Collection Focus: Miniatures

The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection has a wide range of items from different time periods within the history of patchwork and quilting. It also has pieces ranging in size from our largest – measuring 3 metres in width – to our miniature pieces, that are full quilts with complex patterns in patchwork and quilting that are perfectly in proportion, but they are smaller than an A4 sheet of paper. 

This article looks at some of our miniature pieces in The Collection. And if you would like to see more, then check out the pages of the Miniature Quilt Special Interest Group
This small wooden display case is beautifully decorated as a quilt gallery/shop, with seven miniature quilts hanging on the walls, a chest full of small patchwork cushions, a screen, steps with more cushions, miniature furniture and two carpets. It was made by Heather Armitage from Region 16 (Scotland).
This definitely appeals to my inner child, and is really fun to set up, with all of the different miniature patchwork objects. The miniature quilts are so detailed and the tiny cushions are just remarkable!

Below is a miniature quilt made from printed cotton hexagons pieced over papers, forming a central star design with diamond shapes around it. Each tiny hexagon measures just one quarter of an inch, and the whole quilt measures 11 inches by 15 inches. The quilt has a wooden display bed, mattress, white cotton sheet with crochet edging and a white cotton pillow with a scalloped edge. The miniature templates used to create this quilt are also in the Collection. The maker of this piece, Maureen Hoyle, was an avid member of The Quilters’ Guild and taught many workshops for the quilters of Region 13. She specialised in miniature quilts with their own bed and was well known for her exquisite and meticulous work. Her trade mark was to combine the layers of her quilts with french knots rather than quilting.

This miniature cot quilt was made Barbara Bailey, and features twenty-four blocks of log cabin patchwork, measuring 4cm square set together four in a row. Each log cabin block has three logs per side of the central square. It is all hand-pieced and tied, and signed in chain stitch embroidery on the reverse ‘B. Bailey 1978’.

Below is a Cathedral Window doll’s quilt, hand-sewn from cream, pink and blue cotton. It was made by Edyth Henry, who was a well known miniature quilt maker and honorary member of The Quilters’ Guild. This miniature measures 10.5cm x 13cm.

We conclude with a contemporary miniature pictoral quilt that was made in 2018 by Roberta Le Poidevin, which depicts an outback desert scene. A small dwelling is silhouetted against a red and yellow sky at Sunset. The quilt has been discharge and screen printed on cotton as well as Markal stencilled. It features hand stitching and has been machine quilted in vertical rows across the whole of the piece.

Heather Audin

Curator of The Quilters’ Guild Museum Collection

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