Quilt No.431TM - The Townsville Museum

The Townsville Museum
The Townsville Museum
QLD North
Martha Jane Marlton
Made in
1941 - 1970
One side of this quilt is made from pieces of men's knitted jumpers and cardigans hand sewn to a calico base using big stitches and cream and grey thread. The other side is mainly one cardigan with the sleeves removed. There is no additional padding.
1321 x 1245mm

The quilt was made by Martha Jane Marlton c.1960 from her husband Robert's worn cardigans and jumpers. It was then owned by Jean Marlton, Martha's daughter-in-law and is now part of the collection of the Townsville Museum. It is displayed from time to time.


The maker, Martha Jane Marlton (born Duff) was born in Scotland in 1904. Her parents came from Glasgow where her father was a tailor and when they came to Australia they settled in Warwick on the Darling Downs where Mr. Duff became a tailor in about 1910. Martha Jane Duff was a telephonist at the Warwick telephone exchange and travelled to Townsville in 1929 to work at the Townsville telephone exchange then returning to Warwick to marry Robert William Marlton. The rug is made from his old jumpers and cardigans. He felt the cold especially when travelling between Warwick and Townsville visiting family. After marrying Martha they travelled to Bundaberg, Winton and Chartres Towers as Robert worked with the railways. In 1938 he was injured when a train ran over his foot and he lost one toe. After recuperating for a year they moved to Townsville where Robert worked as a porter at the goods shed.
Martha Jane Marlton came from a family of sewers. Two of her sisters worked for their father in the tailoring business but Martha was not a sewer, preferring the garden. She was, however, thrifty and a conserver and the quilt had been mended and carefully stored. Martha was interested in the Women's Guild and the CWA.
[This information is taken from a telephone conversation with Jean Marlton by Morley Grainger in Townsville 13.3.98]

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