Finishing Touches

Material Memories: Week 11 & 12

It’s the final countdown…. the quilt is coming together but there are still a lot of finishing touches to get done.

No time to waste let’s get sticking, stitching and trimming. Fuelled by tea, cake and biscuits and some calming music the makers get down to it.

material memories
We listen to a CD of Indian music; a favourite of the father of one of our group.

There is a flurry of activity as we suddenly realise that the exhibition draws closer and that sadly, our Friday sessions are numbered.

Material Memories Alex McEwan
Putting the finishing touches to an ambitious double panel depicting a family journey from India, to Kenya to the UK.
material memories Alex McEwan
Hidden talent – one of our group shares her amazing talent at complex chain beading….
material memories Alex McEwan
Everyone on a mission to finish thing off in time.
material memories Alex McEwan
Collaging the Sense Logo which will become the central panel in our quilt.

In tribute to Sense UK, who have funded the project, the Sense Logo will be the central panel on one side of this double sided quilt. On the other side of the quilt will be a tribute to the Borough of Islington, which is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year. Islington Museum and Heritage Centre has played the role of generous host to the workshops and has been hugely supportive of the project from the off.

Material Memories Alex McEwan Islington Museum
Counting and re- counting the candles – just to be sure. That’s a lot of bead work!
Material Memories Alex McEwan
Uncharacteristic industrious hush as the quilt panels come together.


Material Memories Alex MceWAN
Stitching of initials to be included on the quilt. Every maker will have their initials on the quilt as a mark of their contribution to the project.

Finally we lay out all the panels on the floor of the museum and realise the enormity of the task before us…. Yikes!

The scale of the quilt is a little daunting as is the task of incorporating sounds boards and conductive fabric to tell the tales of the makers in their own voices, but I am so extremely impressed by this group of makers, who have tackled this project head on with verve and aplomb I am determined that this quilt will be a fitting tribute to a truely inspiring group of people.

One interactive, tactile, community life histories quilt coming up. Needles, thread and caffeine at the ready!

Author: Alex McEwan

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

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