Quilt No.73MC - Mare Carter

Mare Carter
Owner: 
Mare Carter
Location: 
NSW South East
Maker
Maker: 
Eva Leota Towe
Made in
USA
Date: 
1921 - 1940
Description: 
Patchwork quilt, all cotton including cotton padding. 'Tree of Life' pattern. All 'Trees' are on white squares and are red or blue. Alternating squares are fawn or white. Simple diagonal quilting. Hand stitched.
1880 x 1728mm
History: 

Made pre 1928 by Eva Leota Towe in southern California. Eva's grand-daughter, Mare Carter, came to Australia in 1950. In 1953 Eva died. "In 1960 my mother brought me grandmother's legacy, her hand-works including the quilts, when she visited Australia". This is one of a collection of 16 of Eva's quilts now ownd by Mare Carter. They have
been much used and loved family quilts. Now used only occasionally.

Story: 

"VINTAGE QUILTS 1898-1938
These quilts were made by my grandmother, Eva Leota Towe. Her maiden name was Tussey and she came from Missouri, U.S.A. In early 1900 grandmother moved to Washington State and later to Southern California.
Patchwork was our family tradition. It provided a frugal means to "dress" a home and to make cosy beds which were also pretty. I rarely saw grandmother without her bag of patches and templates handy, rarely saw her sitting idle; usually while chatting or listening to the radio, she'd be quietly piecing together patches which were cut mostly from used garments. Her scissors were kept sharp by my grandfather, she wore out countless thimbles, her needles were regularly pushed in and out of a little sock of sand to ginger up their points. The actual quilting was often done in company with friends who belonged to the Rebecca Lodge. At least one of these quilts is a Friendship Quilt made and signed by those women in 1933.
Grandmother also embroidered, to decorate her tables, her aprons and also her tea-towels which were always made from bleached flour sacks. It embarrassed my Mother and her sister that their underclothes were made from the same materials. Maybe this is why sewing and handcrafts skipped a generation in my family. The contribution my mother made was to keep these things safe and gradually pass them along to me.
My children suffered from allergies. Wool was too itchy, and too hot. The cotton quilts of my grandmother were perfect for our beds here in Australia. Thus we used our legacy to good purpose. Sadly, most of the quilts are now tattered and worn, but much loved for that, and for the affection which she sewed into them. She never made things to be preserved as objects of art. They represent her creativity, her duty as a woman and a home-maker, and her principle means of recreation and sociability."
[Mare Carter, Foxground. 1998]

Eva Leota Towe c 1940
Eva Leota Towe c 1940
Share

Related Quilts:

The Embroiderers' Guild of S.A.Inc Museum
This Adelaide Chronicle wildflower quilt has alternating squares of green and fawn headcloth embroidered with Australian wildflowers on the fawn squares and stylised floral motifs on the green squares. It is bordered and backed with the same green material. It is padded.
2350 x 1530mm
Cobram Shire Historical Society
Patchwork quilt in Log Cabin pattern, arranged in 'furrows', and made from cottons, wool and suiting fabrics. Centres of blocks are pastel or dark; dark colours are black, brown, purple blue and red. Pastel side of blocks includes a bright pink. Quilt backing is pieced, with a centre rectangle of cotton surrounded by 5 borders of plain and alternate rectangular pieced strips, in wool and suiting fabrics. Colours are black, dark blue, brown, green, grey and pastels. Inner lining is of cotton pieces, to which the Log Cabin blocks have been machined.
1620 x 1360mm
Julie Bos
Crazy patchwork quilt with pieces made from cottons, rayons, silks and taffetas. Each piece is stuffed with kapok and machine sewn to a backing then a wholecloth floral cotton backing has been added.
920 x 164o mms
Jillian Towers
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
Hazel Jarmyn
Patchwork quilt made from cotton hexagon patches in the 'grandmother's Flower Garden' pattern, in bright prints and plains, with cream 'paths' made from dress material. Padding is flannel sheeting, and backing is the same cream material as the 'paths'. The centre of the 'flower' patches are autographed with friends' names and dates, as are some 'petals' and cream patches, in black ink.
1550 x 1400mm
The Pioneer Women's Hut
Patchwork top with a centre frame of a mauve cross outlined in black within a square bordered with pink. The rest of the top is rectangles and squares in a wide variety of materials. There is no padding. The backing is brown, possibly curtain material.
1910 x 1480mm