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Book review: Forty

Book Review - Forty The Evolution of a Collection

The Quilters’ Guild celebrates its 40th birthday this year and has produced this wonderful book charting the history of a selection of the stunning quilts and quilted items that form the Quilters’ Guild collection. If you are a Quilters’ Guild member or interested in the history and development of British quiltmaking, then this book will be a feast for your eyes.

A history of the Quilter's Guild of the British Isles

The book is not a history of the Quilters’ Guild but it begins with an introduction to how the Guild was formed in the UK in 1979 and how this formed the basis for developing the collection that forms such an important part of the Guild’s work.

It charts the formation of the collection from the first quilt acquired in 1979 through some of the early acquisitions in the 1980s. Each quilt is beautifully photographed and described with the date it was made, the size and a full description of the acquisition.

Quilts owned by The Quilter's Guild
Cigarette Silks Tea Cosy Made in 1920s

The 1990s saw an increase in the collection and the inclusion of quilted items such as this tea cosy. The Guild also began to collect more contemporary quilts to capture the current trends as well as old and historic items.

  The book continues to explore the process of finding a permanent home for the collection, taking it from Dean Clough in Halifax through to the museum in York that remained open until 2015. The narrative is a fascinating read and really puts the Guild’s work into context. 

Antique and modern quilts which form part of The Quilter's Guild collection
Reflections by Sarah Hibbert made in 2018

 Whatever your interest in quilts and quiltmaking, this book showcases and represents this fascinating collection for the history of textiles in Britain and celebrates the important work carried out by The Quilters’ Guild over the past forty years.

Forty The Evolution of a Collection by Heather Audin is published by The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles priced at £12.00 – buy it here.

Mosaic Patchwork Huswif from the Quilter's Guild collection
Mosaic Patchwork Huswif Made in 1856