Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quilts in Brisbane

In the first week of the hols I was in Brisbane, primarily for the Visible Learning conference, but I went over a couple of days early. It was nice to be warm - given the first Monday of the hols was a big 8 degrees C in Auckland.

I visited the 'Quilts 1700 - 1945' exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery on the Southbank. It is billed as 'a celebration of more than 200 years of British quilts and patchwork' with 46 items on show - mainly quilts. When I think of ye olde quilts I think of American pioneers on the plains making do with flour sacks and old dresses. Most of these quilts could not be further from that image. Many are made from combinations of wool, silk and cotton. The exhibition showed me that nothing is new in the patchwork and quilting world. Photography was not allowed so I have photographed some quilts from the awesome exhibition book.

I was pretty impressed with my own hexy quilt, but this one ... the hexies are no more than 1 cm across! The hexies are wool and the quilt is thought to be made by Pvte Francis Brayley between 1864 - 77. It lives in the V & A museum usually.

Ditto my own clamshell quilt. But to make four bed curtains - that's a whole other story! I don't think I have ever seen clamshells up this way on a quilt.

This one looks like it could have been made yesterday in its trendy washed-out colours. It's been dated to the middle of the 18th century.

The quilt story I liked the most goes with this huge 3 metre x 3 metre quilt.

This quilt, the Rajah Quilt, was made on board the ship Rajah by convict women being transported to Tasmania, Australia in 1841. A Quaker group, the British Ladies Society for the Reformation of Female Prisoners donated the supplies to the 180 women prisoners on board. Three months later this was finished.

That was my only quilt/craft doings in Brisbane. The exhibition is open daily until 22 September. Definitely worth checking out if you are in the neighbourhood.


  1. Wow - it would have been amazing to see and read about it all!

  2. Beautiful - lovely to actually see them! I recall them both in one of Kaffe's books, he being equally impressed & used them as inspiration for his own versions. Linda

  3. Oh the hours and hours represented in those quilts! Last year I bought a book on antique quilts from Australia. Such good reading. I learned a lot. Enjoy your stitching.