This is a question which we hear surprisingly often and one to which it’s difficult to give a simple answer as we have so much to offer.
On the most basic level we are an educational charity with the purpose of preserving and sharing the enjoyment of patchwork, quilting and applique and it’s our members who make this possible.
The best part of being a member is to be part of a community who share a love of quilting and patchwork. Many describe it as like being part of a fantastic family and in this way we are all able to share our enthusiasm and skills, which is the most wonderful way to ensure the survival of quilt-making in all its forms for many future generations.
Volunteer members and staff of The Quilters’ Guild work to support our community in many different ways;
Wherever members are in the UK, they are a part of their local quilting community. We’ve split them geographically into regions, and we have 18 of them. Regions are managed by a local committee. Each member receives newsletters about their region and regions will host events, workshops and keep members up to date with all the groups you can join locally. If you’re not a member and you’d like to find a local quilting group go to your local region page and click in the ‘about region’ to find contact details of local groups.
We have a quarterly national magazine, The Quilter which all members receive by post for news about the Guild and the quilting world at large with reviews and insights.
As a member you have the opportunity to join any of our five specialist groups to further develop your skills and knowledge in a particular area of the craft.
The BQSG meet to share a love of quilt research, both historical and contemporary, and meet to share ideas. There is an annual publication of papers as well as seminar and study days to get involved in.
Contemporary Quilt Group are a group of quilters who love to push at the boundaries of quilt making in innovative and cutting edge ways. They exhibit nationally and offer regular challenges.
Modern Quilt is an online group for those who love modern quilting to share quilts and ideas.
For those who love to work with fine detail the miniature group love to use up all those tiny scraps to make versions of larger quilts in miniature.
Using traditional ideas and designs but often with modern fabrics and technology this group has firm roots in our quilting heritage.
The Quilters’ Guild Collection
We have a wonderful resource of over 800 British quilts in our collection. The Collection is housed in York and holds a wide variety of textiles from the late 17th century to the present day, chronicling our heritage and ensuring its safety for future generations. Pieces from The Collection go out to museums around the country for exhibitions as well as to Festival of Quilts and other events around the country. We also hold miniature exhibitions 4 times a year in York as part of our Friends of the Collection scheme. You can visit The Collection online at the Quilters’ Guild Collection website
We have our own dedicated membership offer for 5-18 year olds in Young Quilters. Young Quilters have their own newsletter and regions will hold bespoke workshops for children and young people to teach and develop skills which we hope will last a lifetime. For 14-18 year olds we have a weekly blog, Youngish Quilters to inspire and challenge.
Other than a small staff of 9 based at our head quarters in York, the Guild is run entirely by volunteers. From our trustee body, to regional representatives to those who make the all important cups of tea at a workshop, our members support all our activities.
We are funded by our members by their subscriptions. We do not receive any government funding. We have had National Lottery funding in the past for specific projects such as Talking Quilts.
The Quilters’ Guild Shop
We have an online shop with gorgeous unique gifts and projects inspired by our quilt collection. All profits from our shop go back to the Guild to support our work and members can receive 10% off all purchases.