Quilting heritage: The 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet

All hail a quilting icon! The UK’s earliest known dated patchwork, the 1718 Silk Coverlet, is 300 years old this year.

1718-Patchwork-coverlet-blog

Pieced over papers in a mosaic style, the 69 blocks have inspired quilters for years with their designs and the skill it must have taken “EH” to construct without all the modern conveniences we have today.

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For those of you lucky enough to have seen the Coverlet in person, you’ll know that this icon, which is one of the earliest known dated patchworks, is a masterpiece of construction. Here it is on display at the 2018 Festival of Quilts…

Did you see the Coverlet on tour?

For many of us who hadn’t previously had the chance to view the Coverlet in person, 2018 was our lucky year. Not only was it the tercentenary of the piece, but it was displayed in several locations across the country, including excitingly at The Festival of Quilts, alongside a gallery of tribute quilts. If you didn’t get the chance to visit, here it is in all it’s heritage glory!

The 1718 Silk Coverlet Historical Patchwork


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Todays Quilter Silk Coverlet Supplement
We’re proud to reveal our exclusive Anniversary Souvenir Supplement to celebrate the coverlet’s heritage, in association with The Quilters’ Guild. We’re really excited about releasing this bonus magazine: 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet.

Inside our souvenir supplement

Working with The Guild for our supplement, we looked at the conservation of the piece, and what secrets the team found while working on it. Susan Briscoe discusses how she went about creating her book, The 1718 Coverlet, which allows quilters to piece each of the blocks in either the original mosaic method or using modern methods.

We’ve also produced a gallery of some of the tribute quilts out there, many of which you can see on display at Festival of Quilts (scroll down to see!).

1718 Silk Coverlet magazine

Once you’ve finished immersing yourself in the coverlet’s conservation, heritage and community interest that surrounds it, we’ve got the perfect project for you to sew, inspired by the original.

Joy Edgington has used a selection of blocks from the original Coverlet to create a heritage wallhanging that you can make for your home. We’ve included templates, instructions and advice for you with Susan’s block-by-block guide.

Reproduction Quilt Wall hanging
Find the full instructions in our 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet supplement, in issue 38 of Today’s Quilter, available through the Today’s Quilter app for Google Play and Apple Newsstand.

Tribute quilts gallery

We caught up with three groups this month who have taken their inspiration from the 1718 Silk Patchwork Coverlet in our souvenir supplement. Here we share one group’s quilts in more detail in this online gallery.

Silk Coverlet Tribute quilts

Once a month for the last three years, patchwork and quilting teacher Joy Edgington, of Pastures New Quilting, has been helping quilters to discover the heritage and techniques behind the creation of Britain’s oldest dated patchwork. Her students have done her proud and many of their replica quilts will be heading to the Festival of Quilts this autumn. Here’s a sneak preview…

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Find out more about The 1718 Silk Coverlet