Quilt No.189BHS - Benalla & District Historical Society

Benalla & District Historical Society
Benalla & District Historical Society
VIC North East
Mary Jane Block
Made in
1851 - 1880
Patchwork quilt, handsewn, with centre section made from hexagons, in red solid and prints, and green, blue and black prints and checks. The centre hexagonal section has sides measuring 420mm. The rest of the quilt is of cream cotton with stars,hearts and other motifs appliqued, and finished with a wide border with 3 narrow red stripes. At a later date it was backed with white damask and machined in 25mm squares, the edges also sewn by machine. No padding.
2500 x 1780mm

Made by Mary Jane Block in 1871. Later owned by Mrs M.E. Hickson, Strathmore (VIC), Mary Jane's grand-daughter. Now owned by the Benalla & District Historical Society.


Letter from Benalla & District Historical Society:
"I have some information for you on Mary Jane Block. She married John Kelly of Violet Town in 1872 where they ran a store and later the Kelly pub.
The donor of the English patchwork quilt, Mrs ME Hickson of Strathmore, their grand daughter was the child of their daughter Daisy. Mrs Hickson passed the quilt to Benalla as she had no children and desired to return it to the district it originated from.
No it does not appear to be dated or signed.
Method of Construction:
The large central hexagon motif which has 42cm sides, is composed of tiny coloured hexagons with 1/4cm sides. This hexagon is bordered and cornered with stars, hearts and other appliqued motifs onto a 81cm square of cream cotton. We believe this section was constructed by Mary Jane Block in 1871.
At a later date, this was machined onto a large rectangle of white damask. It was backed with white damask, the long sides being sewn, then it was turned right sides out.
The whole was machined each way (horizontally & vertically) in crude 2 1/4cm 'squares'. The two short ends are neatened with a 4cm machined hem.
At each end, 16cm from the central cream square, three shapes have been appliqued across the width by hand.
The border of 3 rows of red cotton fabric 3cms wide have been machined around the rectangle with 6cms between them & 15cms at the edge."

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