Quilt Art, one of Europe's leading groups of professional quilt artists, celebrates its thirtieth anniversary with two exhibitions and a book. 'Dialogues' the main exhibition for the thirtieth anniversary, consisting of thirty new artworks, will debut at The Quilt Museum in York this autumn.

This exciting new body of work showcases cutting edge quilting at its best, challenging our perceptions of quilts as purely utilitarian objects. "One of our aims is to extend the boundaries of quilting as an artistic medium and achieve wider recognition of the quilt as an art form" said Sara Impey, who has been a member of Quilt Art for over fifteen years.

Quilt Art does not insist that their members have to conform to the standard definition of a 'quilt' and several of the artists are also working in the field of mixed media. Their artworks use cutting edge technology, such as digital stitching and printing and photo-transfer techniques, or experimentation with three-dimensions, unusual materials or methods of display. Others in the group are happy to confine themselves to working solely with fabric and stitch, finding in them a continuing source of creative possibilities. All the members are united by their passion for the expressive qualities of the textile surface.

"Dialogues will run concurrently with our 'History of British Patchwork and Quilting' exhibition and visitors will be able to see how function, design, materials and techniques have evolved over the last few centuries. It's an exciting and rare opportunity to see such excellent examples of traditional and contemporary quilts sharing the same space", said Museum Manager, Shirley Collier.

Quilt Art’s newest publication 'Quilt Art: Dialogues and Small Talk' accompanies the exhibition. The group invited the British academic and quilt historian Dr Sue Marks to interview each member individually and her dialogues with them form the basis of the text. A smaller exhibition, called 'Small Talk', will be on display at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC in Birmingham in August and travels to The Silk Museum in Macclesfield in the autumn before beginning a tour of Europe. Details of all these exhibitions can be found on Quilt Art's website (www.quiltart.eu). 'Quilt Art: Dialogues and Small Talk' will also be on sale at The Quilt Museum and Gallery, priced £18.

Images Top Left: Janet Twinn, Grandiflora Gold. Bottom Right: Jette Clover, Metropolis 5