Being a quilt detective comes naturally to Dr Annette Gero, who is also a scientist working in the University of New South Wales School of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.
Through slides and lots of actual quilt “show and tell” she kept us absolutely engrossed as she told how she’s gradually pieced together the historical background to each one.
The highlight of her quilt display was a huge quilt entitled “The Intellect and Valour of Britain” where the quiltmaker has reproduced this painting (below) in fabric. It’s been achieved using the surprising technique of cutting out the figures in “cookie cutter” fashion, butting the pieces up against each other, and embroidering the details on top to create dimension. You have to see the actual quilt to believe it! (The venue being a private club I was not allowed to take a photo.)
After such an inspirational talk I simply had to buy a copy of Annette’s definitive work “The Fabric of Society, Australia’s Quilt Heritage from Convict Times to 1960” , especially since I and some friends are in the process of making our own versions of a couple of the historical quilts featured in the book – the Roebuck Quilt and the Frederica Josephson Quilt (including Kerry Dear’s modern version, Candied Hexagons). Maybe I’ll be spurred on to finish them now – and to label them for posterity!