Quilt No.5BG - Betty Gray

Betty Gray
Owner: 
Betty Gray
Location: 
NSW Hunter
Maker
Maker: 
Laura Hart
Made in
AUSTRALIA NSW
Date: 
1941 - 1970
Description: 
Hand appliqued, embroidered and quilted, 1940s. Cotton quilt with yellow, pink and purple tulips and green leaves, has scalloped edging with green piping. Hand quilted.
2240 x 885mm
History: 

The quilt top was made by Mrs Laura Hart, probably from a kit, sometime in the 1930s and 1940s. It was assembled and quilted by members of the Canadian Women's Association in Sydney. The finished quilt was raffled in the late 1940s and was won by an older Canadian woman. It was then purchased by Norma McMorran's mother, and recently (since 1995) given to the current owner, Betty Gray, the daughter of a Canadian war bride, in order to pass it on to the next generation - her daughter. It is being used by Betty Gray in the guest bedroom.

Story: 

"The completed top, most likely made from a kit, was given by a Mrs Laura Hart to members of the Canadian Women's Association who met regularly in Sydney in the 1930s and 1940s to socialise and do charity work. Mrs Hart's husband was a senior executive with Colgate Palmolive and about 1946 was recalled to North America to a more senior position. When Mrs Hart was packing up the quilt top surfaced and she realised she was unlikely ever to complete the quilt, so she offered it to the Canadian Women's Association members with the suggestion that they finish it and raffle it. The offer was taken up and Mrs Helen Troy, an older Canadian who remembered quilting bees in her youth in Ontario, undertook to organise the project. She lived in a large house in Vaucluse. There were no children and many rooms and the quilt was put together and set up on a frame in one of the unused rooms. The project was organised along traditional lines. Quilting days were held regularly and any members of the Association who felt so inclined could go along and stitch� Mrs Troy was a perfectionist and any stitches she didn't consider up to standard were ripped out after the offending person had left. One elderly lady was a particular worry.
By this time it was 1946 or 1947 and many members of the group were war brides - Canadian girls who had married Australian RAAF men training in Canada and many of whom at this stage were battling homesickness, the problems of adopting to a new country and postwar conditions generally. Much homesickness was talked out over the quilting frame and many problems aired. The whole project proved an excellent therapy for these girls.
Eventually the quilt was finished and it was raffled. It was won by an older Canadian woman who shortly after with her husband gave up their home and moved to a boarding house, putting their furniture and household effects including the quilt into storage. My mother was sad that the quilt had not gone to someone who would enjoy it and offered to buy it. The offer was accepted and that is how it came into our possession.
� We always felt the Tulip quilt too special for everyday use and it has only been brought out on special occasions. It is also a difficult size - too big for a single bed and too small for today's double beds. Perhaps double beds were smaller in the 1930s. Probably it was intended to be displayed with a skirt around the bed. Whenever we have displayed it, it has been admired and on many occasions involving Canadians I have been amazed at the people who have exclaimed 'I worked on that quilt!'."
[Norma McMorran, Sydney, September 1991]

Share

Related Quilts:

Yvonne Hamdorf
Wholecloth pram quilt with a top of pink cotton sateen, and the reverse is a more finely woven, ivory, fabric. All over quilting design as main feature, with stylised hearts, leaves and cross hatching. The padding is cotton batting. 870 x 660 mm.
John Tomkin
Hand stitched, cotton, appliquéd, quilt in a flower pattern on a plain background. Colours are shades of green, apricot and browns. This quilt was known as a 'Bride's Quilt'. Padding is thought to be layers of white fabric raised almost like a wadding. The backing is cotton material. 2470 x 2020 mm.
National Trust of Australia (SA)
Quilt made of white cotton net, embroidered or 'voided', with an all-over pattern of parrots perched on branches and flying around a flowering tree. There is a tufted effect on the edges of figures. The top has a centre panel with 2 side panels attached to match the pattern. Quilt is lined with white cotton, and edged with a white cotton fringe. There are 2 matching pillowshams. Handsewn.
11920 x 1830mm
Kereake Wray
Wholecloth Greek quilt. "The fabric is a beautiful silk satin with a formal pattern of soft yellows and pinks on a turquoise background. Surrounding this is a 40cm wide border also of silk satin (cerise coloured). The quilt is machine pieced but hand quilted. The method of quilting is very interesting. A thick cream twist has been used and at first glance it seems that the quilt is tied as there are long pairs of stitches with gaps of about 4cm between them. However, either a long needle was used to make a pair of stitches OR each side may have been quilted separately with the needle only going half way into the wadding which is about 2 cms thick." [Kereake Wray] The padding is kapok approx 2 cm thick and the backing is deep coral pink satin. 2200 x 1960 mm.
Maria Ahilas
The quilt top is of rose-pink satin and the backing is a lighter pink cotton. The quilting pattern is a large central 'wheel' motif repeated from each corner like a fan. The centre 'wheel' is surrounded by a single feathered wreath and diamond fill pattern. Hand quilted. The padding is cotton wadding from cotton grown on Lesvos island.
2000 x 1600mm
Inverell Pioneer Village
Wholecloth quilt made of red floral crinoline cotton material. Quilting is in vertical rows, alternating cables with orange peel patterns. Padding is of cotton flock. Backing is of white cotton. Quilt is edged with a self fabric ruffle on three sides. Hand sewn.
2236 x 2236mm