Royal Adelaide Show - Wagga's (Quilt Challenge)

I promised to show you a picture of my Wagga once the Royal Adelaide Show had started, but then I realised I hadn't taken one of it finished!  I finally made it to the show yesterday and took pictures of most of the Wagga's entered, including mine!This is the quilt I made (above) and Elaine's (below), the fabrics are all wool, or a wool mix.  Elaine had a large diamond template we used and all the fabric came out of the Quilts from the Heart stash, so both these quilts belong to QfhH.  Elaine had wanted to make a Wagga for a long time so she was the one to inspire me to have a go at making one.  My quilt was quilted on Elaine's long arm machine, in a baptist fan pattern.  In keeping with the "make do" spirit I had used batting left overs pieced together, so really wanted to make sure the quilting would hold it all together - I always assume our donated quilts will be machine washed...or worse!  Elaine choose to hand quilt hers, a real dedication to traditional methods given that we are giving them away! 
Quilts from the Heart - Elaine's Wagga
 Elaine made a second Wagga for herself, out of her scrap collection a lot of which were velvets or corduroy.  Again she hand quilted, using a variety of threads.
 This is the first prize winning Wagga.  I didn't touch it, but from a close up inspection I am sure they are wool suiting fabrics and it was beautifully hand quilted. 
 This is the second prize winner and again without touching I suspect these fabrics were flannel and from the patterns it would surprise me if they were recycled men's PJ's or similar. 
For those of you who don't know what a Wagga is, traditionally they were "make do" blankets that men living and working in "the bush", generally made by sewing two layers of hessian wheat bags together as a blanket.  Later women made Wagga's by sewing together domestic sewing scraps, men's wool suiting samples, blankets or old knitted garments.  Wagga's are not quilts in the true sense as they were generally only two layers and not necessarily quilted.  Hence this entry, which received a special mention.
A tough call for the judges, because it is very traditional, but hard to say it is the finest needlework, compared to the other entries.  I liked it but not exactly quilters "eye candy"!
  This wagga was made entirely from old jeans, while I like the crazy piecing I am really glad I don't have to sleep under it, as it looks really really heavy!

Thank you to all the people who left comments to confirm that my comments box is working, well for some people anyway.  I have been a bit distracted this week, so not replied to everyone as my father collapsed while on the phone to me (Monday) and ended up being transferred (by air because he lives a 3.5 hr drive) to Melbourne.  They have scheduled him for a pacemaker on Monday, which apparently is considered a minor procedure, and I have been told should be the end of any need for medical intervention, much to everyone's relief.  Dad isn't impressed as the doctor thinks he wont be able to weld...hmmmm the least of my concerns I can tell you, especially as he had been driving the truck all day before I called him!  That and the fact that he still cuts all their own wood for the wood heater.  I am a bit tempted to send the tradesman around to have the gas heater installed while he is still in hospital! 

On a lighter note we attended the show as a family, which was a nice outing, but very different from previous years.  Priorities have now started to focus on show bags, junk food and rides, as DS1 is now at school and influenced by the other kids experiences.  This is very disappointing to me as I loved taking the boys to see the animals and hand crafts.  I did get to check out the decorated cakes but DS2 was convinced that all those cakes  and a "present" (show bag) meant that it was his birthday!  Which made for a very funny running commentary if you were stuck behind me in the queue to look at the cakes..the absence of candles didn't convince him that it wasn't his birthday!

Happy quilting, Sue SA.


  1. Great wagga! I love the design you chose. It is one of my favourites. Thanks for sharing pictures of the other waggas. All the very best to your Dad. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

  2. My father had a pass maker for more than 30years. I am sure technology is much better now. He continued to weld after he got it.
    Well done on the Wagga.

  3. Nice work on the Wagga Sue, much better looking than I expected! and yes that flour sack entry is well - better not be mean!!

  4. I found this site very interesting.I belong to a Baptist craft group and a member has made one and presented it for show today. We were told that a Wagga was made by shearers using old shirt material, the backing was hessian or flour bags and when completed was stuffed with "fleece". I do not know if this is correct as I can only find reference to using old blankets and old clothes being sewn together as filling. I do hope someone can shed some light on this dilemma! Thanks julie.


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