From times gone by to the modern day, quilting remains a pastime that still prides itself on paying homage to the history of the hobby through the traditional patterns and techniques passed on from generation to generation.
This year, The Quilters’ Guild look towards a new method of quilting, while still celebrating and staying true to historical designs, by collaborating with the craft business, Crafter’s Companion.
The result of the collaboration is Crafter’s Companion Gemini Multi Media Quilting Dies. Each of the three die sets takes inspiration from and puts a modern twist on a historical quilt from The Quilters’ Guild Heritage Collection.
The Quilters’ Guild and Crafter’s Companion first worked together back in 2019, as Crafter’s Companion offered their studio and resources for filming videos for the Red Manor House Quilt Pattern that featured as The Quilters’ Guild block of the month project. The quilt itself was designed by Jenni Smith and inspired by the stunning Red Manor House Coverlet from The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection. As the project was showcased at The Festival of Quilts 2019, the conversation began about how traditional quilt making could be honoured, but met with a modern twist by joining forces to collaborate on a new concept.
Crafter’s Companion is more commonly known as a paper craft company, founded in 2005 by Sara Davies MBE, while she was studying for a business degree at York University. Part of the degree required a year’s placement at a local craft company where Sara spotted a gap in the market for a new craft product. The result of which was the invention of The Enveloper: a product that enables the customer to create custom-sized envelopes for their handmade cards.
Since Crafter’s Companion was established and launched The Enveloper, the company has grown into a global business, which has continued to create exciting and innovative products for the paper craft market and more recently, the art and soft craft markets.
In recent years, the company applied its passion for die-cutting to quilting, bag making and patchwork projects as they found that die-cutting can make the cutting process, quicker, safer and more accurate than using a rotary cutter.
The dies are designed for use with Crafter’s Companion’s Gemini die-cutting machine. They enable the individual to cut multiple shapes out of fabric, with both accuracy and precision. Made deeper than traditional dies, Crafter’s Companion’s Multi Media dies can be used with a large variety of materials including leather, denim, wadding and more. The dies are also ideal for quilters with dexterity issues. The depth of the dies also means that they are capable of cutting through up to six layers of 100% cotton.
In order to choose which designs would feature in the new die sets, Crafter’s Companion and The Quilters’ Guild studied a variety of quilts from the Heritage Collection to see which would make the best transition from historic to modern designs. Careful consideration also had to be given to individual shapes that would work best as Multi Media dies.
Through the collaboration, both Crafter’s Companion and The Quilters’ Guild aim to promote the art of quilting, in the hope of encouraging more people to get involved with the craft. As a result, these die sets have been created with mass appeal in mind, where there is something for everyone from the beginner to the experienced quilter.
Therefore, in addition to using the dies to create traditional-style quilts, each set also includes other project ideas. The sets come complete with step-by-step instructions that include a breakdown of the fabrics and materials needed for each project, as well as the history behind the original quilt from the Heritage Collection that inspired them.
For example, the Cockscomb Quilt set, which has been inspired by a quilt dating back to 1870-1890, features instructions on how to make an appliqué tote bag, appliqué quilt and floral appliqué table set.
The Geometric Bloom set, which was based on a geometric Wool Table Cover from 1860 – 1880, includes projects such as a table runner, cushion and quilt.
Finally, the Kaleidoscope Wheel set, which was inspired by the Wheels Quilt from 1880 – 1900, features instructions on how to make a stylish clutch bag, quilt and coasters.
The die sets will be launched on 25th October and prices start from RRP £19.99. Each purchase will help to support The Quilters’ Guild. For more information, please visit the Crafters Companion website.