Monday, November 12, 2007
The Wood Quilt
On Saturday I was the guest speaker at the Sydney Quilt Study Group meeting at Burwood in Sydney. A small but enthusiastic group of quilt lovers brought along some interesting old quilts for advice, and I spoke about my grandmothers' bed coverings and the Wood Quilt from Hambledon Cottage at Parramatta. I have posted about the Wood Quilt previously, but I thought you'd like to see another couple of photos.
In the first photo 2 of our volunteers are analysing and charting the quilt block by block, noting damage and possible repairs needed.
The second photo shows a highly decorated appliqued block typical of the 56 blocks in this unique old quilt. The final photo shows a mystery block. This one is situated on the top left of the quilt on the border. The same tailors' suiting samples form the backing to the block, but the appliqued fabrics are different while the stitching and the composition are definately different than anywhere else on the quilt. Was the quilt made over many years and the odd block added before the border fringeing was applied? Was the border added much later than the centre? Did a different person make the odd block? Unfortunately we will probably never know the answers to these questions. We Know a Mrs Wood made the quilt as one of her relatives inherited it and donated it to the Parramatta and District Historical Society. Mr Wood was reportedly a tailor in Queen Victoria's court. The quilt was used as a door curtain in 1927 when the donor visited her uncle Edgar Wood in London and admired it. This oral history is all we know, and the date of 1865 is also negotiable due to the odd block being "discovered" recently while analysing it for the conservation. A very interesting project, and the talk at the Quilt Group was well received.