When the first lockdown happened, Ilkley Manor House Trust felt it was important to capture some of the memories and experiences for the town as part of its social history.

The idea of a quilt seemed fitting with its history of storytelling as well as being a home-based craft which fitted well with the circumstances that we all found ourselves in.

What emerged was The Ilkley Lockdown Community Quilt.

This was a community project to produce an interesting and personal collection of images that capture what the lockdown has meant to the individual, their families and friends.  It could be an image of clapping hands for the Carers on a Thursday, binge watching Netflix, the loss of physical connection with loved ones, daily exercise regime or eating too much cake.

Over 70 people have created squares, each 5” x 5”, with a design created in whatever medium they wished to use.  Some have painted their design, some have used applique, embroidery or printed.  Some of the creators are experienced needle people and others less so.  Some were young and some older.  All embraced the project, and we now have 126 squares that have been made into 8 quilt banners that will hang in the Manor House as part of the exhibition.   The exhibition will also showcase other amazing groups who supported the town during the lockdowns.

As well as the quilts we have also been fortunate to receive a grant from the Make:Film fund from Bradford Council.  We used this to make a short film called ‘Stories behind the Squares’ and this will premier at the exhibition.

Check the opening times here.


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