Saturday, November 24, 2007
Making a feather bed.
Over at Hambledon Cottage at Parramatta I'm directing a group of volunteers to rehang the 1840's 4 poster Payten bed, and as part of that we decided to make a feather mattress. So yesterday was "feather day" and equipped with dust masks, gloves, 44 kg of duck feathers and a mattress casing Margaret sewed up, we made our way onto the front verandah at Hambledon to start. It was a sligthly overcast and breezy day, but not TOO many feathers escaped. Then we stitched up the opening in the casing and 3 people heaved the "matress" onto the stripped bed. The navy and white ticking cover needs to be made next so I needed to measure the feather bed in situ. It was so BIG that Margaret volunteered to jump on the top to push out all the air. The dust this created was incredible, so we all donned the masks again. We opened the windows, all ran out side for a breath of fresh air then remade the bed and put the famous c. 1860's Wood Quilt, see previous posts, back in place. I'm SO pleased with the resulting profile of the bed. The mattress is meant to come up to the fancy vasings on the posts, and it certainly does that. This bed will not be used in bed-making demonstrations like some of the other beds in Parramatta historic houses, but it will mean that Guides can lift the corner of the bedclothes to allow visitors to peek underneath to see what gives the bed it's height. There was already a small wool mattress on the bed which we will probably cover in ticking as well, to give the correct look. Sheets, a blanket which is being edged in red blanket stitch, and a Marcella cover will complete the bed clothes, and then the new curtains, tester and valances will all be added soon after. An overdue "facelift" for a lovely old 4 poster bed.