What happens when you cross a 300 year old patchwork and illustration students? Well, we weren’t sure either so we got together with York St. John University to find out.
We already know that The Quilters’ Guild Collection inspires quilters and textile artists from around the world, but we also know that beyond the textile world there are many who have yet to discover the wealth and breadth of creativity and inspiration within what many may consider to be a niche interest.
Keen to foster educational links and challenge a younger generation we introduced ten 2nd year illustration students to our iconic 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet. Lecturers Charlene Clempson and Kate Black challenged their students with a choice of two briefs, to either create a piece of work that responded in some way to the 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet by creating or incorporating elements of the coverlet’s narrative, or to create a range of products with a quilting theme.
We met up with the student to see how they were getting on and the range of interpretation was impressive.
This project changed my opinions of what quilting means. I understand now, that by collecting narratives (physical, textual) I can suture anything together conceptually and therefore physically. I have developed and expanded the format of producing work in the style that I like. The project has made me try new things that I never knew I wanted to do and have started to use embroidery within my practice.
To begin with, I was most shocked that this was about quilts and patchwork. I could only think of the process of making a quilt – geometry and shapes that fit together whilst considering the whole. As consequence, shapes and geometry and pattern became my connection to the quilting project.
I was a little worried when I was informed about the Quilting project. My concern was of how the work I produced would be received and how it would fit in to the expectations of the Guild. I found a place in the creation of my own work whilst responding to the 18th century quilt. I see the members of the Quilters’ guild as protectors and curators of historical textiles and fabrics which hold history.
We’ll have the full story in the summer issue of The Quilter, the membership magazine of The Quilters’ Guild where you can see what all ten students created and how quilting can inspire and challenge across creative disciplines.