Thursday, 19 April 2012

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - Q is for .....


Q is for...... .Quilts

When I started working on the posts for this years A-Z Challenge I wondered what I could use from my own experiences or research to cover the letter Q. 

I sat and pondered back to a day when I visited Parliament House in Canberra and to the experience of viewing The Great Hall Tapestry. 

The tapestry is incredible and took the weavers two and a half years to create it. Halley's Comet was added to the tapestry in order to date it, as the comet was passing through during the time the tapestry was created. 

The thoughts and reminiscence of the tapestry lead to me my think of the Rajah Quilt which was sewn by a group of convict women as they sailed to the Colony.

From the brief research I have done and email communication with a descendant of someone who sailed on board the vessel, I have gleaned that the quilt was returned to England after it had been completed by the women. It was obtained by the National Gallery of Australia in 1989. It is now in a very delicate condition and is shown just once a year in order to protect it for future generations.

In 2010 The Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum in London hosted an exhibition Quilts 1700 - 2010. As part of the exhibition the Rajah Quilt made a rare appearance. A application of the event including photos has been produced and is available from iTunes. Having purchased the application it runs quite happily on both my iPhone and iPad.

Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia
There is a rather nice video of some close up shots of the quite via the National Gallery of Australia's website - HERE

The link for the A-Z Challenge 2011 post is HERE

7 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story of the Rajah Quilt. It's so lovely and controlled that I wonder what "crimes" the women committed. The quilt couldn't have been made by a gang of ax murderers, that's for sure. HA!

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    1. Making quilts whilst in captivity appears to have carried on. The Changi Quilt made my Prisoners of War during WWII http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/videos/t/video-the-changi-quilt/

      Also, there is the more recent contribution from inmates of HMP Wandsworth http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1165208/quilt-hmp-wandsworth-quilt/

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  2. That's gorgeous! What a neat post to go with it. Stopping by from the A - Z Challenge...Cheers!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the post!

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  3. Great idea for Q, Julie. I was lucky enough to see both quilts last year. The Rajah Quilt was displayed in the Not Just Ned exhibition and the National Museum of Australia last year. It was wonderful to see this fantastic example of women's work. You might like to have a look as well at the curator's notes http://www.nma.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/2561/NMA_Rajah_quilt.pdf

    I didn't know about Halley's Comet in the Parlt quilt.

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    1. Thanks for posting the details of the curator's notes. Very interesting. I followed a few links and ended up reading about The Charlotte Medal (http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/irish_in_australia/exhibition_overview/arriving)

      I remember standing and looking for ages at the tapestry. The guide was very knowledgeable and indicated where we should look on the tapestry.

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  4. I think Q was a big challenge for all of us...as will the letter x be :) Visiting via Sunday stamps and A-Z challenge!

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