Quilt No.542KG - Kristine Gray

Kristine Gray
Owner: 
Kristine Gray
Location: 
NSW Sydney
Maker
Maker: 
Bessie Gray
Made in
AUSTRALIA NSW
Date: 
1941 - 1970
Description: 
Double sided frame quilt. All reused materials including corduroys, wools and light weight suitings. Machine made and not quilted There is no padding as already heavy and warm.
1780 x 1530mm
History: 

The quilt was made of necessity by Bessie Gray in Sydney in the mid 1940s. Bessie has given it to her daughter Kristine. It is not used.

Story: 

Robert (1857-1935) and Margaret (1865-1950) Mays were married at Hartley NSW in 1884. Robert came to Australia from Norfolk (England) in 1879. Margaret was the daughter of Samuel Perry a convict transported to Australia in 1835. They were pioneers of the Rydal district near Lithgow NSW. Robert and Margaret had 12 children.
Margaret (Maggie) (1897-1981) was a daughter of Robert and Margaret Mays. She and Arthur Flint were married in 1919 and moved to Bassett Downs a sheep station at Cowra NSW where Arthur worked on the property and Maggie cooked for farm labourers and shearers. They had 4 children. Maggie made her own soap, preserves, jams, pickles, sauces bread etc. just as her mother and sisters did. She also made all her children's clothes on a treadle sewing machine. Like her mother she had neither electricity nor running water in her home.
Bessie (born 1925)is a daughter of Margaret and Arthur Flint and grew up at Bassett Downs and lived there until she was 20 years old. She cooked for the shearers and did a man's job during the war, mustering, killing sheep, milking cows etc. She also learnt unarmed combat. Bessie married Ian Hamilton Gray in 1946 and they moved to the St. Mary's district NSW where they had 4 girls. This was the first time she had electricity and running water. Bessie ran the school canteen for 10 years, made her own pickles, jams, preserves etc. She also knitted , crocheted, embroidered and made all the children's clothes. Kristine, her daughter, remembers having her first bought dress when she was 13. Bessie is still an active needlewoman, knitting and crocheting for her grand children and Mission Austeralia. She has passed on her considerable skills to her daughters just as she learnt from her mother, Margaret Flint, who in turn had learnt from her mother, Margaret Mays.
Most of the quilts registered with the NQR were made by Bessie Gray at her home at St. Marys on a treadle sewing machine. All the quilts were made of necessity. Scraps left over from making the children's clothes were often joined when the garment was finished with and put away until there were enough joined pieces to make a quilt. The very heavy ones were called 'Waggas' and the others 'rugs' or 'blankets'. Many of the quilts were made in one large piece and then folded over. Bessie and Kristine Gray can still recall which garments many of the scraps came from.
The quilts are valued and will be handed on in the family with pride.

[Notes taken from family history accounts by Kristine Gray and also conversations Bessie Gray, Kristine Gray and Wendy Hucker (NQR) in Wagga Wagga on 2/3 October 1999]

Robert and Margaret May, c.1888
Robert and Margaret May, c.1888
Margaret and Arthur Flint, 1919
Margaret and Arthur Flint, 1919
Bessie and Ian Hamilton Gray, 1946
Bessie and Ian Hamilton Gray, 1946
Share

Related Quilts:

Annette Rich
Unlined quilt. Central square of floral chintz with rectangular and chevron border making a larger frame that is set within another square-on-point frame edged with 2 toned red leaf pattererned chintz. This quilt is mainly pieced (squares, triangles, lozenges) but the hexagon rosettes are appliqued. Dress and furnishing cottons dating from the early 1800s. Raw edged, unfinished. All hand stitched.
2400 x 2400mm
Fran Williams
Quilt with centre area of silk triangles framed with small squares and the rest of the top is larger squares. Wide variety of prints and plain materials. There is no padding. The backing is cotton and "E.M.B." is cross stitched in one corner. "Back is interesting as it's all the same fabric, joined but it appears to have been stitched with a running stitch (cf quilting) before it was attached to the front. It was definitely done after being joined as the stitching design follows through the seams." [Fran Williams]
2500 x 2500mm
National Gallery of Australia
"The coverlet is of cream cheesecloth, highly decorated with applied figures and pieced fabric bands. The appliqué bands follow the edge of the coverlet for some time and then become circles radiating from the centre. The bands form two framed circular areas that carry appliquéd images. A smaller area lower centre of the cloth depicts birds and insects. In the centre of the work is a bordered oval with two aboriginal figures, an angel, kangaroo, emu and kookaburra, with the words 'Advance Australia Fair' embroidered in black thread. The stitching and construction of the coverlet is quite crude." [NGA] The quilt is not padded or lined. 1640 x 1550mm
Ida Blenkiron
Rectangular quilt with front and back made of rectangles of cotton samples of shirt materials, in checks, stripes and plains. Colours are soft muted reds, greens, blues, yellows and browns, and pastels. Construction is 3 to 4 rows of rectangles joined across the quilt. Padding is probably an old blanket. There is a row of hand quilting approximately the width of one patch in from the edge, holding the layers together.
1870 x 950mm
Val Ireland
The top of this utility quilt is machine pieced rectangles of woollen materials joined in strips. It includes corduroys and velveteens and woollen tartan. The backing is an Indian cotton blanket.
1651 x 1271mm
Mare Carter
Patchwork quilt with diagonal arrangement. All cotton including cotton padding. Hand sewn and quilted.
2109 x 1702mm