Ilkley Lockdown Quilt

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At the start of the first lockdown in March 2020 Ilkley Manor House Trust felt that it would be important to try to capture some of the memories and experiences of local people at an important moment in the community’s social history.

The resulting images have been sewn, painted, printed, embroidered and appliqued. Over 70 people of all ages have produced 126 squares that have been sewn into eight quilted banners that form the main part of the exhibition display.

The exhibition also has the quilt created by the Ilkley Scrubs sewing group who created hundreds of pairs of scrubs and face coverings for the community.

Images of the lockdown in Ilkley captured by members of the Ilkley Camera club are also on display.

There is also a film called ‘Stories behind the Squares’ about the quilt squares and a lovely book to accompany the exhibition. The book contains photographs of all 126 squares and is available to buy from the Manor House.

Our longer-term plan is to find host homes for the lockdown quilt banners with the exception of one that will be kept at the Manor House and displayed from time to time.

We are also hoping to be able to raise enough funds to create an beautifully designed and printed archive version of the Lockdown Quilt book that will also be kept at the Manor House for future generations to enjoy.


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The film that was made with support from Make:Film funding from Bradford Council by Northern Fortress Films to capture the stories behind the squares.

The lockdown quilt project developed from a suggestion made by one of the contributors. People were asked to create 13cm x 13cm (5 inches x 5 inches) squares of their own design using whatever medium they wished to reflect their personal experience of lockdown and the wider pandemic.

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One of the squares created.

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