‘The Ethelburga Quilt’

by Ethelburga Quilters

Created in 2020-21

Using Egyptian cotton squares dyed with natural and synthetic dyes and embellished with designs applied using Bondaweb™, cotton calico backing, and quilted with 80/20 cotton/polyester wadding and cotton thread

The Ethelburga Quilt displayed on the organ in the north aisle of the Parish Church, being dedicated by The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, watched by Liz Coleman, Chair of Ethelburga Quilters

The Ethelburga Quilt was created by Ethelburga Quilters, a group of textile artists working in the Lyminge area.

The piece was inspired by recent archaeological discoveries in Lyminge.  Most are images derived from metalwork excavated in Anglo-Saxon graves in the village, or on Tayne Field within the area of the royal estate centre where large feasting halls up to 20m long by 10m wide were uncovered in excavations between 2012 and 2015.  The graves come from the period in the 5th and 6th Centuries when the Anglo-Saxons worshipped the pantheon of gods led by Woden.  The royal estate spans the period into the middle of the 7th Century when Christianity was adopted and Kent became the first Christian kingdom in what later became England. 

Ethelburga was daughter of Æthelberht, the first Christian King of Kent.  She married Edwin, pagan King of Northumbria, who then converted to Christianity.  But when he was killed in battle in 633 fighting the pagan King Penda of Mercia, Ethelburga fled back to Kent.  There, her brother, who by then was King, gave her his estate at Lyminge.  The designs are thus a tangible link to the woman who arrived to found the first church in Lyminge, and by tradition the first religious community in southern England, and who would have designed and sewn its first textiles to the glory of God.

Liz Coleman (Chair, Ethelburga Quilters 2020-21)

The time to make this artwork was donated by Ethelburga Quilters. The materials were covered by donations from members of the public