THE perceptions of quilt making will be challenged by the latest contemporary arts exhibition at Rheged.

New Quilting, an exclusive exhibition at the arts centre near Penrith, will reveal the new face of contemporary quilting, an art form now just as likely to be found hanging on a gallery wall or urban loft apartment as it is in a rural farmhouse.

Quilts by more than 30 national and Cumbrian makers have been selected for their craftsmanship and design, colour and innovation.

The unique story behind each piece will also be told in the exhibition, either through accompanying sketches and material revealing how each quilt came to be, or through the storytelling ability of the quilt itself.

Shambles, by Michael Fitchett John Stokes, arts manager at Rheged, says: "Quilting has been part of the needlework tradition in Europe since the fifth century and our exhibition celebrates those continuing the tradition today.

"Quilting is alive and kicking in the modern art world and from handmade fashion to 3D quilts, modern, traditional, pictoral and geometric, visitors will discover the handiwork and dedication required to produce these extraordinary creations.

"The work which goes into producing each quilts is immense. One quilt, Log Cabin Craziness, features more than 40,000 pieces of fabric and took five months for the artist, Joy Salvage, to complete."

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, New Quilting will also incorporate a community arts project with locally-based artist Maddi Nicholson. She will work with the Levens Quilters group to produce a new piece of contemporary artwork that uses quilting as its medium.

The themes of the piece will be local folklore, with more details to be revealed soon.

The complete list of artists includes: Abigail Booth, Alicia Merrett, Eileen Blood, Elfriede Grooten, Elizabeth Brimelow, Eszter Bornemisza, Greta Fitchett, Helen Howes, Janet Twinn, Jen Kelson, Joy Salvage, Judith Wilson, Kate Crossley, Kate Dowty, Marijke van Welzen, Marita Lappalainen, Michael Fitchett, Monika Steiner, Ramona Conconi, Sandie Lush, Sandy Chandler, Sara Impey, Susan Briscoe, Trudi Wood, Vera and Ctibor Skoček , Janice Gunner, John Winn, Sheena Norquay, Margery Milnes, Cas Holmes, and Christine Chester.

The exhibition is open to the public from Friday March 3 to Sunday April 23, from 10am to 5pm daily, and admission is payable on the day.