Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Quilts 1700 - 1945, at Queensland Art Gallery

I wasn't sure what to expect from the Quilts 1700 - 1945 exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery, so I didn't rush into going along to check it out. It's almost finished now (it ends on 22 September), but if you have any interest in crafts at all I'd recommend going along.

There are some beautiful pieces on show there, and all are completely hand sewn - which is amazing - but what really blew me away was the sense of history that I felt reading the stories behind each piece in the exhibition.

Cot covers made for babies and small pin cushions made for their mothers with messages of good luck and good health in times when a lot of babies didn't survive.

Quilts made as wedding gifts and family heirlooms, others made for expensive hotels.

Another quilt was made by soldiers at war. Tiny little hexagons joined together to make a decorative and colourful pattern. Soldiers were encouraged into handicrafts to deter them from drinking and womanising and other unsavoury pastimes.

A quilt sent from Canada to the UK by the Red Cross to keep families warm during World War Two. Others made from pyjamas, or blackout curtains during the same period when fabric was scarce.

There was a small quilt made by young girls in Changi prison while housed there during Japanese occupation, but they never finished it.

My favourite piece was a beautiful quilt made by female convicts on the convict ship Rajah on their journey from Britain to Australia all those years ago.

Gorgeous quilts, but it was the stories behind them that really left me satisfied.

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