My Mother Made Spitfires by Sandra Wyman
The first in a series of pieces exploring my mother’s life and my relationship with her, this quilt explores the years of her life before she married, when she was one of the many women drafted into the factories during World War II. She worked at Vickers Armstrong at Castle Bromwich, operating a capstan lathe, making parts for spitfires.
It must have been hard and unpleasant work, with long hours and the constant awareness that the factory would be a target for bombs. However, there were many things she enjoyed during this time – films, fashions, dancing and of course the heady taste of freedom.
I have collaged this mixture of experiences through images relating to both the work and other aspects of her wartime years. The poster is used with the permission of the Imperial War Museum. The photograph at bottom right is of my mother. The words printed on fabric describe her wartime experiences – but they are obscured by being chopped up, unclear and incomplete as history, including family history, often is.
Other images have been drawn using contemporary photographs as inspiration and manipulated on the computer.
I hand-dyed the fabrics in mixtures of orange and purple. Some images and all the words were digitally printed onto hand-dyed fabric, others were printed onto silk organza which was then layered over hand-dyed fabric.
Other techniques include piecing, machine applique, free machine drawing and machine quilting.
This quilt is part of the Connection touring exhibition by Cwilt Cymru.