Family Connections: The Quilters' Guild Collection

  • Frances Binns Wholecloth Quilt

A selection of quilts with strong family provenance on display at The Festival of Quilts, Birmingham N.E.C.

This exhibition showcases historic items from The Quilters’ Guild Collection that are significant for their associated family provenance. Sadly, when many items enter museum collections, much of the information surrounding them – who made them and for what purpose– is lost. When this information is retained, it helps to bring the objects to life, and enhances our understanding and appreciation of these beautiful artefacts.

All of the items on display here have a recorded story. Our star exhibition piece features a stunning Mariners Compass patchwork centre. It is one of five quilts and coverlets made by the Cann family from Devon, whose family photographs accompany the textiles and help to tell their story. Other items on display include a striking North Country Wholecloth made by Frances Binns from Corbridge, Hexham in 1902 and a complex cotton mosaic patchwork made by Elizabeth Catherall for her grandson’s wedding in 1921.

This exhibition is twinned with ‘Talking Quilts: Family Connections’, which explores contemporary quilters’ stories and the influence of family on their quilt making. The Talking Quilts project has been recording, preserving and sharing the stories of today’s quilters, creating a national collection of quilters’ stories, including sound and video recordings, photographs and transcripts.