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Our Collection

Our collection – in brief

The Quilt Association has in its care a collection of antique quilts, many from the Llanidloes and Mid Wales area, often with accompanying additional information about the makers and the places where they were made. Most of the items in the collection, which include cushion covers and table covers as well as bed quilts, have been donated to the Association over the years, although several have been bought. The Minerva Arts Centre has become renowned for patchwork, quilting and other textile arts as The Quilt Association has made its collection available as a study source. At the Centre there are facilities to hold workshops, lectures and courses. Many of the quilts in the collection have been displayed at the annual summer exhibitions which are held at the Centre every year.

Funding was obtained from the Heritage Lottery Fund to document the items in the collection which now number over 140. A volunteer team completed this work in 2008. Since then another small grant was obtained in 2009 for The Quilt Detectives project, in which volunteers selected quilts from the collection to carry out further research into their construction, fabrics, styles and the social history of their maker.

The collection features patchworks and quilts from the early 19th century to the 1970s. Some of the recurrent themes are:

  • Traditional Welsh patchwork quilts made of Welsh flannels in strong bold colours dating from the 1850s – 1900.
  • Cotton patchwork quilts dating from the 1830s – 1970s, including hexagon, log cabin, brickwall, frame/medallion, strippy, crazy.
  • Welsh wholecloth quilts, many dating from the 1930s when the Rural Industries Bureau revived the art of hand-quilting, particularly in South Wales.