Saturday, 21 August 2010

FOQ and Bonnets

I think I need to own up. The fact that I spent so little money at the Festival of Quilts on Thursday had nothing to do with willpower or self restraint. I spent the day with a dear friend who I hadn't seen for almost a year and although we managed a good look at the quilts there was so much catching up and chatting to do that there wasn't much time left for shopping... especially if you include the time spent queuing for food, only to find there were no sandwiches left... and then the time spend looking for somewhere to sit down to eat our lunch of cake! Then when we did brave the crowds to shop it was somewhat overwhelming, plus there were more people to chat to and by then it was time to go home. I'm almost tempted to go again tomorrow just to shop!

But the show was excellent. I loved seeing all the new graduates' work - so inspiring! I find the standard of the quilts does vary enormously, with a few really poor examples but there were several stunning quilts on display... including this one from Julie... It really did work cutting it into strips!

And Carolyn's lovely St. Ives quilt. Both were much more beautiful than my poor photographs would suggest. My friend Sandra also has a stunning quilt in the show which I forgot to photograph (sorry Sandra!) but you can see it on her blog here.

One of the few things I spent money on was a pattern to make a bonnet. Christina Henri is an artist from Tasmania who has set up a project called Hearts and Roses to commemorate the 25,566 women convicts who were transported to Australia from 1788 to 1855. She aims to have a hand made bonnet for every single one of the women - so far she has more than 17,000 and she hopes to reach her target by 2012. It was quite overwhelming to see the display of so many of the completed bonnets, and certainly thought provoking to consider these women as individuals many of whom had commited such petty crimes.

Each bonnet is embroidered with the name of the woman, the name of the ship on which she was transported and the year of her transportation.

I spent yesterday afternoon making a bonnet for Mary Moran, a 20 year old Irish girl who was sentenced to seven years for stealing clothes and was transported to Tasmania in 1842 on the ship Hope.

I'm not entirely sure Mary Moran would have sported a beard quite like my model...

But it was very good of him to agree... (I suspected he quite liked it really!)

This will now be sent to Christina in Australia where eventually it will become part of a permanant display.

If you would like to take part you can find out more about the project on Christina's website:


  1. What a fantastic project. But how could you possibly make that bonnet in a day?

  2. Thank you for sharing your photographs from the exhibition!
    And what an interesting projects with the bonnets. I love the idea behind it. I'm off to check out her link!

  3. Those quilts are stunning. I'm going to the show tomorrow and will definately look out for them.
    Your bonnet is lovely.

  4. Both those quilts are stunning and I enjoy seeing excellence but am always quite pleased that those not so skilled are free to enter. The bonnet project is very thought provoking and moving. I love your contribution - only a real man can model a woman's bonnet!

  5. I'm going tomorrow - can't wait!

  6. Thank you for taking a photo of my quilt and sharing it here Gina :o)
    Wish I could have seen Julie's quilt irl. Hopefully she will bring it when I meet her next month :o)

    Carolyn x

  7. wow those quilts are fantastic! What a fantastic project too - when you see something like that it makes it far more thought provoking than it just being a list of poor souls names - love the model by the way - I think the beard adds to the bonnet somehow :-) Thanks for your comment on my blog - 4 , not sure I dare take the chance and have another to see if it will get rid of my broodiness lol.

  8. Having seen some prints of convicts I remain unconvinced Mary was beard-free ;-)

  9. Well done on making a bonnet so quickly, it's very pretty. The sight of all those bonnets spread out on the floor stunned me when I saw them. So many lives!

    Thank you for including my quilt here, it was very exciting to see it hanging there and to see people taking photographs of it :) I saw Ruth Issett and she told me you had some work on the Julia Caprara stand but regrettably I didn't get to see it :(

  10. Your bonnet is lovely and such a great idea too!
    The St Ives quilt is stunning beautiful colours.
    Vivienne x

  11. Glad you saw the St Ives quilt, i had looked for it and not found it. Love the bonnet!

  12. Hi Gina - your photography is just lovely! Thankyou for letting us see Julie and Carolyns quilts. The bonnet project is very moving and yours is just so pretty - Im very sure that Mary would have love it.

    Have a lovely week - Judy xxx

  13. I wondered how you managed to spend so little. I came home broke, not yet unpacked my bits.
    I made a bonnet 18 months ago and it was somewhere on the floor near the front but I couldn't see it. The bonnets were a very thought provoking display I thought. I love your bonnet and beautifully modelled!!

  14. The quilts are beautiful! I heard about the Hearts and Roses Exhibition on Australia All Over - radio show and was really excited by it - what an incredible venture!
    I would love to make a bonnet so will check out the site.
    Many thanks for sharing the bonnets.

  15. Mary Moran was the first wife of my great, great, great grandfather John Needham. Also a convict who received 10 years for stealing a handkerchief. They married in 1845 and had 2 children. We do not know what happened to her or even if she ever got to leave Van Diemans Land now called Tasmania.



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