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.


ladybug48461 said...

Dear Christine,

I've been searching the web to find patterns for mattress casings without any luck when I hit on your web site and article about making a feather mattress. I'd like to make some for my family, only using cotton filling instead of feathers. Is there any way that you could ask Margaret if she could point me in the right direction on where to find the pattern she used to make the mattress that was featured in your article? I would be most grateful for any help you can offer.

Thank you,
Shawn Smith

Christine said...

Shawn, all we did was measure the size we wanted and made a giant rectangular bag of cotton calico. Margaret has since made a ticking cover to the finished and stuffed mattress size. As you can imagine the size changed slightly! The mattress under the feather one will have "walls" so we will again measure the pallet and then make 2 rectanges and join them with a gusset the correct size. Hope this is helpful.

Christine said...

Oh, that should have read "rectangles" But I imagine you guessed that, LOL.

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Best wishes

Anonymous said...

hi can you say me where find a feather bed same on pictures please?
this is my email