It was an ancient spring tradition when people who had no modern washing methods used to hang their bedding and quilts out and beat them to eliminate dirt, lice and other nasties.
Now the Airing of the Quilts has become a local tradition as each year a variety of coloured and patterned quilts are hung in shop windows and off balconies around town. “It’s a tradition that goes back centuries really,” said Fiona Ferguson, one of the people who helps make this event happen each year.
“During hard times, scraps of fabric were used to reline coats and there was a practical side to using and recycling scraps of fabric. Modern quilting is far more sculptured and artistic.”
This was the 4th year for Canowindra’s Airing of the Quilts and the displays demonstrated the various skill levels of our regional quilt makers, from amateurs to professionals. “We wanted to create a walking trail around
Canowindra. The idea was to get the audience to wander around and discover the village,” said Fiona.
Voters came from Canberra, Tasmania, Forbes, Dubbo, Orange and local surrounding areas. One of the most original and interesting quilts was the sentimental piece by Jenny Middleton hanging in the window of Garden
& Montgomery. This family quilt was made using the fabric of many flannelette shirts worn by her sons on the farm.
The pieces used in this year’s Airing of the Quilts came from all over the region including Forbes, Parkes, Orange, Sydney and Cowra, with a lot of local work showcased. With no clear winner in the People’s Choice Award and a three-way tie, voting was kept open for an extra three days. The quilt named “William Morris” by Wendy Morrow from Forbes, hanging in K&H Interiors won the Award.