Quilt No.575JT - Jillian Towers

Jillian Towers
Owner: 
Jillian Towers
Location: 
VIC Melbourne
Maker
Maker: 
Una Kerr
Made in
AUSTRALIA VIC
Date: 
1941 - 1970
Description: 
Hand pieced patchwork quilt with blue and black checkerboard central frame surrounded by 4 borders of irregular sized rectangles. Mainly dress materials with possibly some furnishing material. It is not quilted or tied. The backing is a large rectangular red check table cloth with 3 borders of irregular shaped pieces down 2 sides and 1 border down 2 sides. There is no padding.
1860 x 1730mm
History: 

The quilt was made by Una Kerr in Melbourne c.1960. She gave it to her friend Jillian Towers. It is generally not used now "except for short periods of display and admiration".[J.T.]

Story: 

" Una Kerr was born in Rochdale, England in approximately 1922. She became an orphan as a very young child and went with her two older sisters, to an orphanage in Kendal in the Lake District. The girls were trained in domestic duties and at the age of about sixteen, Una found a position in a large private home in the district.
She remained in domestic service until the outbreak of World War II, when she joined the Royal Women's Air Force. She remained in the airforce until demobilisation after the war ended and returned to domestic service.
About 1953 she applied for immigration to Australia, (at the cost of 10 pounds) and settled in Melbourne, still occupied in domestic service to earn her living.
It is about this time she met the family of the current owner of the quilts and became a close friend.
The owner of the qults remembers as a child watching and learning from Una as she performed many needlework projects including rug making, embroidery, and tapestry. She also made many of her own clothes. All her sewing was by hand as she did not own a sewing machine, nor did she want one.
Una never married. Until she could afford to purchase her own villa unit Una lived in a small caravan and whilst there, for practical purposes, made these quilts from scraps of fabric collected from various sources. The quilts were used for bed warmth.
Una died suddenly in 1995 whilst still leading an energetic and active life pursuing her interests in sketching, photogggraphy, walking and love of nature."
[Jillian Towers 12.7.99]

Una Kerr
Una Kerr
Share

Related Quilts:

Yvonne Hore
Reversible quilt. Both sides are small squares of cotton scraps mainly left over from children's clothes. Plain and patterned pieces in a wide variety of colours. Hand stitched. Padding is pieced men's clothing, jumpers, cardigans, trousers. The present owner zig zagged over the seams, bound the edges and 'clouted' (her term) it in circles and squares.
2080 x 1570mm
Old Government House
Patchwork quilt in Log Cabin pattern made from silks, velvet, cottons and taffetas, in prints and plain, around a centre squares of black velvet. Colours are, in the dark sections, blues, greens, browns, yellow and pinks. The base of the blocks is blue and white ticking. The padding is probably cotton. Backing is of green cotton. There is an attached frill on all sides of green cotton, faded to dull light brown.
1630 x 1350mm
Wanda McPherson
Patchwork quilt made from pure wool suiting samples in shades of navy blue and brown. Quilt is constructed in 11 rows containing 11 pieces. Each piece is 14cm x 9cm. No padding. Backing is of mauve cotton with a floral pattern of closely spaces white/pale mauve flowers.
1480 x 900mm
Wangaratta Historical Society
9 large blocks of crazy patchwork in silks and velvets. The blocks are divided by strips of deep ruby coloured silk. There is a wide ruby border with peaks to which is attached cream lace. The backing is beige silk. The main blocks are outlined with feather stitch in gold thread and many individual patches are outlined in fancy stitches and have embroidered motifs some of which are Australian eg centre patch has Sturt's Desert Pea flowers, parrots, wattle. There are also English flowers, Japanese motifs, flags, domestic objects and Marianne's initials. Embroidery is in a variety of threads including chenille.
2250 x 2180mm
Bob Sloan
Double sided quilt made from all wool worsted suiting samples. Machine construction. There is no padding.
1840 x 1330mm
The Queensland Women's Historical Assoc.
Hexagon rosettes of printed and plain cotton in a flower pattern. Incomplete, top layer only.
2439 x 1981mm