The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection: A Diverse Patchwork

The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection contains over 900 examples of patchwork, quilting and appliqué, which all vary in style, fabrics, design and background of the maker. From our earliest 18th century pieces to our 21st century contemporary works, this fantastic resource aims to represent a whole, and ever changing world of makers – each with their own motivations, inspirations and creative flair. 

This year’s exhibition celebrates the diversity of our patchwork and quilting community. It recognises the contribution of all makers and artists in creating textile works, continuing the practise and evolution of the crafts and inspiring others to explore and embark on their own textile journeys.

The variety of pieces and makers in the Museum Collection is a fascinating reflection of how individual we all are, and this can only add to our appreciation of the crafts, which can be, mean and represent so many things to so many different people. 

The exhibition explores some common misconceptions based around whom we assume the makers of patchwork and quilting are and shows the diverse nature of makers’ lives and backgrounds, as well as the pieces they have created. Whether it’s a practical piece, a leisure pursuit, an act of healing, a professional endeavour, a form of protest or pure creative and personal expression – it shows the impact that making can have and how it can inform, influence and enrich our daily lives. 

Visitors to the gallery will see a stunning mid-19th century wool inlaid coverlet with a Scottish and theatrical origin; a rectangles frame patchwork made by patients of an orthopaedic ward whilst recovering from injuries during the Second World War; a vibrant star patchwork coverlet made by Joan Irving, a consultant radiologist in the 1970s, and a 1980s themed Kylie Minogue tribute representing a fond childhood memory from textile artist Russell Barratt.