Nessie Pratten from the Glass House Mountains, Qld, saw an article in Textile Fibre Forum and wrote to tell us about the waggas she is still making.
Late last year we exhibited our preliminary works at St Vincent’s Art Corridor and this email arrived from Valray Silverlock, Perth, … she wrote: for the second time in my life I’m feeling sorry that I did not keep my mother’s quilts that had been made of “off cuts of serge”. Her son had rung her in Perth after seeing the quilts and the stories.
The next letters and emails were a result of the article in The Senior Publication: Peter McAlingy wrote to us from Forbes and it was from him that we first learned about the term bag wagga. He tells of joining bags together in the bush with fencing wire as that was all they had.
We also had a card from Daphne Turner of Rosebud, Victoria, who also wrote of the bag wagga (opened out oat bags sewn together) in the days of horse and dray.
Dorothy Holten, Parkdale, Vic, told us of a a wagga her husband’s grand mother had made of silk knitted men’s ties – it was very heavy, like sleeping under a cement block. We were thrilled to receive this letter because Robin had been to the Quilter’s Barn at Loch and was shown their collection of old quilts which coincidentally now includes the wagga Dorothy wrote to us about.
Eileen Raphael, Parkdale Victoria, emails of a wagga for the beach house made from overcoats and scraps of dresses.
Sally Donnellan ex Ganmane (near Temora) told us that her mother made a wagga from sample material for men’s suits or trousers and it is still in her possession.
Keith Brown’s Father, a tailor in the Riverina, made waggas from suiting. He says: recycling is not new.
Christine Blankenzee, did not know of the term wagga till she read about us and she is still making them.
Rosemary Horner sent us a photo of her wagga made from potato sacks. I remember standing in front of this work at the Darling Harbour show and being enthralled by it.
Bruce Creenaune from Wollongong wrote to tell us that before he went to work in shearing sheds throughout Central and North West NSW his mother “sewed together,,, a mixture of heavy outer garments cut up, curtains etc and lo and behold (he) had a true blue wagga”.