This month we’re celebrating a quilting icon! The UK’s earliest known dated patchwork, the 1718 Silk Coverlet, is 300 years old this year. We’re proud to reveal our exclusive Anniversary Souvenir Supplement to celebrate the coverlet’s heritage, in association with The Quilters’ Guild.
We’re really excited about this issue’s bonus magazine: 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet. For those of you lucky enough to have seen the Coverlet in person, you’ll know that this icon, which is one of the earliest known dated patchworks, is a masterpiece of construction.
- Buy the supplement – order your copy of issue 38 today
- View our online gallery of Tribute quilts, inspired by the Coverlet
- Where to see heritage quilts in the UK
Pieced over papers in a mosaic style, the 69 blocks have inspired quilters for years with their designs and the skill it must have taken “EH” to construct without all the modern conveniences we have today.
See the Coverlet on tour
If you’ve not had a chance to view the Coverlet in person, however, 2018 is your lucky year. Not only is it the tercentenary of the piece, but it’s being displayed in several locations across the country. If you’re in the South West, do head to the American Museum in Britain, located in Bath. On loan from The Quilters’ Guild Collection until 29 July, you can view it alongside the museum’s own world-renowned textile collection (sounds like a good excuse for a day out to us!).
And then, excitingly, the Coverlet will be displayed at this year’s The Festival of Quilts, alongside a gallery of tribute quilts. What better way to see this piece of history that continues to challenge and inspire quilters than by viewing tribute versions next to the original. This is one opportunity you don’t want to miss, as the Coverlet will be going back into storage and this might be your last chance to see it.
Inside our souvenir supplement
Working with The Guild for our supplement, we looked at the conservation of the piece, and what secrets the team found while working on it. Susan Briscoe discusses how she went about creating her book, The 1718 Coverlet, which allows quilters to piece each of the blocks in either the original mosaic method or using modern methods.
We’ve also produced a gallery of some of the tribute quilts out there, many of which you can see on display at Festival of Quilts.
Once you’ve finished immersing yourself in the coverlet’s conservation, heritage and community interest that surrounds it, we’ve got the perfect project for you to sew, inspired by the original.
Joy Edgington has used a selection of blocks from the original Coverlet to create a heritage wallhanging that you can make for your home. We’ve included templates, instructions and advice for you with Susan’s block-by-block guide.
Find the full instructions in our 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet supplement, in issue 38 of Today’s Quilter, out now.