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Hatched, Matched, Dispatched – & Patched! at the American Museum in Bath

Over the long weekend we found time to go and see the latest exhibition at the American Museum in Bath. Titled Hatched, Matched, Dispatched – & Patched! the exhibition brings together textile items made to mark important family milestones.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take pictures in the exhibition but they had some really beautiful objects on display. The exhibition was organised into three sections, illustrated with their own collections and some items borrowed for the exhibition. I really enjoyed looking at each section, there were some stunning items to look at:

Hatched included beautiful Christening gowns and bonnets as well as a selection of exquisite cot quilts

Matched covered wedding quilts and quilted wedding dresses including that worn in 1887 by Agnes Lucy Hughes, the first mother-in-law of Wallis Simpson – the American socialite who almost brought down the British monarchy. There was also a beautiful dress embroidered with daffodils, ordered by Henriette Leonard to include in her trousseau.

My last job included a huge textiles collection and I looked after a number of signature quilts and embroideries.  The exhibition included a tablecloth from 1944, embroidered with the names of friends and colleagues of an American soldier who took part in the D-Day landings.  His British fiancée stopped embroidering the cloth when she heard that he had died in combat.  The needle was still pinned to the cloth.


I found the Dispatched section the most interesting. Included were black mourning clothes, jade items and some really unusual quilts including a black and white Widow’s Quilt. The black and white colours were really striking.

Many of the quilts seemed to be a collaborative effort between friends or family such as this Album Quilt Top featuring a formidable Lady Liberty bearing the Union flag. It was probably made to commemorate someone who died during the American Civil War.


The exhibition is well worth a visit, some of the stories behind the items on display are heart breaking. I love the idea of these stitched keepsakes and hope one day my children will treasure one of the quilts I’ve made for them.

Hatched, Matched, Dispatched – & Patched! is on display at the American Museum in Bath until 1 November 2015 and you can find out more on their website.



  • Reply
    April 12, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    This looks wonderful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

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