Historic Australian Quilts

NGV (National Gallery Victoria) opened an exhibition of historic Australian quilts this past weekend.
There are many glorious quilts on display and sometimes what hides on the back is as fascinating as the front. The above is the reverse of a hexagon quilt, showing the paper that held the fabric ‘square’ (hexagonal?) while the pieces were sewn and the quilt assembled. They tell their own story of the occupants life, and included shopping lists, writing practice and more.

Not every quilt was designed to grace a bed. Some were made for the Victorian parlour table. This one was edge with lovely lace.

Not a great photo but this quilt was like a mosaic, each tiny hexagon perfectly in place. Three of these hexagons added to about the size of a 5 cent coin!

I love that the tacking stitch is visible here, though none of the actual sewing is evident.

If you love cats, this is the quilt for you. The owner/maker loved cats and horses. She had been a dressmaker and the horse below, which was on the same quilt is beautifully decorated.

Each quilt told multiple stories: of the construction, the fabrics available at the time and the skill of the maker. This quilt and more by the same maker told a life story. In the pic above the words under the couple read únhappy honeymoon! But on another part of the quilt an old couple are shown, so perhaps their lives improved?

The Rajah quilt was there too. It’s quite fragile and is hung at 45 deg from vertical and in low light behind glass. Not easy to photograph, but the seat in front of it was full of conversation and a variety of stories about people and their connections to this wonderful quilt.

If you love quilts, history and/or story, you can visit this exhibition at NGV Australia in Fed Square in Melbourne. I’ve been twice already and intend to go again soon.

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When one Christmas is not enough …

… the only thing to do is to celebrate Christmas in July.

Carol and Wolf assembled the most rich, diverse and extensive display of Christmas trees and decorations that they overspilled Altona Homestead and were displayed in nearby Louis Joel gallery. Christmas Quilts from Seabreeze Quilters were also on display.

Here are just a few of them. And if you look closely at all the pics, there are decorations and/or trees hiding in every one. Each tree was themed, hung with decorations from a collection begun over 40 years ago.

I was invited to take part, making Christmas decorations with children that they could then hang on their own tree.

Meanwhile, carollers carolled, 

 Cupcakes gathered and dispersed.

Santa paid a visit
 

And the tree filled with decorations.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

I love libraries

I was at my *next-to-local library a few days ago, reading my book, waiting for my son. I’d been there a while when I became aware of a mother and two daughters standing just a few metres away looking at me. The younger of the two girls was carrying two of my books. Their mother introduced them too me and they told me which of my books they had at home, and talked about the ones they were taking home this time. It was a lovely accident of timing, me being there.

I’ve been caught up in the struggles on my current wip and the waiting that is part of every project (waiting for the idea to develop, waiting for the right words to come, waiting for it to make sense yano). It was a gentle reminder about what I’m really doing. Which is trying to connect with readers (even if I never see them), trying to provide them with stories to make them laugh and sometimes cry, stories that will help start them on a lifetime of learning, of loving words and stories.

*My local library was demolished a while ago and the replacement ‘Newport Community Hub Library’ is only weeks away from completion. I’m so excited about this new library, that I drove my visitor there yesterday to gaze upon the building site!