Gun­stone wins war of bed­spreads at Royal Show

Joondalup Weekender - - News -

A PATCH­WORK bed­spread that fea­tures a World War I silk post­card and other vin­tage fab­rics took Janet Gun­stone four years to make and won her first prize at the Perth Royal Show.

The Kin­ross res­i­dent won the ‘any ar­ti­cle made from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als’ class in gen­eral hand­crafts at last month’s show and rib­bon for over­all ‘best ex­hibit in gen­eral hand­crafts’ for the bed­spread she made be­tween early 2012 and Oc­to­ber 2016.

“It was for my patch­work bed­spread, a four-year project, made from vin­tage em­broi­dery and lace in­her­ited from fam­ily and friends,” she said.

“The sto­ries be­hind the old pieces of hand em­broi­dery were what I found so fas­ci­nat­ing and wanted to pre­serve.

“It is made from old pieces of hand em­broi­dery, lace and cro­chet in­clud­ing ta­ble cloths, nap­kins, pil­low cases, tray cloths, dress­ing ta­ble sets, chair backs, sam­plers, han­kies and doilies.

“All had been kept for years in bot­tom draw­ers by my fam­ily and friends, un­will­ing to throw them away and yet not hav­ing any fur­ther use for them. A few were from char­ity shops.

“Most were in poor con­di­tion with ir­re­mov­able marks or holes or were fray­ing or miss­ing em­broi­dery stitches.”

Mrs Gun­stone said the va­ri­ety of ma­te­ri­als made it chal­leng­ing to sew the pieces to­gether.

“Cut­ting up the dif­fer­ent shapes and ma­te­ri­als to get the look I wanted, of­ten by patch­ing the patches, was a con­stant and en­chant­ing jig­saw puz­zle,” she said.

“The cen­tre piece of the bed­spread had orig­i­nally been an old silk post­card sent by my grand­fa­ther to my grand­mother from France dur­ing World WarI in 1918.

“It has the badge and ini­tials of his reg­i­ment – Army Ser­vice Corp – with union jacks.

“My grand­mother had al­ready re­cy­cled it once, on to a silk nee­dle case and framed it with the pink rib­bon.”

Mrs Gun­stone said the old­est piece was a child’s sam­pler em­broi­dered in 1896 and she had used other sam­plers sewn and graded for school lessons in the 1930s.

The bed­spread also fea­tures a Girl Guide arm­band from about 1940 among its 240 patches.

“I taught my­self some ba­sic em­broi­dery stitches to record dates and ini­tials on some patches, and also on how to put it all to­gether although re­ally it just evolved,” Mrs Gun­stone said.

Lucy Jarvis

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

Janet Gun­stone of Kin­ross with her awarded bed­spread. www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d474615

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