I found this interesting little book, Quilts in the Attic, some time ago and it is a reminder of why it is a good idea to keep a record of our work and textile art. It is a collection of stories with accompanying photos, of thirty quilts from the 1800s to the modern day. Karen Musgrave researched and wrote the stories which were drawn from quilts which had been “found” in one way or another, such as from a family inheritance or in thrift stores, community libraries and so on.
Some of the quilts have detailed histories of who made them and how they came into the hands of the current owners/custodians, others less so, and their stories and those of their makers are sketchy.
Part of the pleasure in this book is reading about how much the current custodians care about the quilts and how they treasure knowing the history of them. Quilts can preserve history and act to further artistic innovation and it’s always good to see their stories being documented.
Unfortunately, Australia doesn’t have any comprehensive permanent collections of quilts that I am aware of. We have good annual quilts shows in each state and in regional areas, and some museums have small collections, but there is no one place that focuses on textiles. If I had the funds and the knowledge it would be something I would love to do, but I’m afraid it will have to be done by others some time in the future, unless I come into an unexpected windfall.