Patchwork & Quilting Feed

War Quilts - 6

I hate it when they write "maker unkown" but that is the case with most of the quilts that were in this exhibition.

The central section was stunning and the use of the squares 'on point' must have been a nightmare to stitch.   (Love that butterfly in the middle.)

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There is so much that is unknown about the making of this quilt but the mind can make up all kinds of senarios.  There are some wonderful ideas for flower applique.

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And I was interested to see the little pattern of cut diamonds here and there.  I wonder if they were part of the uniform or added later?

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It makes some of the wool applique we see today look a bit basic.

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War Quilts - 5

This quilt (or table cover) is the second of two that were made by a tailor(s).

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This is the work of a very experienced stitcher or stitchers.  No soldiers sitting around and sewing in their spare time here. Although, it is made from the same woollen fabric as those in use in the English Military at that time.

In the central image, (that was copied from a painting) you can see the face of every person and put a name to each face the images are so good.  The whole of that image is inlaid work, not applique.  This is similar to the Prussian Quilts and although no one knows how these techniques moved from Prussia to England this quilt was made at the time by a tailor with a German name surname, Zumpf ,when Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert (who was German) was on the throne.

What I was attracted to was the two outer borders which were first inlaid with fabric and then embroidered with silk thread.

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The inlaid work gives the perfect shapes but laying the silk thread and then embroidered.   The satin stitch over it is perfect and would have taken a lot of skill.

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All the details are so perfect on this quilt.  The horns of plenty that have been placed in each corner mirror each other to perfection.  Even to the use of a lighter green thread on some of the tips of the fronds.  The silk shading manages to give dimention to some of the flowers.

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There must have been a strong tradition in the German States of this kinds of work for some time.  This level of skill and finese doesn't just appear from nowhere.  Then it is blown away with the tides of history.  The unification of the German States, industrialisation and the World Wars.  We are left to sit and wonder.

Some inspiration from the Stitches and Craft Show

I was trying to rationalize the photos on my phone and came across a group that I had taken at the show.  (I had a concussion at the time and don't even know how I got to or from the place.)  There were a number of displays and I know that this one took my fancy.   It was a group of small quilts by Maxine Fry.

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Some of her work reminds me of Gwen Marsden and it was these pieces that I liked best.  In the exhibition the 'process' of her work was on display.  From the torn paper mock ups.

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To the prototype.

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To a finished small quilt.

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What a great way to refine a design.

War Quilts - 4

There was one small quilt, the only one in the exhibition, made by a woman.  She used her husbands old uniform from the Boar War, to make a quilt for her baby.   It wasn't fancy, just a geometric pattern but it was beautifully pieced.  It was hung in an odd corner so wasn't all that easy to see but there seemed to be something about it that caught my attention.

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The card with it suggested to because she was a Methodist she probably didn't want to waste the fabric.

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Somehow that doesn't seem to ring true.  Flora would have been of the same era as my own grandmothers.  They had already been through 2 depression in the late 1800's and I know that they made an impact on them.  .  To attribute her reason for making the quilt to just one cause seems a bit simplistic.  Then there is the fact that the quilt has survived in perfect condition.  I feel there was a lot more than just economic reasons for making this quilt.

And just an update on the Selesian Quilt I wrote about in War Quilts 1.  The applique at the bottom of the quilt depicted an old German children's song and my friend Angela has sent me a copy of that song.

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I think that I have got the translation right for the first 2 verses but the last line in the 3rd verse just isn't right.

"Fox, you have stolen the goose, give it back otherwise the hunter will get you with the shooting gun.

His big long rifle.  He will shoot you and you will be stained with red ink and then you will be dead.

Dear little vixen let friends guess she is not just a thief.   (this is the part that I'm not sure of.) Take, need not roast goose, with the mouse do."

I can't see any mouse in that applique. 

Thinking more about it I think it means "Don't think about roast goose just stick to mice."

