From 1905: Nelson’s Victory Quilt Block
21 October is Trafalgar Day and so it feels very appropriate to feature some quilt blocks (shown above) of a traditional patchwork design known as Nelson’s Victory
. The block possibly dates from 1905, the centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar. I haven’t been able to track down much information about this block – other than the fact that there is a similar, but slightly more complicated design called Battle of Trafalgar
– so if any historians know about the Nelson’s Victory
block, please let me know.
Nelson’s Victory Blocks in progress, October 2015
Nelson has featured in a lot of my stitchery this year. I have just finished a quilt with a design I based on Nelson’s Column, with four panels representing his four major battles of Cape St Vincent (1797), the Nile (1798), Copenhagen (1801), and Trafalgar (1805).
Nelson’s Column Quilt detail
In the Spring, I made a small piece
to go into the Trafalgar Sail project, a community project organised by the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the launch of HMS Victory
My contribution to the Trafalgar Sail Project, using advertising from Maurice Elvey’s 1918 film
As these pieces were inspired by my research into Maurice Elvey’s 1918 silent film Nelson
– which sparked my interest in Nelson’s place in popular culture – I am very pleased to have ensured that the Trafalgar Sail, made in 2015, included a reference to Elvey’s film.
The Nelson Quilt, July 2015
And at the other end of the scale is the 3,200 piece Nelson Quilt, which I finished piecing in July. The Nelson Quilt is based on William Beechey’s portrait of Nelson (which I wrote about here
). The Beechey portrait is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. It hasn’t been on public display for a number of years but I visited the Gallery last week and was delighted to find that it is back on the wall: Nelson alongside his “dearest, beloved Emma.”
Nelson and Emma Hamilton at the National Portrait Gallery, London, October 2015
This Trafalgar Day, 21 October 2015, may be the 210th anniversary of the Battle, but Nelson still inspires. I am sure he will continue to do so for centuries to come.