Danson House presents Things We Do in Bed, a new exhibition celebrating the historic and contemporary art of quilting. Curated by bestselling novelist Tracy Chevalier (author of Girl with a Pearl Earring), Things We Do in Bed opens at Danson House, Bexleyheath on 1 April and runs until 31 October 2014.

We spend a third of our lives in bed, much of that time under covers such as quilts to keep us warm. Although some have metamorphosed over time from useful household objects to works of art, Things We Do in Bed celebrates quilts’ continuing links to what goes on behind the bedroom door. A lively mix of quilts and quilt works will be displayed through the five bedrooms in Danson House, with each room focusing on a different bed activity: Birth, Sleep, Sex, Illness, Death.

The show will feature traditional historical quilts dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, alongside contemporary quilted work from artists including Grayson Perry, Sara Impey, Karina Thompson and Michele Walker and others.

Guest curator Tracy Chevalier is an internationally bestselling author of seven novels. In her most recent book, The Last Runaway, her heroine is a quilter. As well as learning a lot about quilts, Tracy learned to quilt by hand. As she says: ‘Since researching quilts for my last novel, I have fallen hard for the varied and miraculous artistry of quilting. With this show I explore how quilting relates to bedroom activities, in both practical and abstract ways. For traditionalists, there are jaw-dropping examples of antique quilt-making. For contemporary art lovers, there are works that push boundaries and emotions.’