Quilt No.386CW - Colleen Whitaker

Colleen Whitaker
Colleen Whitaker
NSW Riverina
Bridget Halloran
Made in
pre 1850
Quilt top, all cotton. Center frame is 600mm square of calico on to which is appliqued red material in an elaborate cut out design. Radiating rows of mainly red and blue triangles. Other materials include, white with abstract plants scattered across it, pink with pin print white dots, white and maroon herringbone with small white flowers with maroon leaf sprays spread 25mm apart. The border is a strip of red not hemmed but with selvedges on the long sides. The quilt is all hand sewn with small back stitch, running stitch and hemming.

The quilt top was made on a ship from Ireland in 1840 by Bridget Halloran (born Tully). It was handed on to her daughter Catherine who married William Hansell and then passed by maternal descent to the present owner who is the great great grand-daughter of the maker (fifth generation). It is not used and is stored in a camphor wood box.


The family suggest that the reason the quilt was not finished (backed) may have related to the time available on the ship. If the quilt wasn't finished on arrival there wasn't time in the 'new country'.
"This (the quilt) is believed to have been made on the ship from Ireland in 1840 by Bridget Tully, daughter of Michael and Mary Tully of Ballynakill. Born in the county of Galway in 1816. One of ten children. In 1838 she married Michael Halloran. In 1840 she immigrated to Australia on The Isabella, with her daughter Ellen and sisters and their husbands. She left behind an ailing husband, Michael Halloran who was supposed to join them later.
Patrick Tully, her brother, already in Australia, filled in an appplication form for the Hallorans to immigrate as farm workers, the fare being paid by the N.S.W. Government. In all, nine of the Tully siblings came to settle in the Goulburn district.
She had arrived in Sydney and moved by dray, with her daughter and sister Catherine to Ryansvale, a farm run by the Ryan brothers 12 miles from Goulburn, near Bungonia. In 1841 Bridget gave birth to another daughter called Catherine. She had become sick on the boat. At first they thought she was sea sick but discovered she was pregnant, father being Michael Halloran.
In 1843 she received news through her brother in law Michael Costello that her husband Michael Halloran had died.
In 1849 she married James Clark Armstrong in the Church of England at Bungonia, although she remained a praticing Catholic. Armstrong went off gold prospectring most of the time while Bridget supported her daughters by selling milk and butter from their small farm.
In 1871 Bridget became a widow again when James died at the gold fields of Araluen aged 65 years. She lived the rest of her life with her grandson at Windellama (in the same area). She died in 1902 and is buried at Bungonia."
"This information on Bridget was obtained from writings about the Tully family by James Abbey descendant of Catherine Tully and Alexander Abbey. Bridget's niece Mary Costello married Patrick Durack. Her brother or nephew Patrick and Patrick Durack were mining mates whose family had come from the same part of Ireland to join the large Irish community around Goulburn."
[ Colleen Whitaker, 8.3.1999]


Related Quilts:

Leila Craig
Patchwork quilt of hexagon patches in a variety of colours and fabrics, including cottons, wool, lace, nylon. Edging is of yellow cotton. It is backed but there is no filling or padding.
2470 x 2100mm
National Trust of Australia (NSW)
Quilt of small silk and rayon rosettes of hexagons in prints and plain materials including velvet, voided velvet, chine, printed silk, brocades, taffeta, satin, crepes. Many of the materials are from Japanese kimono and wrapping silks. It is pieced over papers, one paper has a typed date '1930'. The backing is black silk satin and is turned to the front to form a border.
1695 x 1390mm
Lorna Calder
Patchwork quilt of multi coloured silks and brocades. Crazy patchwork borders, mainly rectangular fabrics pieced together in diagonal patterns, radiating from a central frame embroidered with flowers. Many pieces are extensively embroidered in a great variety of stitches and motifs; butterflies, sunflowers, cats, daffodils, crown, pawn broker's symbol, 'money to lend', 'good night', the initials of family members and 'mater 1890'. The quilt has a deep border of maroon sateen. There is no padding visible but it is possibly a blanket. The backing is green/gold silk with a self stripe with red cotton damask showing underneath, possibly an earlier backing.
2165 x 2165mm
Tricia Bowdler
Small patchwork piece in crazy patchwork in silks, satins, and velvets. Embroidered initials 'A.N' also an embroidered crest, the date 1869 with initials 'A.W.N'. There is also decorative stitching over the joins of most pieces. It is not padded. The backing is Jacquard.
661 a 649mm
Fran Williams
Crazy quilt made from a lot of light wools including gabardine types. Patches are outlined in embroidery stitches and there is additional embroidery on some patches. It is worked in 3 ply wool thought to be Patonyle (early blend of nylon and wool). The backing is a floral print mainly black with a cream flowers, brought to the front as a binding. Occasional stitches holding front to back by way of quilting. There is no padding.
1600 x 2100mm
National Gallery of Australia
" A wide range of cotton fabrics have been used to make this quilt in the traditional log cabin style. The strips of the log cabin are joined by rows being hand sewn onto a small square backing fabric, each square of strips has then been hand sewn together to form the quilt. The work is backed with a sateen printed fabric decorated with paisley design. A strip of the lining trims the edge of the front face of the quilt. The lining is attached with machine stitching. There are numerous tacking stitches that remain in the front face of the quilt. There are approx 9000 pieces in the quilt, most being only 5mm in width.
The quilt is of three layers because the strips of the log cabin are attached to a backing piece, and then the quilt is lined; however it is not padded." [NGA]