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Seminar 2021

SEMINAR 2021 22nd -24th October Online via Zoom

For the last 20 years the Annual Seminar has been a stimulating and social highlight for members of the British Quilt Study Group, a special interest group of the Quilters’ Guild.

The Seminar for 2021 was moved on-line (via Zoom) but was still able to preserve something of the atmosphere of our usual Seminar weekend.  With the extra capacity provided by Zoom, we were able to welcome members from far and wide – not just from this country but from all over the world! Members of the Quilters’ Guild who were not already BQSG members were also able to join us and in total, over seventy signed up for the weekend.

Our keynote speaker was Joanna Hashagen, Curator of Fashion & Textiles, Bowes Museum and her talk on Friday evening entitled ‘A Life Rich in Textiles’ enthralled us all. Talking about her 40-year long career at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, we were treated to a colourful résumé of the many exhibitions she has curated including the current North Country Quilts: In Celebration of New Acquisitions. Dorothy Osler, co-curator of this exhibition and author of the accompanying catalogue joined Joanna for the lively Q&A session.

Our busy Saturday began with the first paper presentation of the weekend - Remember Me: Love, Loss and Legacy; Memorial Textiles in Britain, 1790-1890 by Deborah McGuire. This paper examined a wide range of memorial patchwork and quilted textiles, putting them into a wider context of memorial stitching and addressing questions about how far it is possible to interpret the intentions of makers from the past.

Zoom breakout sessions followed this thought-provoking paper and everyone was able to have a good chat with other members, catching up with ‘old’ acquaintances and also meeting new members who we hope enjoyed their first seminar.

Following a break for lunch, our afternoon session started with Quilt Research Breakout groups. Attendees were able to choose from three groups - Quilt Research with Rachel Terry and Isabel Dibden-Wright, Identifying Topics and Quilts for Research with Bridget Long and Signature Quilts: Documenting, research approaches and working as a group with Maxine March and Anne Jeater.

This year’s show’n’tell on the theme of ‘Your Treasured Quilts’ had a good selection of quilts both old and new. Each quilt had its very own special story or memory which was told to us by its owner.

Saturday ended with our second paper presentation of the weekend - In Theory, My Stash is for Using by Marybeth Stalp. In this presentation Marybeth presented her qualitative research from a group of quilters in the South-West of England, looking at how they valued their engagement with patchwork and quilting and putting this into a wider context of research into how women pursue and value their leisure activities in both the US and UK.

On Sunday we were again able to have a ’catch-up’ and meet new members in breakout groups before settling down to listen to the final paper of the weekend - Sewing in the Wings: The Theatrical Patchwork of Mrs Fanny Stirling by Dorothy Hill. In this paper Dorothy Hill presented her research into a patchwork coverlet from the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Collection and examined how it may have links to untold stories from the heart of British theatre in the 19th and 20th centuries.

More detailed reports from the weekend will be in the next edition of Culcita and the papers will be published in Quilt Studies 23 next year.


If you were not able to watch all the presentations live, the recorded sessions will be made available (ONLY to those who paid the booking fee) for a period of four weeks after the event.  Participants will be notified when the recorded sessions have been uploaded.