The National Quilt Register has moved. Most Aussies know this site and use it often but if you don’t do check it out. If you use it often update your bookmarks.
As historical objects quilts and their back story are fascinating. Often they contain family histories as well. For instance I made a quilt for Eve, my daughter that contains the fabric from clothing of 4 generations of women. Contained within these objects are narratives not of just the immediate family, but since women hand on scraps of fabric to each other, the stories of the lives of friends as well. This is where the stories associated with a quilt are so interesting. As objects they provoke the narration of oral histories. The history is not the necessarily the mainstream tale of great public achievement but a history of the domestic and how major cultural events affected a person on the local level. For instance not being able to afford a particular thread or fabric during the depression.
The National Quilt Register attempts to record these stories. It is supported by major museums and heritage organisations, women’s groups and individuals across Australia. All quilts and their stories are equally significant, no matter the technical ability of the quilter. On the register you will find all sorts of quilts from the finely stitched to the humble and functional and some are not even finished which is a relief for anyone who has huge UFO pile!Even in the past women had quilts which were unfinished.
The National Quilt Register believes that a museum is more than a collection of objects. It is the stories behind the objects that the register actively collects. You do have the option of using a search engine or you can browse by stories which are grouped under subject lists. You can also browse by quilting style (such as crazy quilting or waggas) in the quilt tree. There are also a number of essays on quilting housed on the site. Many of the quilts have at least one image associated with them some have more. It’s the sort of resource site you find yourself lost in for hours. Grab a cuppa and enjoy!