt becoming the pages from our experiences of Islington, our life histories and our responses to the museums collections.

As we are such a international bunch we start with maps, taking maps from the museum archives and other sources, we talk about where we have come from and how we arrived in Islington. The museum has an impressive map collection and information on pretty much every street in Islington.

 Maps of favourite places past and present are heat pressed onto fabric and the group get to work embellishing, collaging and working into them. A patchworker quilt seems fitting as we are very much a patchwork of makers brought together by the project and a starting to form a dedicated group.

Getting on with the making new quilt panels.
Getting on with making new quilt panels.


There was a real hubbub of industrious creativity in the room as the makers got down to making their individual panels. With a flurry of glue, ribbon, needles, beads and sequins galore the first batch of quilts panels got under way. With the occasional moment for quite reflection and reminiscing about childhood haunts…

Recounting childhood memories of Italy.
Recounting childhood memories of Italy.

And less quiet, and occasionally very animated discussion about how materials aid our memories of people and places.

Sharing life histories with the group.
Sharing life histories with the group.

We are off to a great start with a really engaged group….. watch this space to follow our quilting journey.



Author: Alex McEwan

Alex is an artist who specialises in inclusive and accessible community arts projects, such as Sense's TEXTtile and Quilt Tales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.