>Inspirational Indigo

>On Thursday I took some time out from the Ravelympic/Olympics and drove to Ballarat – just over an hour away – to collect Corrie from the station.
Some travel-knitting took place while I waited for her train to get in but I’ll show you that tomorrow because this is going to be a pretty picture-heavy post.

Our mission was to find the Gold Museum and check out one of it’s current exhibitions: early 20th century Chinese blue and white peasant embroideries from the Arnott-Rogers collection.

Having just spent a couple of hours on the train, Corrie was surprised to discover that a huge place like the Gold Museum didn’t boast anywhere to get a cup of coffee.

Quel horreur!

so here’s Ms Corrie not having a cup of coffee at the Gold Museum

Apparently these intricate embroideries were seen as having little value, especially compared to the Imperial silk embroideries and were never sold or traded.
They are almost unknown, even in China, coming as they did from a quite remote province.


Some of the motifs could easily have been confused with middle European work – maybe there was some migration of iconography along the Silk Route ?

and others were more identifiably Chinese


One aspect that was quite amazing was that these very, very fine threads and tiny, tiny stitches in fine hand dyed indigo cotton were used for simple household items and to decorate work clothing.

By the way, no flash photography allowed because of conservation issues – those light flares in the pics are from the exhibition lights and not my camera. Obviously, given the low light levels, the photos aren’t as good as I would wish, but still, not too bad. You can get the general idea anyway.

These were valances for the traditional bridal bed


and here the same 14″ wide cotton fabric has been joined in panels to make this bed covering. If you click to enlarge you can see how the seam goes through the motif.

We grabbed a quick pub lunch and then back on the road
because, if one is a quilter, one absolutely cannot go to Ballarat without a visit to Gail’s Patchwork Emporium, where we could have grabbed a cuppa, but after some dodgy map-reading, the clock was against us.

a few teeny tiny purchases may have been indulged in

and just enough time left to drop Corrie back at the train, before wending my own way homewards for the 3pm pick-up

A bit of a rush to be sure, but a pleasant few hours hanging out with a friend is always good – especially a friend who likes blue and white as much as I do – even if she IS fixated on the lack of a coffee shop at the Museum !!!

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