Posted by: marymarthatours | December 28, 2012

My Quilt Adventures in York, England, Fall 2012


After the September 2012 M&M Miniature Tour in England, my husband Collie flew to England and met me in York where we stayed for two weeks. I was in a quilters’ heaven during our stay there with many opportunities to see quilts both historic and contemporary.


Our visit to York coincided with a display of about 35 small contemporary quilts depicting various aspects of the city’s history and landmarks. The quilts were on exhibit in a variety of locations throughout the city centre, and with a map of locations, one could follow The Quilt Trail to view the artistic creations. A few were in shop windows, some were in the entry rooms of museums and other public buildings, one was in a hotel lobby, and most were inside shops. I managed to find and see nearly every one of the little masterpieces. My favorites were located in the city library, the tourist information office and the Art Museum. It was a delightful way to explore the city centre plus admire quilts. Collie joined me for some of the hunting and photographing.

clip_image006     clip_image008

Collie and Martha on the Quilt Trail

The Quilt Museum and Gallery (the only museum dedicated solely to quilts in England) is located in York in a medieval guildhall, St. Anthony’s Hall. The timber framed Great Hall is a marvelous space for the displaying of quilts on exhibit. The museum is managed by The Quilter’s Guild of the British Isles.


The Quilt Museum, York, home of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles

I had a huge treat in store for me on this visit to York. Last spring and summer while researching for our 2013 Quilt and Textile Tour, I met Jan Allston on line. Jan is active in The Quilter’s Guild. She gave me many helpful suggestions and contacts to assist me in planning our tour. We became on-line email pals. Jan and her husband traveled to York from their home in southern England and spent several delightful days with us in York. Jan made arrangements for the two of us to spend time with the museum curator, Heather, to view some of the quilts and textiles in the museum’s collection. We also went into the storage room to see all the shelves of boxed archived textiles. The 90 minutes we spent with Heather whizzed by, and I was floating two feet off the ground seeing the treasures and learning more about the history of English quilts and textiles.

clip_image012   clip_image014

Heather with Jan and Martha at the Quilt Museum

The two museum exhibits at the time of our visit were also a delight. It was particularly fun to share reactions with Jan who knows the work of both quilters. One, Pauline Burbidge, is a quilt artist who is considered “one of the most influential contemporary quiltmakers”. We viewed the evolution of her ideas and techniques in quilts that spanned over thirty years. The second display was titled, Amy Emms: North Country Quilts, and featured her beautiful Durham style whole cloth quilts with exquisite hand quilting. Jan and I discovered that we both are interested in historic/traditional quilts and yet we both enjoy seeing the very creative art quilts of today.

Of course, I checked out the York quilt shops and I purchased some fabric at the outdoor market. Jan knows the best places to go to shop for fabric, so in the city of Scarborough, we hunted the shelves of bolts for some lovely fabrics at great prices.


Miniature fabric shop in Scarborough fabric shop window

Everyone who joins us for the 2013 tour will benefit from some of Jan’s insider knowledge about where quilters should go and what they should see. We will also all get to meet Jan and her quilting friends at Hever Castle for an event together.

(by Martha)

All photos by Collie Liska



  1. Thank you for your kind remarks, Martha. I’m looking forward to meeting you again in September and welcoming all your tour companions at Hever Castle quilt show! Happy New Year. Jan x

  2. Thank you for another interesting post, Martha. I’m looking forward to meeting you and the tour with great anticipation. Happy New Year. Marcia

    • The Nov.-Dec. 2012 issue of Quilt Mania magazine has a nice feature article about Pauline Burbridge and her creations. A couple of the quilts in the article were at the York Quilt Museum. Check out the article to see some of her quilts. Martha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: