My Quilts, Notes on Quilting Column, Quilt History

Modern Notes On Quilting

I’m excited to be writing a new column in this quarters’ The Quilter Magazine* It is out at the start of December, so I wanted to take a moment to share with you my thoughts on the new column.


Firstly let me tell you about the name of my column. ‘Modern Notes on Quilting’ is  taken from some early writing about patchwork and quilting in the UK in the 1930s. The Victoria and Albert Museum produced a series of booklets and I’ve collected a few of them over the years. They’re hilariously brisk ( late 19th century crazy quilts are dismissed in a swipe as ‘deplorable both in colour and design’), totally of their time, but I love their straight talking honesty and enthusiasm about their subject. I wanted my column to reflect that sense of the timelessness of what we do, blending new ideas with historical reflection, seeing our part in a long chain of makers behind and yet to come.

What’s new and exciting? But what’s old and precious? How can we honour our history and create fresh new quilts? I want to celebrate what is so great about this practice that we all love, this simple but complex art which at it’s essence is taking little squares of fabric and sewing them back together again in ever more beautiful ways.

Those of you who know me and have heard me talk about my quilts, know that I’m a history lover. I enjoy nothing more than furtling about in books about our textile past. But I became a quilter alongside the Modern Quilting movement and I love new interpretations of old quilts, I’m either a modern traditionalist or a traditional modernist, I haven’t worked that out yet! Alongside a love of fresh modern quilts I love traditional methods and classic patterns. I’m a passionate hand quilter with a longarm quilting machine.  I’ve lived in both the UK and the US. I’m of the generation of quilters who took up the needle in their 20s and 30s alongside small kids and busy family lives as a way to make meaningful items in a throw-away world. I’m all those contradictions as I have a foot in both the modern quilt movement and our shared quilting history. I really love making quilts, it’s less a hobby and more a compulsion.

I’ve been a member of The Quilters Guild for almost a decade and I’m passionate about its importance at the heart of our quilting world as a cheerleader for our craft. I couldn’t be more delighted to have been asked to write this column. My fellow columnist Linda Seward is one of my quilting heroes, her 1990’s book was one of my first sewing tutors 20 years ago now and I’ve always enjoyed her reflections on quilting in the magazine so I’m so proud to be featured alongside her.

I hope that you enjoy my new column  🙂


*The Quilter Magazine is the Members magazine for The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles. To receive a copy four times a year, join The Guild here


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