Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Valerie Wilson, Ulster Folk and Transport museum visits the N.I.P.G

I was very excited about our upcoming visitor as I love anything old and especially if it tells a story. Fortunately Valerie and the museum as a whole are very interested not just in the item but the story behind it. I found her lecture fascinating and although she kept apologising for showing slides of non Patchwork items I am sure many other members of the guild will agree that all of the needlework can be loosely attached. 

I love to see the photographs of the people and family who produced such wonderful items under probably very poor conditions. I sit at home in comfort with central heating, electric lighting, daylight bulbs and magnification and wonder at how these ladies did such fine detailed work in colder conditions with poor light. They also made great use of the materials available to them. They weren't shopping for the b st deal on fat quarters or the latest designers. It was more like scraps from their own dressmaking or reusing clothing that was no longer fit to be worn. Oh dear how much we waste!

It is sad there is not enough space available to show off this wonderful work or even enough staff to monitor and care for it. It has been said my paternal great grandmother was an excellent needlewoman. She died in her twenties and my great grand father re married whichI assume is why none of her work was kept, as second wives tended not to hold any concern regarding the woman before them especially when they are left with her children to rare. In our situation my grand mother and her siblings were barely tolerated sothere was little chance for the needlework. Many women died in child birth or not long following and a wife had to be found quickly for the man to continue working to provide for the family. In this case my great grandmothers mother had also died close to her birth causing her to be reared by an aunt. 


Some examples by guild members nolong with us are held by the museum nd their work though beautiful and well done doesn't hold the same mystery for me as the older pieces as my imagination wanders over those who toiled over them as opposed to carrying out a hobby. 


Made from shirt samples with a reverse design

made from pyjamas, no wadding just two layers. 1940's

Lots of silks

The pink baskets are made by Mrs ella Parkers daughter and dates back to late 1800's early 1900's



White corded linen.1790 Richardson family made linen.courser linen in the back.flowers indigenous of northern India-oldest quilt in collection


-1989 Pauline burbidge contemporary piece for the museum
-Rita Scanlon 1990s cork
-Ann  Fahy piece called Mullaghmore 1997

Margaret daker chintz applique 1827 Broderie persee(small buttonhole)


 crazy Patchwork before 1900 made black lion 

-mid 1800s cotton dress prints found in an attic with papers intact

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