Dr Clare Rose is a recognised expert on the history of patchwork and quilting, specialising in British and European quilts and quilted garments from 1700-1900. She advised the Victoria and Albert Museum on the object descriptions for their 2010 exhibition ‘Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories’, and spoke at the related conference. She has researched and published many of the quilts and quilted garments in the V&A collection.
Her most recently published quilt history article is ‘Professional Quilters in Colonial-Era London’ in Spike Gillespie’s Quilts Around the World: The Story of Quilting from Alabama to Zimbabwe. This article examines the lives of women trying to make a living from quilting before 1800, mostly working on wholecloth quilted silk or wool petticoats to wear under fashionable dresses. It discovers the voices of quilters in the Old Bailey Trials records - including the quilter who stole the petticoat she was stitching, and another accused of running a house of assignation! It illustrates surviving examples from museum collections.
During 2009 Clare Rose was an advisor to the Berlin State Museums for ‘Inlaid Patchwork in Europe from 1500 to the Present, collaborating with experts in Europe, America and Australia. She contributed a chapter on ‘Exhibiting Knowledge: British Inlaid Patchwork’ and several object descriptions to the catalogue, and was instrumental in organizing the British staging of the exhibition.
Clare Rose has researched the history of professional quiltmaking in Britain before 1800, uncovering how quilted goods were traded between India, Europe, Britain, and the American colonies. She has studied surviving quilts and merchants documents in European, British and American archives to see how patterns and techniques were copied and developed in order to profit from the fashion for quilting.
Clare Rose is an Associate Fellow of the International Quilt Study Centre of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She has lectured on quilts to the IQSC, Colonial Williamsburg, Quilt Expo Europa, the Centre International d’Etude des Textiles Anciens, the British Festival of Quilts, and the British Quilt Study Group.
Quilt History Articles
- Professional Quilters in Colonial-Era London, in Spike Gillespie (ed.), Quilts Around the World, (Voyageur Press, Beverly, MA, 2010)
- Exhibiting Knowledge: British Inlaid Patchwork/Wissen ausstellen: Britische Tuchintarsien, in Dagmar Neuland-Kitzerow (ed.), Fabric Intarsia in Europe from 1500 to the Present Day/Tuchintarsien in Europa von 1500 bis heute, (Berlin: Museum Europäischer Kulturen, 2009) pp. 87-98
- Bought, stolen, bequeathed, preserved: sources for the study of eighteenth-century petticoats, in Maria Hayward (ed.), Textiles and Text: Re-establishing the links between archival and object-based research (London: Archetype Publications, 2009) pp. 114-21
- Quilting in Eighteenth Century London: the Objects, the Evidence, Quilt Studies 2 (2000), pp. 11-30
- Stitched Inlay: a Geographical Puzzle, Hali 106 (September 1999) pp. 78-82
- Boutis de Londres: Marseilles quilting and its imitations in 18th-century London, CIETA Bulletin 76 (1999) pp. 104-113