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War quilts - 3

Here are two different quilts that were made in India.  Because they use the same fabrics at first glance they look similar but they would look totally different if made in today's quilting fabric but I have no desire to do this.  The star motive is used in both quilts.

Interestingly this quilt is not included in the book so the only information about it is what was on the title plaque which doesn't match this quilt.  (As it was the first quilt I photographed I know I also took a photo of the plaque beside it.)

It would appear to be the same as the other Indian quilts  and those edges appear to be pinked in this image.  When I enlarged the photo you can see that they have been cut into diamond points.

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  The pieced stars are just so even, and there are so many of them all the same.  Thinking about how this was sewn, you could carry the pieces for each star with you to stitch, much like paper piecing.  Then when you had made enough they could be assembled and then move onto the next row, moving from the centre to the edge.

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This quilt is in the book and again it was made in India, maker unknown.  It is a true intarsia, where the front is the same as the back.  It is sumised that this was made by a regimental tailor.  A lot of these quilts seem to have been stitched by regimental tailors, which makes some more sense of them.  I know there are men that stitch but I can't see many soldiers stitching something like this.

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Detail of the piecing.

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War Quilts

That exhibition was so good and I got some good close ups of the stitching.  So I will do a post each week on some of the high-lights.

From a distance this quilt looks like many of the other Military Quilts.You can pick the colours of the fabric as being uniforms etc.  It is when you look into the detail that you can see how it was made.

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This quilt is beaded and the braiding that has been reused and manipulated so that it looks almost like ric-rac braid.  You can see it used as flat braid down in the left hand corner of the image but then again it might have been an early form of ric-rac.  Where the bead has pulled away you can see the fabric that has been a button hole which they cut around and then attached the bead.

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The title card that accompanied this piece gives details of how it was made.

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The central medallion has so much detail that it is difficult to appreciate just how much work has gone into it.

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The layering of the stars is interesting and they would appear to be held in place with beads.

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I just can't get a high enough resolution to be sure.  Still this is an interesting quilt.


War Quilts - 1

Sometimes you can be lucky.  I was lucky the other day when I was reminded on Facebook that there was an exhibition called War quilts showing out at the Ipswich Art Gallery. 

It is only on for a week and finishes this Saturday 25th March '17, so you will need to be quick to see it there.  It will also be on display at the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne in April.  I have to say that I have been to lots of Historical Quilt exhibits around the world but this one was exceptional.  And because it was out at Ipswich there were no crowds and I got to REALLY see every stitch.

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As I was on the mainland baby sitting and I had a few hours before I had to pick up the girls from school, It was into the car to brave the traffic and the rain to get there.   This is only a small gallery but they always have good exhibits and we visit with the children quite a lot.  They have a dedicated Children's Gallery for under twelves which the kids love.

I don't know where to start with these quilts.  Firstly, there is a wonderful book by Dr Annette Gero, $89 but worth every penny. 

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Photo Wayne Taylor

I can't find the book in any on-line book shop as yet so she must be selling them herself.

  I will start with a quilt I saw a number of years ago in a dark corner in the Brisbane Council Gallery in the 1990's.  Back then my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw it.  I knew it was very significant but there was no label on it and it was just part of a 'People of Queensland' display.  I rang the council, spoke to the attendants but couldn't get any information and it disappeared.  Now here it was again and this time all the information was there.

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I didn't have my camera with me, it is in for repair, so all the photos were taken on my iphone.  I looked for a sign about photography, but there was non and I asked the attendant who thought it would be fine to take photos.  I still felt a bit uncomfortable taking photos so didn't take as many as I would have liked.  It is the details that I wanted to see.  There are lovely images in the book but not those little details.   Like the embroidery with the applique of the children's song.  All the flowers and grass are embroidered there.  Even the hair on the pig

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And there is a snake in the tree.  The tree of knowledge?

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And look at those rabbits and that bird.

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And this is just ONE of the many wonderful quilts on display.   I am pouring over the book which is full of detail and as I digest more of the information I will post again about this exhibition.  I might even make an embroidery of part of this quilt.





