The latest addition to the Shire Library series, Patchwork and Quilting in Britain will be launched at the Festival of Quilts in August 2013. It covers more than 300 years of patchwork and quilting history and contains a special colour section showing some of the ‘gems’ of the Quilt Museum and Gallery collection. At £6.99, Patchwork and Quilting in Britain offers great value for money and will make this fascinating area of our textile history accessible to an even wider audience.

Patchwork quilts are hugely evocative emblems of our domestic past. With no two quite the same, each example hints both at the story of the particular household in which it was produced and at a larger piece of social history. But quilting is by no means only historical, with the craft seeing a huge revival in popularity in recent years, and items that were once made for purely utilitarian and practical reasons are now produced and appreciated for the connection they afford us to a rich vein of heritage and nostalgia.

Key chapters include: Patchwork is the Fashion of This Age: 1700–1800; Pretty Prints and Colourful Cottons: 1800–50; The Fashion for Fancywork: 1850–1900; Fluctuating Fortunes: 1900–50; The Revival: 1950–2000; Further Reading and Places to Visit.

The book’s compact format makes it an ideal companion for quilt enthusiasts (particularly visitors to the UK) who want a convenient pocket-size reference that they can carry easily, new quilters looking for an introduction to patchwork and quilting, as well as seasoned quilters who will be interested in Heather’s perspective as the Curator of the Quilt Museum and Gallery.

“I was thrilled to be asked to write this significant title for Shire Books and to be part of the huge revival of crafts that seems to be sweeping the nation”, Heather said.  

By bringing together experts and enthusiasts, Shire Books has continually sought to fill the gaps in published material, providing affordable non-fiction paperbacks that reflect the interests and passions of ordinary people everywhere. In its 50 year history the company has published over 1000 titles, covering a broad and eclectic range of subjects.

Abraham Davies, Shire spokesman, said: “Patchwork and Quilting in Britain is the kind of title we absolutely love to publish, the sort that fits so perfectly on our list that it’s hard to believe we don’t have it already. We’re delighted that Heather agreed to write it for us, and also at the project’s perfect timing, coinciding with such a wave of public enthusiasm about crafts and the homemade.”