On Tuesday May 22, the Inman Quilters welcomed 135 visitors to the Inman Valley Memorial Hall to witness a presentation of Antique Quilts by international award-winning quilter Pam Holland as part of the South Australian History Festival.
Pam is an international award-winning quilter plus an acknowledged Textile Artist, Photographer, Author, Illustrator, wife and mother to 13 children and 26 “Grandies.
Throughout her travels, Pam has acquired an extensive collection of antique quilts, dating from the late 1800’s through to the mid 1900’s. The quilts are primarily from America, although Pam does have an original Australian “wagga”!
Few items in our cultures have been used and treasured by so many people, as have quilts. Down through history, people have created quilts, for practical and emotional reasons.
In America in the 1930’s, following the Great Depression “recycling” was a way of life. Women saw that one of their food staples – flour – came in cotton sacks. Innovative and desperate they used the empty sacks to make clothing for their children.
When the flour sack manufacturers heard of the trend they decided to reinvent the way they packed their flour. The end result was flour sacks of different colours and patterns. Not only were these now used to make clothing, but also practical and much needed quilts.
What stood out with all the quilts on display was that, despite the passing years, one could only marvel at the beautiful handwork and quilting.
Pam took the audience through the history of the Rajah Quilt which was discovered in an attic in England some 15 years ago. This quilt dates from 1841 and was created by 180 women prisoners who left England in April 1841 aboard the Rajah, bound for Van Dieman’s land.
The women were provided with sewing supplies and fabric by the British Ladies Society for the Reformation of Female Prisoners.
Pam enthralled the audience with her narrative and she very generously extended her presentation to answer many questions.
Her generosity also extended to her waiving her normal appearance fee for this event, which will enable the Inman Quilters to make a monetary donation to local charity.