'Quilt City' runs from 14 September – 16 November, 2012 and includes over 30 original and contemporary York‐themed quilts in various locations around the city centre. The exhibition celebrates 800 years of the City of York and is supported by The National Lottery through Arts Council England and City of York Council.

Venues include museums like Barley Hall and the Merchant Adventurers Hall, retailers like Cath Kidston, Purple Haze Vintage Clothing and York Cocoa House. Quilts will also be on display in The Bar Convent, Lady Ann Middleton's and Monkbar Hotels.

Detail from YORKE 1611 by Alicia Merrett

Councillor Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: "This will be a unique and interesting York 800 event, and I am delighted that we have been able to support The Quilters' Guild. Residents and visitors alike will be able to learn much more about modern quilting, and appreciate the quilters' efforts at the same time".

As part of this innovative project, two contemporary quilt makers have been commissioned to make new work for the exhibition. Linda Barlow and Alicia Merrett will produce quilts exploring contemporary and historical York.

Alicia Merrett is based in Somerset and has won The Quilters' Guild Trophy for best use of colour in show twice. For this commission Alicia has produced a colourful quilt map influenced by John Speed's 17th century map of York. Alicia has said that her quilted map will "describe the main features of the city that survive today, and show the beginnings of what is now a great and flourishing city. It will celebrate the permanence of the main features of York".

Linda Barlow, based in Shropshire, makes pictorial quilts creating images and scenes based upon substantial research. For 'Quilt City', Linda has constructed a party scene attended by famous people associated with York. George Hudson and Margaret Clitherow, Shed 7 have reinvented themselves as a carnival band, there's a pop-up Bettys doing the catering, and ghost Roman soldiers have discovered Pimm's. The quilt also depicts Guy Fawkes, sorting the fireworks for midnight, Dick Turpin and Thomas Cooke.

Guild President, Tina McEwen said "The Guild is excited about commissioning two leading quilters to make work especially for the 'Quilt City' exhibition. The exhibition takes the best of contemporary quilting to a wide audience in all sorts of locations across the city and introduces the art of quilting to people who people who have never seen contemporary textile art. We hope that many people will also visit our Museum at Peasholme Green as a result."

Visitors can pick up a 'Quilt City' map and brochure at the tourist information centre, all exhibiting venues and at The Quilt Museum and Gallery. A map will also be made available on the Quilters' Guild website; for more information please visit: www.quiltersguild.org.uk