Sew Gay quilt inspired by LGBTQ+ moments

A patchwork quilt inspired by key moments in the lives of the LGBTQ+ community has been created over a 12-year period.

Sew Gay, a group of crafters and stitchers based in Norfolk, made the 60-square piece and hopes it will be "the start of a conversation".

"We've seen it makes people start to talk about queer issues and events from our recent LGBTQ+ history," said quilt co-ordinator Stevie Savage.

The textile is on show at the annual Norfolk Makers Festival at The Forum in Norwich until Sunday.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community, family, supporters and friends were encouraged to make a square for a year and depict an event that they found particularly inspiring.

"Most people who’ve done a patch are from the LGBTQ+ community but also really strong allies like mums, friends and people who have an interest or links to our community," said Ms Savage.

The quilt's inspiration came from Lilian Dring who, in 1951, created the Patchwork of the Century for the Festival of Britain.

She gathered together women with no sewing experience to produce a quilt documenting advances in women’s rights over 100 years.

Felt image of the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz
The quilt includes at tribute to LGBTQ+ icon Judy Garland whose ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz sold for thousands of dollars at auction

"We wanted to use the colours of the Pride rainbow flag so we knew we had six lines of themed colour to fill," said Ms Savage.

"Because it's a community project I wanted people to make their own choice about what to feature, I just specified their patch included a small amount of the colour of the line it was in."

Detail of the Sew Gay/Norwich Pride Patchwork
Sew Gay hope schools will use the quilt as a springboard for conversations about LGBTQ+ issues

She added: "A lot of people chose years significant to them – but it's a real mix of local, national and international LGBTQ+ history and events.

"Some things are very personal, others are big moments like Section 28 or the Aids crisis, so it’s a real mix and that’s what’s great about it and so unique."

The quilt features a number of needlecraft techniques including knitting, sewing, embroidery and applique.

Find BBC News: East of England on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. If you have a story for us, email