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News Release- Issued by The Quilt Museum and Gallery

Rare Opportunity to see Britain's Oldest Dated Patchwork Coverlet

5 September – 13 December, 2014

The oldest dated patchwork coverlet in Britain will be on exhibition for four months this autumn together with a meticulously reconstructed replica made by members of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles.

The 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet has survived almost 300 years and is an exceptional record of patchwork form the early 18th century consisting of 69 individual blocks constructed using mosaic patchwork. This is a rare opportunity to see one of Britain’s textile treasures which normally resides in environmentally controlled storage to prevent deterioration.

Exquisitely designed and sewn, this complex and interesting Coverlet reveals clues to its maker. Silk would not have been readily available to all levels of society and the design motifs chosen would certainly have been influenced by the maker’s surroundings and the social and historical context in which they lived.

A fascinating new book entitled The 1718 Coverlet is being published by David & Charles to coincide with the Exhibition. Experienced quilt author, Susan Briscoe deconstructs The 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet and each of the 69 blocks giving techniques and templates that will allow readers to replicate the Coverlet using the original mosaic piecing technique, as well as more accessible modern techniques.

The book also explores how the replica coverlet was painstakingly reproduced and quilt historian, Bridget Long, explores the fascinating history surrounding the Coverlet and its discovery by The Quilters’ Guild. Royalties from the book will support the charitable aims of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles including caring for and exhibiting The Collection.

“There is a sense of excitement building within the Museum as we anticipate the exhibition of one of our textiles treasures. It’s a very rewarding experience to see the reaction of visitors when they catch their first glimpse of the 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet.

“We are delighted to be able to offer visitors the opportunity to participate in ‘1718 re-visited’ workshops with Susan in the autumn and to purchase Susan’s fantastic new book, allowing them to study the construction of the Coverlet in detail and to use the templates for their own projects”, said Fiona Diaper, Museum Manager.


Susan Briscoe is running two practical workshops ‘1718 re-visited’ at the Quilt Museum and Gallery on 11 October and 5 November 2014. Further details, including prices, available on the website

Gallery Talks

Quilt Historian Bridget Long will be giving two gallery talks on 6 September at 11.30am and 2.00pm. No booking is necessary for these free talks.


The 1718 Patchwork Coverlet (144 pages) will be published by David & Charles in September, 2014 at the cover Price of £ 19.99 (hardback). The limited pre-order price available from the Quilt Museum and Gallery shop is £17.99 plus £4.00 p&p.

Notes to Editors

The Quilt Museum and Gallery
The Quilt Museum and Gallery is Britain's first museum dedicated to quiltmaking and textile arts. The Museum is managed by The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles, an educational charity founded in 1979. Their aim is to promote the crafts of patchwork, appliqué and quilting through changing exhibitions of historic and contemporary textiles. The Quilt Museum and Gallery is independently funded through admissions, grants and donations. Since its formation in 1979, The Quilters' Guild has built up a unique collection of antique and contemporary quilts from around the British Isles. The collection has grown due to both donations and acquisitions and now numbers over 800 items, from the earliest known dated British patchwork the 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet to recent pieces by contemporary quilt makers. As well as full size quilts and coverlets, the collection includes miniature pieces, quilted clothing, small domestic items templates, tools and quilting equipment.
For hi-res images and further details please contact

The Museum and Gallery closes during exhibition changeovers. Please check the website or phone 01904 613 242 to check on opening times. Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am–4pm, Admission charges apply.

Information contained in this press release was correct at the time of issue.
Quilt Museum and Gallery
St Anthony’s Hall, Peasholme Green
York, England YO1 7PW
Tel: 01904 613 242

The Quilt Museum and Gallery is an independent museum operated by The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles. The Guild is a registered in England and Wales as a charity no.1067361 and a company limited by guarantee no. 3447631. The Guild is registered as a charity in Scotland no. SC043174.

The Museum and Gallery has been awarded the following:
• Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2014, 2013
• Finalist in the Visit York Tourism Awards for Visitor Attraction of the year (under 50, 000) 2014
• Arts Council Accredited Museum 2013
• Visit England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction 2013