More Loot

On the road again and this time the destination was Toowoomba.  Always a good hunting ground. There are lots of interesting shops, artists, gardens and Op shops.

The Op shops were first on the list after I had attended to business.  I was looking for a small bar tin for baking.  My husband thought the other was old so he threw it out.  It was one like my Mother had and not easily replaced.  I found a tin but not the one I wanted but I also found lots of things I hadn't even thought about. Like these lovely little Japanese dolls.  All $2 each.

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And another bunch of things that I can't show because they are going into the Christmas draw.  But let me say that I spent another $20 on 5 presents!

Then I saw there was a sale on at Hana's, which is a family department store.  I only bought 2 shirts but I have noted lots of things for my next visit.  Out to the patchwork shops where there were sales but everything I liked was full price.  Some nice Moda fabric.

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Just some top ups on Shadowplay.

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Some nice 'boy' fabric, small scissors and thread.

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Then onto the craft show.  It was very hot by this time and I think I parked my car illegally under some trees at the University but I wasn't booked thank goodness.  Here I caught up with lots of people I knew and found some bits and pieces I have been looking for.  New blade for the rotary cutter and needles which I keep dropping and can never find again.  (I'm sure there is an imp that collects them.)

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Some Japanese thread I want to trial.

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A stand for my rulers.

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I think I could do with a second one of these as I have lots of templates still in packets!

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That was all stuff I needed.  The rest is, well I wanted it.  A lovely hand turned bowl in Campher Laurel.  The smell is divine.

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Finally I am starting to find some Australian wool producers.  With all the wool the country produces it is a crime that we have to buy from over seas.  I only bought the one hank of wool to trial.  We will see how it goes.

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Good thing I remembered to put the trolley in the car boot because I would never have got it home otherwise!

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I think I had better stay home for a while to let my wallet recover.


The patchwork challenge

Something happened to all my photos for this post.  I'm blaming the gremlins or maybe it was that giant thunderstorm that came through? Try again!

The Xmas party was last night so I can now talk about what I did for our groups Xmas challenge.

The challenge was that you had to make a cushion 16"x16".  It had to be pieced and quilted.  There was to be no embroidery or applique.  The colours stipulated were, black, white and a touch of colour.  I decided on a modern quilt design.  In fact it is the old fence rail pattern in a variety of black and white prints with some patterned black fabric.  I used a black batik that had a blue design.

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I just used line quilting using a variety of thicknesses of threads in varying shades of blue.

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I had chosen another colour to trim the cushion in but after quilting the piece I found that the stitching changed the colour  so I used the same batik on the back.

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The mitred corners on the edging drove me up the wall but it doesn't look too bad.  That edging does make the cushion bigger but the cushion without the edging meets the specifications.

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And when we put all the cushions together, all 20 odd, it was surprising to see that everyone was different.  It is great to have such creative friends.

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What happens when you go away

I spent this last weekend up at Toowoomba with quilting friends.  It was a lovely weekend.  I didn't get anything finished but I got quite a lot of things part finished.  Unfortunately they are all Xmas presents and are to be a surprise so they have to stay under wraps until the big day.  We set up in the library of one of the primary schools, which was a great venue.

The problem with that was that there were some interesting books on display.  They are now part of my library, or will be when they arrive from the Book Depository.  Monique will be 6 y.o. next birthday, which is a couple of days after Xmas, and I have promised that I will teach her to knit when she turns 6.  This book has some great projects for little knitters along with a host of other good stuff.

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When I got home my husband told me what a great weekend he had had.  (I wasn't there.)  And then I saw the Xmas tree.  It has all the decorations on it from the past 30 odd years.  He told he he found the old lights and had put them on the tree but then he found some new lights.  He then had to cut the old lights off the tree and there was this box of 6" lengths of lighting cable.  I turned the lights on and I thought the whole house was going to take off into outer space.  He has all these programs put in to control how the lights flash.  I do think he has descended into his second childhood.  I just hope the house doesn't disappear into the stratosphere!

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