ELIZABETH'S DOWRY FABRICS go on sale at Festival of Quilts!

Elizabeth’s Dowry collection from Marcus Fabrics

The Quilters’ Guild is thrilled to announce the launch of the Elizabeth’s Dowry collection from Marcus Fabrics, inspired by one of the quilt treasures in The Quilters’ Guild Collection, the Mariner’s Compass Coverlet.

The Mariner’s Compass Coverlet (1820 – 1829) has always attracted interest from the quilting community not only because of its historic design, but because it is one of the few items in the Collection where the provenance is known.

The new line, including 23 stunning fabrics and a complete Mariner’s Compass panel, will be introduced in August and available in quilt shops worldwide at the beginning of October 2016.

Like Marcus and The Quilters’ Guild, Australian quilt and fabric designer Karen Styles of Somerset Patchwork & Quilting was also excited by the original coverlet and its creative potential for today's quilter, which inspired her to create the individual fabric prints as well as the featured quilt project for the collection.

“The Quilters’ Guild Collection is a wonderful source of inspiration for quilt makers, designers and researchers throughout the world. This collaboration with Marcus Fabrics and Karen Styles represents an exciting new direction for The Quilters’ Guild and it’s only fitting that we should start the journey with the motif of the mariner’s compass at centre stage”, said Chris Gatman, Chief Executive, The Quilters’ Guild.

The Coverlet is one of five quilts in the Collection from the Dennis/Cann family from Devonshire, England. Mary, a farmer's daughter, married Richard Cann in 1828 and they had six daughters; Annie, Jane, Elizabeth, Fanny, Mary and Margaret, and one son, John. Tragically, Richard died of Typhoid Fever in 1842, leaving Mary and her children no choice but to leave their farm and move to Hartland village where they ran a drapers and grocery shop. Mary stayed running the shop for nearly 50 years before her death at the age of 92 in 1891.

“We find evidence of the Mariner’s Compass design being used in patchwork in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, at a time when famous naval victories were at the forefront of public imagination. Its appearance tells us much about popular inspirations, and also points towards changes in women’s standard education happening at this time. By the late 18th century, women had increased access to geometry textbooks enabling them to draft, draw and make complex patchwork designs, including the compass motif”, said Heather Audin, Curator, The Quilters’ Guild. 

The launch of Elizabeth’s Dowry is the first of many opportunities that celebrate our shared textile heritage and QShop at The Quilters’ Guild will be creating a brand new range of complementary gifts inspired by the Mariner’s Compass Coverlet that will be available to purchase at the Festival of Quilts, NEC, Birmingham (11-14 August 2016) and online at www.quiltersguildshop.org.uk

Stephanie Dell ‘Olio, President of the Retail Division at Marcus Fabrics, sees the collaboration as yet another innovation for the company. “What’s exciting about this collection, aside from its historical origins and international scope, is the blending of traditional inspiration with today’s digital printing and production technologies that will allow us to offer greater colour capabilities.”