Gunstone wins war of bedspreads at Royal Show
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 War I 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.
Janet Gunstone of Kinross with her awarded bedspread.