Talking Quilts has launched online, at www.talkingquilts.org.uk, the first UK digital Collection of recorded interviews capturing the stories of today’s quiltmakers.

Thanks to National Lottery players this online Collection provides quilters, researchers, historians and textile enthusiasts access to recorded and transcribed interviews and photographs completed by volunteers over the three-year project.

Region 4 Barbara Janssen and quilt

This website enables people from around the world to learn about the UK’s quilting heritage and the importance of quilting as an innovative textile art-form and craft with diverse social practices and its recent emergence as a creative art form. 

The Collection is easy to navigate and can be searched by UK geographic region, key words and volunteer names. Users can read the transcribed interviews and listen to edited sound bites from selected interviews. The website also features a free downloadable Handbook to inspire and guide people to record their own stories in their own communities.

“This Collection provides a wonderful snapshot of today’s UK quilting community”, said Vicky Martin, Project Manager, Talking Quilts. So far, the new website includes interviews from Yorkshire with stories about memory quilts, celebration quilts and quilts that support education. It also explores quilting techniques and skills. Interviews from other Regions will be added soon.

FAMILY CONNECTIONS EXHIBITION AT FESTIVAL OF QUILTS 
11-14 August, Birmingham

At this year’s Festival of Quilts the Talking Quilts ‘Family Connections’ exhibition will be giving a voice to the quilts on display. 

Over the last two years, volunteers across the UK have been recording the stories of quiltmakers. Each interviewee was asked to choose one quilt or quilted item that they have made to talk about. ‘Family Connections’ will highlight some of these stories, featuring extracts from interviews along with the quilts themselves. 

Many of the stories captured from across the UK show how our families can influence our quiltmaking. The quilts on display all demonstrate this link, whether it is relations passing on their skills or quilts made with a special person in mind. Volunteers who worked on the Project as interviewers or transcribers, as well as some of those who shared their stories, will be available at the gallery throughout the exhibition.

The Talking Quilts exhibition is twinned with ‘The Quilters’ Guild Collection: Family Connections’ exhibition, which showcases historic quilts that have retained their interesting family stories and, in some cases, are one of several pieces made and kept within the family.