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Quilts 1700-1945

Coverlet with sundial 1797

‘MCB’ | Coverlet with sundial 1797 | Cotton | Collection: Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Given by GL Hanneford. Conserved with the support of the Aurelius Charitable Trust | ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Elisabeth Chapman | Coverlet commemorating Wellington c.1829

Elisabeth Chapman | Coverlet commemorating Wellington c.1829 | Patchwork bed cover of block-printed cotton | Collection: Victoria and Albert Museum, London | © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Rajah quilt 1841

Unknown female convicts on board the Rajah | The Rajah quilt  1841 | Pieced medallion style unlined coverlet: cotton sheeting and chintz appliqué, silk thread embroidery | Gift of Les Hollings and the Australian Textiles Fund 1989 | Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

15 June – 22 September 2013 | Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) | Brisbane Only | Ticketed

Opening Hours
10.00am — 5.00pm Monday to Friday
9.00am — 5.00pm Saturday and Sunday
Ticketed exhibitions: 
Ticket desk closes 4:00pm, exhibition closes 5.00pm

Tickets and Packages now on sale

Explore over 200 years of British quiltmaking. Every stitch tells a story.

Quilts stimulate memories of warmth, comfort and security. They are familiar objects, yet carry a range of hidden histories and untold stories about textiles, women’s creativity and the lives of individuals and families. British quilts were often made for display as much as for use in the bedroom. Whether exchanged as commodities, made in professional workshops or created in the home, they became objects of immense family value, handed down through the generations.

‘Quilts 1700–1945’ comes from one of the world’s most important and loved collections of textiles and decorative arts — the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. This exhibition offers visitors an unprecedented opportunity to see over 30 quilted and/or patchworked bed covers and bed hangings, as well as sewing accessories, created over two-and-a-half centuries. 

In addition, the exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to view Rajah quilt 1841. This extraordinary patchwork — generously lent by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra — was sewn by women on board the convict ship HMS Rajah, during their transportation to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in 1841.

Be inspired by these treasures of Britain’s past and marvel at the creativity and skills of the women (and one man!) who made them. Participate in the exhibition’s informative program of talks, tours and workshops; hear the stories hidden within the layers of these beautiful textiles; and gain an insight into the lives of the women, men and children who lived with them.

Please note: No photography is allowed in the ‘Quilts 1700–1945’ exhibition, however a fully illustrated publication will be available from the QAGOMA Store or online.

Guided Tours

Explore the historical and social context behind the quilts on display with a 30-40 minute volunteer guided tour. Daily at 11.00am, 11.15am, 1.00pm and 1.15pm. Free with exhibition ticket. Meet your volunteer guide inside the exhibition entrance. For special needs tours see Guided tours 


Published to coincide with the exhibition from London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, Quilts 1700–1945 is a beautiful publication celebrating more than 200 years of British quilts and patchwork, drawn from the V&A’s rich textile collection. On sale now


Media Release
Media Kit

To request access to media images for this exhibition, please email
For a full listing of current media releases see the Media section

Quilts Exhibition Sponsors

Chairman's Circle Brisbane Marketing Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art Queensland Governemtn