Quilts from the Colonies (not the book) … Part 2

Welcome back…

It was very hard to pull ourselves away from The Elms Mission in Tauranga. But we had to… we had an afternoon visit arranged about an hour down the road in Whakatane.

Whakatane Museum https://www.whakatanemuseum.org.nz/  is closed for a year + long complete refurbishment.  So it was the  beautiful Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi – Whakatane Library that the museum made available for our visit.

About 40 local quilters were also there at the museum’s invitation, to learn about the documentation process of antique quilts.  And to take adavantage of seeing these quilts and coverlets not usually on display.  Museum staff brought out each one in turn (five in total as there was a new aquisition- a very fragile crazy quilt)

All except the newest aquisition can be seen in Pamela Fitz Gerald’s book Warm Heritage… see previous blog post for purchase details.

The first quilt we saw was Sarah Pridhoe North’s red and white quilt. It was made in England prior to Sarah’s arrival in NZ in 1870.  This quilt we were asked not to share photo’s of. However there are a couple of photo’s in Pamela’s book.

(Really, you’re going to be getting that book, I just know it)

Next we saw an English Medallion c 1870. A large red star centre is surrounded by borders featuring some very beautiful prints in purples and blues.  Along with a vermiculate and paisley border stripe in brown, which may have once been purple.

image of  1870 English Medallion maker unknown

C 1870 English Medallion maker unkown. Whakatane Museum and Arts.

image of Detail c 1870 English Medallion maker unknown

Detail c 1870 English Medallion maker unknown

Next up was a traditional Pacific Island bed covering (Tivaevae) c 1930 it uses plain fabrics in a log cabin design. What looks like striped fabric is in fact pieced.

image of Pacific Island Tivaevae c 1930

Pacific Island Tivaevae c 1930

image of Tivaevae detail

Tivaevae detail

Continueing with the Polynesian theme, we then studied a red and white applique coverlet.  Made in Rarotonga, it uses applique techniques similar to Hawaiian quilts.  Four large American eagles, each with a shield  and holding arrows.  A large and ornate eight point star is featured in the centre fo the design. There are seams (two) in the red fabric to make a piece large enough to applique on to the white sheet.  the coverlet measures over 100″ . Maker unknown.

image of Rarotonga applique coverlet

Rarotonga applique coverlet. Maker unknown

image of Rarotonga applique coverlet detail

Rarotonga applique coverlet detail. Maker unknown.

 The last quilt we saw was the newest aquisition, photo’s permitted but not to be shared as yet I’m afraid.    A lot of time was spent studying this Crazy Quilt carefully as it is quite fragile.

The museum staff had arranged an afternoon tea afterwards, and that rounded off a full and busy day beautifully.

A heartfelt thank you to Paula Karkkaine, Curator of Collections at Te Whare Taonga o te rohe o Whakatane, Whakatane Museum and Arts. It was very special indeed to have the staff take time out from their busy schedule during the upheaval of refurbishment and to make these quilts availabe to us to view and study.

I’m going to wrap up today’s posting as the next museum and quilt is the stunning Broderie Perse quilt from Te Aroha.

my tummy is rumbling, I’m a wee bit peckish and it’s getting close to dinner time now.

I shall return tomorrow with Part 3 (the final quilt)

until then

happy stitching and Arohanui


PS Don’t forget to click on the photo’s to enlarge.










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