The Quilt Museum

Quilt Museum

Photograph by Mary-Frances Main

The Quilt Museum

York

www.quiltmuseum.org.uk

The museum is proud to be the only one in Europe dedicated to quilts, not having stopped for a moment to wonder why that is.

Allow us to explain. It is largely because quilts are very useful items if you want to be warm in bed. Perhaps you wouldn’t mind seeing the odd one or two in a museum if they are of quite exceptional historical note, such as one a pope died under or one sewn by Jimmy Nail during breaks in his prestigious 1990s music career. But an entire building bursting at the seams with the things is just going too far. It is, you might say, ‘blanket coverage’.

After your fill of international quilts studies you could even pop into your local Marks and Spencer and take a look at the bedding department, because there will probably be some quilts there. And really, they are much of a muchness, despite what the forces of international quilting would have you believe.

But don’t worry if you can’t get to the Quilt Museum, which is run by the Quilters’ Guild. (We can’t wait to go to one of their Christmas parties. We bet they’re a riot – not to mention very cosy.) Because you can download an informative podcast on the history of quilts from the International Quilts Study Centre – the Nasa of the quilts world.

Like most museums staffed by people who must have something against children, the museum has an education programme so that teachers can have a day off from their proper jobs of smoking nervously in the staff room, and drag the kids along to learn about the history of bedspreads. It is, at least, a really good place to take a nap.

Don’t ask the Quilt Museum about duvets, they wouldn’t even spit on them.