Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Making the Australian Quilt Exhibition

I have finally been to the Making the Australian Quilt 1800-1950 exhibition. It is currently on display at the Ian Potter Gallery, Federation Square in Melbourne Victoria, Australia.

It is a wonderful display of Australia's historic quilts, some are rarely on display and to have them exhibited in one space is such a privilege.

The most famous quilt is the Rajah quilt that was made by convict women in 1841 on the voyage to Australia. It is a very large quilt and was actually displayed behind glass because it is so fragile and precious. The quilt is named after the ship that they sailed on.

The Rajah Quilt c1841

Embroidery in the bottom panel of The Rajah Quilt

One of my favourite quilts was a Tumbling Block quilt made by an unknown sailor on a ship around 1841, it was made of silk but it was still so vibrant.

Tumbling Block Quilt c1846

Here is a detail photo, it was expertly made.

Tumbling Block detail

There was a hexagon quilt made by Elizabeth Macarthur, her husband pioneered the wool industry in Australia.

Elizabeth Macarthur hexagon quilt c1840

I recognised the pattern of Auntie Green's Quilt because it has been reproduced in magazines previously. It was good to see the original.

Auntie Green's quilt by May Ann Wellen c1860

The miniature hexagon quilt by Prudence Jeffrey looked as if it was made in recent times. Those hexagons were only 1cm wide.

Miniature hexagon by Prudence Jeffrey c1857
We looked at The Westbury Quilt by the Hampson sisters for ages. It was made to commemorate Queen Victoria and was embroidered with many motifs and sayings. It seems to have been made as a raffle quilt.

The Westbury quilt by The Hampsons 1902

The Westbury Quilt detail
There was a room full of beautiful crazy quilts that were so detailed and vibrant.

Crazy quilt by Clara Bate c1815
There are so many photos that I could show you of this wonderful exhibition. There was even a display of waggas and signature quilts.

Even though I took many photos I still bought the beautiful hard cover book of the exhibition.

Not only does the book have photos of all the quilts, it has all the text about the quilts and many detail photos as well.

Inside the book

Margaret Rowe is an Australian author of quilting novels set in Australia and in the novel she describes some historic quilts and the fictional quilt group make challenge quilts inspired by the subject. I have read all the novels and it was exciting for me to see the actual quilts that she has written about.

There is still time to see this amazing quilt exhibition before it closes on November 6th 2016, if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

Bye for now,


Gina E. said...

This is an excellent write up, Linda. I went to the exhibition last Tuesday with my friend Sharon, and we were enthralled. Took heaps of photos, but haven't got around to posting any on my blog, and now that you have done this, I will save myself the trouble and just redirect my readers here!
We also bought the book, great value for the money, and something I will have pleasure in browsing for many months to come.

jude's page said...

Thanks for the report, unfortunately it will be all over by the time I get back to Melbourne for AQM. Might have to find how I can buy the book instead.

Linda Steele said...

Wasn't it a wonderful exhibition Gina? I am glad that you made it. I knew it would be something that you would appreciate.

Linda Steele said...

I am sorry that you can't make the exhibition Jude, it is a shame that it is not on for longer so you could see it. The book is wonderful though with lots of great photos and information.

Kaisievic said...

Wonderful post, Linda, I so enjoyed seeing the quilts on your blog.

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Kaisievic, I am so glad that I went and saw the exhibition, at one stage I thought I wouldn't get there, but it was worth the effort to drive into the city