A Maker's Australian Vacation Pt. 2

Today on the blog, Myles shares about an exciting trip to a historical quilt exhibit. 

While visiting Melbourne for a wedding, the bride’s mother (a new friend and fellow quilter) asked if I would be interested in visiting the historical quilt exhibit Making the Australian Quilt 1800 – 1950.  It was on display at the National Gallery of Victoria.  I quickly said “yes” and we made arrangements to go the day after the wedding.  I’m so glad I did.  There were amazing and inspiring examples of quilt, many with a uniquely Australian flavour.  Here are a few of the photos that I snapped on my visit.

Note the distinctly Australian animals featured above, especially the kangaroo and emu.


Unfortunately, the photos don’t do them justice, but the paper-piecing on the above quilts was amazing.  I believe that both of these quilts were pieced mainly from silk and the quilt on the left features some velvet as well.


The photos above show an amazing example of a Victorian crazy quilt.  I was particularly impressed with the variegated embroidery.


The photo on the left shows an example from an exhibit of quilts that were created for warmth called “waggas”, generally made from fabric scraps from wool coats or salesmen’s samples.  The photo on the right was unique to the exhibit.  It shows a dress worn by Mrs. Butters to the Mayor’s Fancy Dress (costume) Ball in September 1866.  The dress was made by Mrs. William Dobbs and is constructed from silk panels printed with plates from 14 different newspapers.  Truly remarkable!

Quilting is very popular in modern-day Australia and I’m so glad I had a chance to see some of the history that lead up to the craft as it exists now.

Have you visited any art or quilt exhibits lately? We would love to hear about them!


  • Sat, 09/24/2016 - 11:07 reply
    Fabulous quilts Myles, lucky you to have seen them....the dress is spectacular!

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