Well I just got back from my first visit to ‘The Farm’, for a quilt & fabric history day. Hosted by Jan Baker & Robyn Falloon in Woodend, the day started off with Heather & Allison picking me up 8.15 on a Sunday morning. No sleep-in today! A quick stop at Elphinstone to co-ordinate with Margaret and Rose and we’re off.
Driving down the Calder to Woodend and Victoria has put on one of those cold, foggy, overcast days that’s just perfect for being inside with a wood fire and your patchwork. We all tumble out of the car and race into the house out of the drizzling rain to find many familiar faces. A large group from the surrounds of Castlemaine as well as a few TAS members were already there as well as many more from further a field.
We started off by a Show n Tell of Robyn’s Antique quilt top that she is laboriously repairing. We all clustered around the table to have a good look. Just beautiful.
The theme for today was ‘Urns and Vases’. Jan took us on a brief introduction regarding ‘Baltimore Album Quilts’ and how the fad for these quilts lasted only ten years, approximately. My knowledge about Baltimore Album quilts is non existent although perhaps less so now.
As Baltimore was a busy seaport, thats where the ships with the lovely fabrics from Europe & England arrived, so the ladies of Baltimore had immediate access unlike those who lived just west of there. The quilts were a snapshot of the important events of the day for their community. The differing blocks said much about the maker, their station in life, how they were connected in the community and how cultured they were.
Remember those initial blocks you might have started with say a blue epergne or vase of fruit and flowers. These blue or fondue (ombré) fabrics, fashionable in Europe were highly prized as they designated great wealth and taste. Often the design represented a high quality cut glass vase. Other blocks like the ‘Red basket of flowers’ design seen time and again may have been produced in kit form, or fully completed by Mary Simon, a designer and quilt block maker of the time.
After lunch it was time for some show & tell which we all love and then it was sit & sew while Robyn took us through a technique tutorial on how she does beautiful concave curves & points as well as those awful sharp convex points that are so easy to mess up.
I did get to start my brand new appliqué project while sitting and chatting with Sue & Cheryl. I got a whole three strips of bias sewn on for the basket. Sorry there are no photos as my camera has died, however Rachel has promised to lend me her camera so I can take heaps of photos to put up.
Well I’m going to do a little bit of sewing before I start on my house work, at least one rose bud stem.