Saturday, 7 May 2011

Early Mother's Day & The Rajah Quilt

We celebrated Mother's Day a day early, to fit in with life going on around us . . . and what a lovely day it was.

We started by meeting up with Mum for morning tea at a great tea house called Adore Tea. They have over 200 different types of tea . . . we sampled a few of them, with Turkish Delight being the winner for us today.

These guys are the reason I get to celebrate Mother's Day - Number 1 Son, who is a gentle, giant, bear of a man, with a very, very dry sense of humour, and Number 1 Daughter, who has a smile that lights up a room and the most infectious laugh I know.

So we shared tea, hot chocolate, scones and Poffertjes. I would have shown a picture of those, but we indulged before I thought about photos, so this is what I can show . . .

Then, the kids joined me for a visit to the National Museum of Australia to see the "Not Just Ned" Exhibition - A True History of the Irish in Australia. The main thing I wanted to see at the exhibition was the Rajah Quilt, and it was amazing! A true testament to the generosity of spirit of our kids, they were infinitely patient while I viewed the quilt (which I'm sure took about 200 times longer than they would have hoped!!).

At 325cm x 337cm (128" x 132.5") the sheer size of the Rajah Quilt is impressive. But when you consider that this quilt was made by convict women on board the ship "The Rajah" during their 3 1/2 month journey from England to Australia in conditions beyond imagination, the end result is astounding. A broderie perse medallion is surrounded by no less than 12 borders, most pieced, some appliqued. To see what was achieved by these women in 1841 in the hull of a convict ship with limited skills and supplies makes me feel like anything is possible . . . all that's needed is determination and perseverance. All the mod-cons and fancy tools are just a bonus!

If you ever get a chance to see this quilt, I promise you you won't be disappointed.

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
Elizabeth Stone


Terry said...

Nice to see you and your family having Tea.
It is always nice to have your children involved in our quilting
What more could we ask than Love.

Notjustnat said...

Lovely to see a bit of your family and you of course. Happy Mother's Day Sue. You both look great! Thanks for the Rajah quilt link too. I hope to get to see it after my Japan trip.
Have a great day - Hugs Nat

Sylvia said...

What a lovely way to celebrate Mother's day, Sue.

ranette said...

Really lovely family Sue. Sounds like a perfect day to, food and the Rajah Quilt!

Chris Henri said...

Hullo Sue,

Great to see you spending such a nice time with your mum having all those treats. I was in Canberra very recently and visited the 'Not Just Ned' Exhibition. Fabulous to see the Rajah Quilt again.

I was the curator of the Contemporary Rajah Quilt Exhibition in 2004 as part of the Tasmanian Bicentennial celebrations.

30 women throughout Australia designed quilts as part of the exhibition that connected in some way to the Rajah Quilt and engaged with the convict women story and the Cascades Female Factory.

These quilts were exhibited concurrently with the Rajah Quilt that was allowed to travel to Tasmania and be shown at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston and then at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, in Hobart.

Since then I have been busy with Roses from the Heart(R) a Memorial to all women transported as convicts to Australia 1788- 1853.

If you haven't already been involved please do look at my Travel Blog and website. I have held many Roses from the Heart(R) related events in Australia and overseas.

Last year I had an installation of 8,000 bonnets at the 'Festival of Quilts' at the NEC in Birmingham. I look forward to returning to the UK and the Republic of Ireland in 2012.

My contact details are on my website. To date I have received 20,000 bonnets for the 25,566 convict women being recognised for their social and economic contribution and worth.

Please think about participating if you haven't already been involved. Do keep checking my Travel Blog to see what's currently happening with the Memorial to Australia's convict women.

Christina Henri

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