At style-laden cotswolds boutique cutter brooks amidthe full-length dresses, john derian dcoupage plates and chequered table linens youllfind a small selection of pristine american quilts. from a c1870 diamond design from pennsylvania to a rare 1930s floral appliqu example, the intricate patterns are often passed down through generations and inventively pieced together from salvaged fabric scraps.

In the alabama hamlet of gees bend, however, these patterns have been given a bold improvisational twist by the african-american community over the past 100 years. their colourful my way quilts were championed in the 1990s by folk art collector william arnett; when they were shown at the whitney in 2002, a new york times critic referred to them as some of the mostmiraculous works of modern art america has produced.

Today, the metropolitan museum of arthas about 20 gees bend quilts in its collection from a c1950 blocks-and-strips design by emma lee pettway campbell, constructed from old work clothes, to a c1970 bricklayer quilt by linda diane bennett. each quiltmaker has their own individual style, says gallerist alison jacques, who is showcasing gees bend pieces at her london space in november. these women are amazing artists. they have also triumphed against the odds. despite the history this community has been through over the generations, thereis a sense of joy in their work. thereare elements that speak to me from an art historical perspective about abstraction, or pattern and geometry buttheres also a spirituality to them. imhoping to do oneof their quiltingretreats.

The alison jacques exhibition ispart of a wider reappreciation oftextiles as fine art. while established fibre-based artists such as sheila hicks are now commanding museum retrospectives, anew generation is continuing to break down boundaries. in the uk, artists max bainbridge and abigail booth founded forest + found in 2014 tocreate work that explores dialogues between sculpture, painting and a new-found language of craft. their take on quilting is minimal, the fabric stretched on frames as canvases. london-based christabel macgreevy, meanwhile, has a more ad-hoc approach, translating her manic mark-making into quilts inspired bycreation stories from greek myths to the big bang. in la, adam pogues hand-sewn patchwork pieces takethe form of wall hangings but also curtains and cushions, inspired by the korean technique of pojagi.

Pogue also adds his fabric patching to the workwear-influenced designs of unisex label smock, highlighting the intertwined relationship of fashion and fabric art. this is also picked up by new york duo sea, whose pre-fall collection features bright wheels of mish-mash fabrics against crisp white cotton, and copenhagen store holly golightly, whose own-brand modern heirloom patchwork jackets in liberty fabrics swiftly sold out.

For parisian brand apc, however, fashion feeds back into homewares. since2009, it has turned its fabric remnants into limited-edition quilts and cushions. the pieces are produced in collaboration with jamaican-born designer jessica ogden who sent patchwork dressesdown the london catwalks in the 1990s and pioneered the repurposing of pre-used textiles bringing the trend pleasingly full-circle.