Join us on a TQS exclusive 12-month historic journey recreating the historic Rajah Quilt, sewn by women convicts on board the ship Rajah, traveling from England in April, 1841, to the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land (now known as Tasmania). The original quilt measured approximately 126" x 126" but Lessa Siegele recreated it in quarter scale with fabrics from her stash, loosely following the colors of the original quilt, and tea-dying fabrics that didn't look old enough. The more contemporary-looking version being offered by TQS is made from Cotton + Steel fabrics.
In Month One we begin the Rajah journey with the center panel, which features a cluster of birds flying around a spray of flowers and leaves. As the ship pulled away from the harbor, the birds circling overhead might have been the last reminders of England for the women convicts.
The original Rajah quilt's center panel was created in broderie perse, an appliqué technique in which eleborate printed motifs were cut from chintz and sttiched to a background.
Lessa Siegele (Show 1801) offers ideas for other options for the center panel of the quilt.
Along with each monthly installment, we will share with you historic facts about the women and the amazing journey of this celebrated quilt. We hope that as you work on it, you will find inspiration, while being transported back in time.