top of page
The Quilt Association, Llanidloes
The Quilt Association, Llanidloes
The Quilt Association, Llanidloes
The Quilt Association, Llanidloes

A Brief History of The Quilt Association

The 1980s

1985: There was an exhibition of quilts from Ron Simpson’s collection in the Old Market Hall in Llanidloes. It was featured in the first issue of Patchwork & Quilting magazine. 

The 1990s

1995: A decade later a group of friends worked to set up the first major summer exhibition of antique quilts, again based on Ron Simpson’s collection. It was called, simply, “Welsh Quilts.” The Minerva Garage, a former showroom and working garage, was rented for the purpose, along with other venues in Llanidloes. Summer quilt exhibitions have taken place annually since then, and until 2001 were based around Ron Simpson’s extensive collection.

The quilt group Welsh Heritage Quilters was established and began meeting regularly in Llanidloes, eventually settling at The Minerva Arts Centre for a weekly Wednesday afternoon meeting.

1996: The Quilt Association was established as a charity and company limited by guarantee. A feasibility study was carried out to consider setting up a permanent centre for patchwork quilts and textile arts and crafts in Llanidloes.

1998: Funds were eventually found from the European Union, Powys County Council, Llanidloes Town Council and private donors to buy The Minerva Garage. The property, renamed as The Minerva Arts Centre, has two exhibition spaces, each approximately 200 square metres – suitable for one large exhibition or if subdivided for several smaller ones. There is a flat above Gallery 1 and a small garden at the rear.

1999: Work started on the building to make it more suitable to its new purpose.

The first quilts were donated to The Quilt Association, followed by many more in subsequent years. Others have been purchased to fill gaps in the collection.

The Quilt Association, Llanidloes
The Quilt Association, Llanidloes
The Quilt Association, Llanidloes

The 21st century

2000: Most of the building was reroofed, and a new front facade created.

2001: Gallery 1 – insulation and heating system installed.

2003: Gallery 2 – floor renovated. A publicity officer was employed for one day a week, until 2007, with European Union funding.

When not used by The Quilt Association for exhibitions, the Centre is hired out to a diverse range of other groups for events such as exhibitions, talks, fairs, meetings and workshops.

2004: The Quilt Association celebrated ten years of exhibiting with its “Celebrating Ten” summer exhibition.

Installation of the prototype section of the Scottish parliament reception desk, made by David Colwell.

2005: Shop refurbishment at the entrance to Gallery 1 with funding from Powys County Council.

2007: Grant from the Laura Ashley Foundation for new sewing machines to facilitate workshops.

2008: Awards for All lottery grant received to catalogue the growing collection of antique quilts.

Photovoltaic panels installed on Gallery 2 roof to generate electricity for the Centre. Additional insulation was added to this exhibition area. A new accessible toilet was installed at the rear of Gallery 1. The work was made possible by European funding, the Low Carbon Buildings programme and Potters Waste Management.

2009: Awards for All lottery grant received for Quilt Detectives project – in depth research on quilts from the collection.

The central heating system was extended to incorporate Gallery 2.

Funding was received from the Powys County Council Community Welcome Scheme to create a logo for The Quilt Association, and a brand new website.

2010: The Quilt Association was awarded £5,000 from Potters Waste Management for the Lighting Up Minerva project.

2011: The British Quilt Study Group annual weekend seminar was held in Mid Wales with a visit to The Quilt Association's heritage collection in Llanidloes.

2012: Ashley Family Foundation grant received for a three year education project. Our Education Project Officer started in the Autumn.

The first City & Guild students enrolled on our Level 2 Patchwork & Applique course.

2013: Jean Pegg took over from Andy Warren as the new Chair of The Quilt Association, and the exterior of the Minerva Arts Centre had a makeover.

2014: The Quilt Association celebrates Turning Twenty with its 20th summer quilt exhibition.

Meet Our Trustees


Lisa Arundale

Lisa has sewn from an early age, gaining a City and Guilds qualification in fashion design and production. An enthusiastic, creative soul who likes working with fabric, colour and thread. Developing an interest in quilting Lisa moved to Llanidloes in 2013 with the express intention of joining the Welsh Heritage Quilters' group. Becoming a trustee with the Quilt Association seemed to be a natural progression. It is an ideal opportunity to discover more about traditional and contemporary quilts, as well as support the Minerva Arts Centre, which is a wonderful local resource.


Sheila Davies

Sheila was born in Surrey, and encouraged by a creative mother and grandmother, soon became addicted to sewing. She attended Gwent College of Education, where she studied Textiles, Science and Design.

She followed a teaching career until she had her family, then changed track to work from home as a seamstress and dressmaker. 

She first became aware of the Quilt Association on moving to Llanidloes in 2003. After spending many enjoyable summers helping to steward the annual exhibition, she was honoured to be invited to become a trustee in 2019.


Caroline Malone

Caroline moved to Llanidloes from Milton Keynes in 2022 after her son opened a teashop in Llanidloes. She has a strong interest in the visual arts and in making all forms of art/craft accessible to the community. Her experience of working with artists and acting as trustee for charities is extensive including serving as chair for an Arts centre with resident artists, exhibitions, workshops and funded community events and projects.  She welcomed the opportunity to join QA to support the administration and governance and has enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about textiles - her personal interest is focussed on drawing and printmaking.


Carol Ryles

Cardiff born, Carol took up quilting whilst living in Texas in the 1990s. Retired from midwifery in 2013 she has taken on numerous projects since, some of which have improved her quilting abilities! A Quilt Association member for years, she became a trustee in 2017. She secretly hopes that one of her quilts will become a family heirloom.


Chris Shercliff

Chris was born in Shropshire, moved to Staffordshire and joined a quilt group in the 1980s, thus giving herself one peaceful evening a week and her husband the opportunity to put small children to bed.  

Full-time teaching then took over her life until retirement to Wales  in 2012, when she was delighted to discover both the Welsh Heritage Quilters and the Quilt Association. She is interested in all aspects of quilting and textile arts, dabbles in both and, in particular, is keen to tell the world about the little gem that is the Minerva Arts Centre.

If you have any enquiries regarding The Quilt Association or
The Minerva Arts Centre, please get in touch with us here

bottom of page