Criminal Quilts

Criminal Quilts is funded by Arts Council England with the aim of creating original artwork, new research, interpretation and community engagement. The project has been developed and run by Ruth Singer in partnership with Staffordshire Record Office.

  • Criminal Quilts is an art & heritage project inspired by photographs and documents relating to women and crime 1877-1916  held at Staffordshire Record Office
  • I have been working with these images since 2012 when I was commissioned by Shire Hall Gallery to make work for their historic court buildings
  • I continued working on Criminal Quilts from 2013-2015 and these new pieces formed part of my solo exhibition Narrative Threads in 2015
  • One of those pieces won the Fine Art Quilt Masters competition in 2016
  • Read about the background to the project here


The new phase of Criminal Quilts has many different strands:

My own archive & historical research 

Volunteer project doing archive research and creative activities

Creative residency at Wolverhampton University to create large-scale new work

Opportunities for students and communities to create artwork inspired by the research

A history display for Staffordshire libraries called Criminal Herstories

Creation of my own new artwork 

Three exhibitions in 2018 and more in 2019 onwards

A book about the project containing both artwork and research

Working with community groups in Staffordshire who have limited access to art projects

Workshops, talks and events around Staffordshire and beyond

An academic symposium with Wolverhampton University

A short documentary film about the project

Regular blog posts documenting research and creative work

Talk and Masterclass at Festival of Quilts


Criminal Quilts exhibitions

Festival of Quilts 9-12th August, Birmingham NEC.

Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton on Trent  7 September – 27 October

Wolverhampton University 1 November 2018 – 4 January 2019

More information about the exhibitions here.





This project has been funded by Arts Council England, Staffordshire County Council and Brewhouse Art Centre.