A new quilting exhibition will start at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum on Thursday 18 October 2012 which shows work from ten textile artists, national and international. These artists approach quilting as a contemporary art form. Many visitors will be surprised by the often unusual and challenging views these artists bring to a medium which is historically seen as functional and decorative. Admission is free.

Annabel Rainbow (UK) with her quilt 'Life 4 - Hello Dear, What Did You Do Today?'

Included in the exhibition, which runs until 13 January 2013, are: Bethan Ash (USA), Elizabeth Barton (USA), Eszter Bornemisza,(Hungary), Elizabeth Brimelow (Australia), Dijanne Cevaal (Australia), Linda Kemshall (UK), Laura Kemshall (UK), Sandra Meech (UK), Alicia Merrett (UK) and Annabel Rainbow (UK). Many of them are writers and teachers who travel the world to show and teach methods of quilt construction and design principles. They have written books, exhibited widely, and have work in private collections, both at home and abroad.

Alicia Merrett (UK), Elizabethan City, quilt

There will be a launch event on Friday 19 October, 1pm. Celebrate the opening of the Through Our Hands exhibition and join Curatorial Officer Alice Swatton for an introduction to the exhibition. This talk will be followed by quilting demonstrations by the artists. Free, no need to book.

Bethan Ash (USA), I Want To Stitch, quilt

Textile artist Annabel Rainbow, who is based in Leamington Spa, has co-organized this unique exhibition. She adds, 'There are historic examples of patchwork and quilts in lots of museums around the world, some dating back to the first century BC. Quilts have even been found wrapped around mummies in the tombs of ancient Egypt. Things have now moved on from mere utility and practicality, and it is the intention of this exhibition to champion the contemporary, artistic side of quilt making. I would like to show what a thriving, if little known, art form it is. The definition of art quilts and the relationship between art and craft is controversial, and the subject of many lively debates. Textiles are marginalised in the art world, and quilts are further marginalised in the textile world.'

Eszter Bornemisza (Hungary), Primitive Findings, book piece with quilts

A free catalogue with an introduction written by Annabel Rainbow, will accompany this exciting show.

Keep an eye on the Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum website, www.warwickdc.gov.uk/royalpumprooms for more information about quilt related events and workshops.

Friday Focus Extra
Friday 19 October, 1pm
Join Alice Swatton, Curatorial Officer, for an introduction to the Through Our Hands exhibition. Between 1.30 and 4pm you can also meet the artists for talks and demonstrations.
Free, no need to book.

Textile Collage Workshop For Adults
Saturday 20 October, 1 - 4pm
Create map fragments and fabric collage
using a sewing machine; with textile artist Alicia Merrett.
£15 per person. All materials and sewing machines will be provided. Places are limited, please call 01926 742700. Payment required to confirm booking. Non-refundable.

Half Term Art Club
Thursday 1 November, 2 - 4pm
Be inspired by the Through Our Hands quilting exhibition and make your own textile collage. Art Club sessions last 30 minutes, starting at 2, 2.45 and 3.30pm.
Free, drop in and join in. Recommended for ages 6 - 12 years.

Draw With Stitches Workshop For Adults
Saturday 17 November, 1 - 4pm
Join textile artist Annabel Rainbow for a 'free machine' quilting workshop, exploring how to draw with a sewing machine.
£15 per person. All materials and sewing machines will be provided. Places are limited, please call 01926 742700. Payment required to confirm booking. Non-refundable.