Quilt No.499AG - Anne Griffin

Anne Griffin
Owner: 
Anne Griffin
Location: 
VIC South West
Maker
Maker: 
Norma Griffin
Made in
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Date: 
1941 - 1970
Description: 
The quilt is constructed from 64 x 35mm rectangles of printed cottons possibly samples as there are several colourways of some patterns. The pieces have been sewn together in rows and then the rows joined. There is no padding and the backing is khaki desoutti.
1655 x 945mm
History: 

The quilt was made by Norma Griffin (1925-1997) in 1949 in Papua New Guinea. It was made for decoration in their typical bamboo house in Saidor. In 1951 the family came to Australia and Norma brought the quilt with her. It is now owned by her daughter Anne. It is not used.

Story: 

"The quilt was made during the first half of 1949 by my mother, Norma Griffin, aged 24, at Saidor in New Guinea, which was Australian Mandated Territory at the time. My parents were both from Ballarat, Victoria, and had gone to New Guinea as newlyweds in 1947 where my father was stationed as a patrol officer. Saidor was their first posting��.I have been able to date the quilt because mum wrote a book about her experiences in New Guinea and I hope to do something about publishing it next year. She died in November 1997 and so far it has been too difficult for me to do anything about the book.
When we were packing up her sewing room in July 1997 mum had earmarked the quilt for the rubbish bag. Of course I said, no way, the quilt was a record of her times and important to keep despite its poor condition��.Mum had kept the quilt for nearly 50 years , I think to remember her happy days. She had unpicked the centre and the bottom edges in order to mend it. In fact, somewhere amongst her things I think I have a handful of shredded cotton from the centre. I wouldn't let her throw that out either.
I am so glad mum kept the quilt and she would be so pleased to receive some recognition of her work and her life as a true pioneer woman in extraordinary circumstances." [Anne Griffin October 1999]
The materials for the quilt were given to the maker Norma Griffin by Father Wald the priest at the catholic mission at Eumbi near where the family lived. They had been donated to him by friends in the USA. The backing material, khaki lap lap (desoutti) was left over from WW2.

Norma Griffin's house at Saidor PNG
Norma Griffin's house at Saidor PNG
Norma Griffin with baby Anne 1951
Norma Griffin with baby Anne 1951

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