Monday, July 22, 2013

Quilts 1700 - 1945

The busy weekend started bright and early on Saturday morning. I was up and getting frocked into my tartan early Victorian bustle gown. The had dawned for our trip to see the quilts exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery. The exhibition was put on by the QAG in conjunction with the V&A Museum, so it was quite a treat to be able to make it to this show.
This time, I took my mum along. We hopped on a train into the city and then made our way over to South Brisbane. We spent some time taking photos in a lovely walled garden inside the Gallery complex while we were waiting on our final costumer to join us.
We then made our way (after many photos both taken on our own cameras as well as other Art Gallery patrons) into the exhibition. On offer was a special ticket and luncheon deal at the gallery cafĂ© which most of us opted to go for - $30 included the $15 ticket entry, as well as a glass of champagne, finger sandwiches, mini pie, lamington and meringue. More than enough food to satisfy me, and for such a good bargain.The exhibition itself was amazing. The earliest quilts on display dated from 1700 – 1720 following up with quilts dating into the 1940s. The biggest one on display was the Rajah, a quilt made in the 1840s by convict women on their way to Australia from England. It was amazingly well done with embroidery and neat patches all put together by hand. I was very impressed by one quilt from the 1940s which was put together by Girl Guides aged 10 – 14 for their leader while in a Singapore prison. It was touching to see the work these girls had done in secret by using pieces from their own clothing, and rather fantastic that it has survived this long. My favourite though, were the Georgian pieces. For me it as a great opportunity to see the fabric that were used (left-over pieces from gowns and cut up old gowns) and the neat little whip stitches that held them together. I am planning a regency quilt myself, and this has really instilled in me the way to go about creating it. I also now really want some polka dot and coloured regency gowns, having seen fabric used in a quilt of the time. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside the exhibition, but I did by the gallery book which is abundant with information and photographs.
I did however, get some photos of the other paintings on display at the gallery from the regular all-year displays at the art gallery. These are my favourites. 
Afterwards we sat down to our lunch before moving onto the pop up shop attached to the exhibition. I was delighted to see hello kitty / liberty collaboration items for sale and sucker that I am, stocked up. There were many very tempting books available, but I know that I already have enough on my plate that I don’t need to try and take up another form of handicrafts. We were stopped again for yet more photos, before we decided to make our way home, and none too soon and the rain that had been threatening all day started to come down.
As for what we wore, my cousin and I chose to wear our early bustle gowns. I was originally planning to wear a Georgian piece, however my bustle is one of my roomiest costumes and I had been ill with a stomach bug recently and dreaded the tight lacing involved to fit into the other options in my wardrobe. That, and a silk crinoline is not a great idea when inclement weather threatens.
The other four attendees chose regency. In hindsight, it would have been more comfortable and I probably should have gone with that as well. My mum was one of them. A while ago, I had made her an open robe to go with her yellow gathered gown as a gift and she really hasn’t had much opportunity to wear it, so was pleased to get the chance. I love the colours in the fabric, and am glad that she does as well. She also chose to wear the shower cap turban I made for her as well. I tell you, best idea for gifts ever, the only downside, is trying to sew in secret when you live in the same house.

1 comment:

  1. Just wonderful! What an absolute treat! I would have loved to have seen you all traveling through the city in such finery, to then have such a decadent and interesting day.
    This is the stuff dreams are made of! Bravo ladies, you all look so happy and lovely!