Quilt No.909MT - Marlene Toomey

Marlene Toomey
Marlene Toomey
QLD North
Frederick Lawford
Made in
1921 - 1940
Kangaroo skin rug featuring skins cut in diamond shapes. It is stitched with heavy cotton and the seams are oversewn. It is not backed. 1825 x 1290mm

Frederick Roy Lawford shot the roos, skinned them, tanned the skins and made the rug in Goulburn NSW in 1928. It was owned by his wife Marjorie Annie Lawford and is now owned by his daughter Marlene Toomey. It is still used.


"My father, Roderick Roy Lawford made this rug in approximately 1928. Dad culled the kangaroos from one of the properties he leased in the Goulburn district. We all lived on our own farm in North Goulburn N.S.W., opposite the famous Goulburn Prison. As well as farming our property and those he leased, Dad worked full time at the Baxter's Shoe factory as a tanner.
Dad skinned the kangaroos and tanned the hides himself and then cut the pelts out��..He then stitched them by hand, using thick cotton thread and oversewing the seams.
The quilt was often used to keep his five children warm in the bitter cold winters. I have memories of my mother placing it over my knees as I sat in front of the fire (especially when I was sick). If Mum placed it with the fur side out, I would turn it over as I loved to feel the fur against my skin.
The rug is now an integral part of my own home and I am sure that my children (all grown up now) have treasured memories of the special warmth this rug gives. I am currently using it to snuggle my grandchildren in when they visit in the cooler months. It is better than any heater you can buy, as it is not only warm in itself, it provides a topic of conversation and the special warmth of family love."
[Marlene Toomey May 2000]

Roy Lawford is 5th from left. 1934
Roy Lawford is 5th from left. 1934

Related Quilts:

Western Australian Museum
Kangaroo skin cloak of seven gores is made from the skins of seven grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus). The skins vary in size and shape, the inner five are roughly triangular. The cloak is edged with a series of loops, through one of these near the collar is a piece of cloth which appears to have tied the cloak together. The skins are sewn together with two sorts of linen or cotton thread. In a small diamond-shaped gusset at the back of the neck there are some stitches of sinew. The skins are sewn together by means of a small hem which was turned back on to the fur, so stitches went through two layers of skin on each gore. There are some small holes in the skins. The skins are very soft and pliable, and greyish in colour; they vary in size and shape. Longest part: 800mm Ref: MA Thesis 1973, S.Meagher 'A Reconstruction of the Traditional Life of the Aborigines of the S.W. of Western Australia.
South Australian Museum
Rabbit Skin Cloak. Rectangular pieces stitched together with sinew and later repaired with fishing line.
Beth Hoskins
Fox skin rug made from centre backs of pelts. 16 skins running the width of the rug and a 40mm fur border. The backing is tan felt with a pinked edge (traditional in this type of fur rug) and this is joined to the rug with a doubled blue felt binding. The skins are very fine quality winter skins.
John Coman
Dingo skin rug. 3 skins long x 5 skins wide with only the backs of the skins used. The backing is blue felt. The skins were tanned with wattle bark. 2100 x 1800mm
Deb Nichol
Rug made from 40 brown fur skins (8 rows by 5), possibly possum. Skins are sewn by machine, with seams covered with white tape. Rug is backed with cream wool felt, and bordered with beige scalloped felt. There is a braid binding along the outer edge of the skins. No padding. 1640 x 1480mm
Gwenneth Miller
Rabbit skin rug hand stitched. Originally had no backing but a fawn felt backing has been added. 1480 x 1180mm