04 September 2012
Convict Quilt (aka The Maria Challenge by Margaret Rowe)
Hunters Hill is celebrating their 30th birthday this month and as part of the celebration we were set a challenge to make a quilt under the same conditions as a convict coming to Australia. This time last year we were each given a 2 lb bag of fabric (the same as the convicts). On my bag was a tag with my convict's name, her sentence (life) and her age (20) and occupation (Milliner). Our challenge is to make a coverlet (no batting) with just the fabrics we have been given, needles, pins, thread (embroidery and sewing), a tape measure and 1 pair of scissors. We are NOT allowed to use - irons, rotary cutters, pencils, paper, ruler, etc.
I was short of one of the border fabrics so I inserted a plain piece of fabric into the border and embroidered the name of my convict, Mary Gildersleeves, plus the name of the ship - Maria I -Sydney 1818. One of the fabrics in my bag had been previously cut on the bias, so I knew that this had to be part of a vine. As each round progressed I put aside my bias fabric, as I knew there was plenty, until I got to the border and appliqued some leaves and flowers to go onto the vine.
All the calculations had to be done in my head and I now find that I have miscalculated the backing by 1/3 of the finished size of the quilt. Right now I am madly sewing together bits of leftover fabrics to make up the missing 1/3. I still have to hand sew the back to the front and the quilt measures 66" square - I think I got a little bit carried away !! Thursday, 13th September is the deadline.