Votes for Women; celebrating 100 years with PROCESSIONS


The Quilters’ Guild is delighted to be supporting  PROCESSIONS, a mass participation artwork to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave the first British women the right to vote. 

PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke, the UK’s largest producer of art in the public realm, as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary.

PROCESSIONS will invite women* and girls across the UK to come together on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London on Sunday 10 June 2018 to mark this historic moment in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21st century.

The Quilters’ Guild is one of 100 organisations working with women artists up and down the country in the lead-up to the event, as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops to create 100 centenary banners which will form part of this vast artwork.

The banner-making workshops will focus on text and textiles, echoing the practices of the women’s suffrage campaign and will be spaces to consider the power of the vote today and our shared future. The banners made will represent and celebrate the diverse voices of women and girls from different backgrounds.

The Quilters’ Guild is delighted to be working with textile artist and member of the Quilters’ Guild, Alison Garner to produce a banner celebrating women and how quilting brings us together. By day Alison is a professional embroiderer specialising in ecclesiastical wear and by night she quilts. Alison is a member of The Quilters’ Guild Traditional Group and was the Chairperson of The Magna Carta Quilt Group which brought quilters together to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta in 2015.

Alison’s banner design celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act using the colours of the suffragette movement, violet, green and white to create a patchwork banner, using appliqué to represent the broad spectrum of women who enjoy the creativity of patchwork and quilting. Each patchwork joint will then feature a cross representing the individual vote of women.

Work has already begun on The Quilters’ Guild banner, but there is still time to get involved with the making.

Alison is hosting 2 workshops on Friday 13 April, 2-4pm and Saturday 5 May 2-4pm. Places are limited so please do get in touch with Alison using the form at the end of this post.

There will also be an opportunity to place your voting cross on the quilt on 18 April at Region 1 Quilters Day, click here for more details (there is a charge to attend this event).

“Let us go then and make banners and let them be beautiful”

Mary Lowndes, Artists’ Suffrage League

If you are unable to attend one of our workshops there are still lots of other ways to get involved with the celebration. You can bring together a group of women to produce a banner or express your individual creativity by creating one yourself. There is a brilliant free tool kit on the PROCESSIONS website which give you patterns, ideas and a workshop plan for guidance. There is also an invitation you can send to your local MP to get them involved.

Whether you are making a banner or not, you are invited to play your part in PROCESSIONS – one of the largest participatory artworks ever created.

Produced by Artichoke and commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, PROCESSIONS marks 100 years since the first women in the UK won the vote. It was a big moment and we need your help to celebrate in a really big way.

On Sunday 10th June 2018, join thousands of women to form four epic PROCESSIONS in the four political capitals of the UK – Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London.

Women and girls, those who identify as women and non-binary individuals of all ages, persuasions, races, cultures, abilities, political affiliations and backgrounds are invited to create four living portraits of women today and walk with banners, pennants and flags they have made to express the lives, ideas and hopes of women in the 21st century.

 Join us and register to attend at

Don’t get lost in the London crowd, we’ll be there with our banner, email Chris Gatman at for details on how to join everyone with The Quilters’ Guild banner.

#PROCESSIONS2018, @processions2018, @ArtichokeTrust, @1418NOW

“The 100th anniversary of the passing of legislation which made universal suffrage unstoppable is a moment both for celebration and reflection. Individuals and groups up and down the country, including The Quilters’ Guild, will be at the heart of this UK-wide artwork. What they make and bring to their chosen procession on Sunday 10th of June will form part of a unique living portrait of women today.”

Helen Marriage, CEO Artichoke


*those who identify as women or non-binary

Processions- G&W copy

PROCESSIONS is commissioned by 14-18 NOW and produced by Artichoke. With support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

PROCESSIONS Cardiff is produced by Artichoke in partnership with Festival of Voice and Wales Millennium Centre.

About Artichoke

Producers of extraordinary live events, Artichoke is one of the country’s leading creative companies and is a registered charity, funded by Arts Council England.

At Artichoke, we use art to undermine the mundane and disrupt the everyday, and create a new kind of world that we’d all like to live in.

Our previous projects include Royal de Luxe’s The Sultan’s Elephant, which brought an estimated one million people onto the streets of London in 2006; La Machine’s 50-foot high mechanical spider for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008; Antony Gormley’s One & Other 100-day-long invasion of the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in London in 2009; and Deborah Warner’s commission for the London 2012 Festival with Fiona Shaw, Peace Camp, a nationwide celebration of landscape and poetry, which took place across eight separate sites around the UK; Temple by David Best in Derry~Londonderry, attended by more than 75,000 people; and London’s Burning, a festival to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London in September 2016. Artichoke creates and produces Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, which has been staged in Durham every two years since 2009; in Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland as part of the celebrations for City of Culture 2013, and in London for the first time in January 2016.

About 14-18 NOW

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists from all art forms.  The commemorative period is marked by three key seasons – Anniversary of the Declaration of War in 2014, the anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme in 2016, and the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018. 14-18 NOW is responsible for the UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, and ‘We’re here because we’re here’ by Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris.

14 -18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising. 14-18 NOW has commissioned over 140 artworks to date that have been seen by more than 30 million people.

If you would like to contact Alison Garner about her workshops please complete the contact form below.

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