Global Perspective: Australian Wagga Quilts
In the 1960s, when conditions improved and resources became more readily available, the number of waggas being created declined.
“Sometimes the social history, which they tell, is even more valuable to us than the item itself,” Gero says in her book. “The waggas seem to evoke a particular emotion and fondness in all those who remember them and yet domestic crafts such as the wagga have only recently begun to be acknowledged and given due status.”
Resourcefulness and pragmatism made waggas possible during times of hardship, and Ducey sees a resurgence of these ideas today. “I think that any time the economy is really challenging for people it seems like there is an interest in creating something handmade,” Ducey says. “It’s a practical response to not being able to buy something.”
For information on Dr. Annette Gero’s book, The Fabric of Society: Australia’s Quilt Heritage from Convict Times to 1960, visit annettegero.com.
To learn more about the IQSCM’s extensive collection of more than 2,300 quilts and the history behind them, visit quiltstudy.org.
Photo courtesy of International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2007.010.0001.
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