Quilts made during lockdown over the last two years by over 140 people across the country are going on show in KIrklees.

The Campaign group 999 Call for the NHS are taking their powerful and moving collection of textiles and handmade quilts to Dewsbury Minster, the town’s parish church.

Produced during the pandemic #ThreadsOfSurvival continues the long tradition of recording important historical events in textiles and is not afraid of causing a little controversy.

Steven Carne, chair of 999 Call for the NHS, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response from our first exhibitions and the collection is growing every month.

“The full collection of over 20 pieces will be on display from July 5 and we think people will be blown away with the diverse themes and images. Our month at the British Textile Biennial resulted in tears, laughter and even arguments in front of the quilts. It’s not for the faint-hearted.”

Threads of Survival began in August 2020. People were invited to sew their stories and experiences of pandemic life and to reflect on the importance of the NHS in our lives. In the true tradition of community quilting the exhibition features work from both professional artists and first time quilters. 

Led by national campaign organisation 999 Call for the NHS, the project now has over 26 quilts made by groups from East Anglia, West & South Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Somerset, County Durham, Surrey, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. The exhibition comes direct from The Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro.

Quilters of Denby Dale have made a quilt to compliment the exhibition. Local organiser Kate Tunstall said: “Threads of Survival sounded like it was something that local sewing groups could get behind.

“We thought a Denby Dale quilt would be an important way of bringing people together and recognising what we have all been through.

“It’s a lovely project to support and be part of. And it will be wonderful to know our town is being represented in the Threads of Survival Covid quilt collection.”

Threads of Survival is on display at Dewsbury Minster Monday to Friday 10am to 1.30pm.

Chrissie Parker, co-ordinator on the Kirklees quilt, said: “I felt strongly that my local community needed a project like Threads of Survival to help people find connections with one another.

“I know everyone who took part found it helpful in staying well during such a difficult and stressful time. And it was an opportunity to speak out.

“From a conversation on Zoom in Lockdown 1, who would have thought Threads of Survival would be touring the country with 26 quilts involving people with and without internet connection through local groups?”

The exhibition was launched from Gawthorpe Hall, Burnley, where it was part of the prestigious British Textile Biennial in 2021 and over 3,200 visitors came to see it. The quilts will be on display in Dewsbury Minster, Rishworth Road, WF12 8DD, from July 5.

For more information visit the link: https://threadsofsurvival.org/touring-2022 or phone the Minster on 01924 457057.