Quilty Pleasures at Liberty in London: Katherine May

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London is crazy for quilts this spring. Department Store Liberty have produced some special Liberty print fabric to celebrate the Quilts exhibition at the V&A and they are also staging their own mini exhibition all around the shop featuring the work of textile designer Katherine May.

We asked Katherine to tell us more about quilts in London:

What are you doing with Liberty this spring?
Liberty commissioned five new quilts from me for their exhibition Quilty Pleasures. They are also displaying the Action Man and Barbie quilts which I made 2007 after graduating. One of the quilts I’ve created is made from Liberty fabrics and clothing donated by the staff. The Liberty quilt will be auctioned on ebay to raise funds for the Variety Club charity.

Why did you start making quilts?
As a textile designer I’m concerned with our current throw-away culture. For me a quilt embodies the anti-throw-away. The sense of passed on skill and knowledge is a prominent aspect of my work and I run regular hand-sewing patchwork quilting workshops in London. I ask everyone to bring their own favorite textiles to work with and join in a discussion about the memories assosicated with these pieces.

Where are your favourite places to buy fabric in London?
I love to look in all the markets for bits of fabric. I also visit two textile recycling factories in London were I’ve built relationships that allow me to look through there, sorting piles for fabric off cuts or garments that will be suitable for my work.

What inspires you about London?
Finding new areas and new communities. When Bricolage had our pop-up shop in Brixton Market, I really enjoyed the vibrancy of the local community. Having many galleries and exhibitions on your door step is also an amazing source of research for a designer – I can’t wait to see the V&A Quilts!

The Quilty Pleasures exhibition at Liberty is only on until the 12 April, so get down there quick!


  1. Surrey Lady says:

    Quilts seem to be everywhere at the moment.