About Talking Quilts
Talking Quilts was an oral history project that recorded, preserved and shared the stories of today’s UK quiltmakers. The project, which ran from April 2014 to March 2017, recorded over 180 interviews with quilters from across the UK. It was a project of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles and was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Talking Quilts was led by volunteers (Quilters’ Guild members and non-members) who were trained and supported to conduct and transcribe interviews with quilters. The stories focused on a ‘touchstone object’, one quilt or quilted object made by the interviewee, and exploring the story behind it. The interview then broadened out to explore the quilter’s relationship with quiltmaking and the role quiltmaking plays in their life. Over 70 volunteers were involved in recording and transcribing interviews, as well as helping at Talking Quilts event that ran during the projects lifetime. Digital audio recordings and transcripts of the interviews, along with accompanying photographs, are being shared here through an online archive, so everyone can explore our quilting heritage. The Talking Quilts Collection is held at The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles.
Over three years Talking Quilts visited eight Regions, following the Regional structure of The Quilters’ Guild. The Project visited Region 14 (Yorkshire, Humberside, Teesside and Cleveland), Region 12 (South and Mid Wales), Region 1 (London and Middlesex), Region 16 (Scotland), Region 2 (Sussex, Surrey and Kent), Region 4 (Cornwall, Devon and Dorset), Region 11 (Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Midlands) and Region 9 (Cambridgeshire and Norfolk). Representatives from the other 10 Quilters’ Guild Regions were also trained and contributed interviews to the Collection, these interviews do not feature on the website.
Talking Quilts is grateful to all those who have been involved in the project over the past three years, we’ve achieved so much more than we ever expected. Also to the Talking Quilts Committee, led by Pauline Macaulay, for their commitment to ensuring our rich and diverse quilting heritage is preserved for future generation.
To find out more about Talking Quilts read the evaluation document by downloading the PDF document.