Saturday, November 14, 2009

The National Quilt Register

..... is a treasure that deserves a higher profile in the community, and amongst quilters. Put aside deadlines for making quilts, shopping, building up that stash of fabric that we all say we don't really need, and take a little time to explore and enjoy these stories of ordinary and extraordinary lives told through quilts. Warning: do not go here if you are in a hurry!

From the NQR website:

The National Quilt Register is a major initiative of the Pioneer Women's Hut, a museum located at Tumbarumba at the foothills to the Snowy Mountains in southern NSW, Australia.
The museum represents ordinary rural families, especially the women, in their everyday lives. It opened in 1985 and is a free, self funded museum run by community volunteers.


Old quilts of all types have always been about memories and women's hidden, often unspoken, language. They carry stories about our history and about needlework and provide a rich insight into women's lives. In the National Quilt Register women tell their own stories, some for the first time, about love, despair, managing, surviving, adversity, friendship, endurance. The quilts stay where they are and the stories are shared.

The NQR has been a huge effort over 5 years by volunteers from all parts of the country co-ordinated by The Pioneer Women's Hut. Early estimates were that there may be 500 to 600 old quilts in Australia, but as we passed the 1,000 mark we know we have just touched the tip of the iceberg.

You are now on the web site of the National Quilt Register and can search the stories and the types of quilts from early in the 19th century until about 1965, the cut off date. It's a friendly, easy to use site and thanks to volunteers Australia wide and to AMOL (Australian Museums On Line) this site now belongs to the women of Australia.

Might have to get out the map and head down to Tumbarumba for a real look .....

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