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This is what the QGBI say about it:
In a world of smartphones, laptops and e-readers, quilting might seem like an outdated tradition, but the art form is thriving thanks to the efforts The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles and the recently opened Quilt Museum and Gallery in York. Displaying the Guild’s collection of more than 800 historic and contemporary quilts to the public for the first time, the Museum and Gallery opened in 2008 and is supported by a large team of eager and passionate volunteers.
National Lottery funding has enabled the museum to employ a full-time education officer and part-time volunteer organiser and offer an extensive volunteer programme, recruiting and training up to 80 people at a time. The volunteers, who come from a variety of backgrounds, help out through stewarding and assisting with exhibition changeovers, education workshops, conservation, displays and administration. “The volunteers benefit in many ways,” says The Guild’s Chief Executive Liz Whitehouse. “They learn about the collection, can practice their sewing skills and make new friends.”
The quilts on display at the museum are both a work of art and a fascinating slice of domestic history. “We have some on display that have a real story attached,” Liz says, “like the quilts made by the Canadian Red Cross for displaced British people in the Second World War, or the quilt made for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee that the maker had to give to the landlord in lieu of rent.” These sit alongside bold pieces of contemporary quilting.
The dedication of the volunteers has been crucial in helping the museum to set up a successful education programme that has so far reached over 7,000 people, teaching practical sewing skills and the history, art and craft of patchwork and quilting. The museum works with both children and adults including young mothers, people recovering from mental health issues and elderly people in care homes. “Quilting is very therapeutic,” says Liz. “People have always been interested in making things. Now that so many things are done on a computer, quilting gives you an opportunity to use a different mindset and use your hands to make something beautiful.”