Quilt No.542KG - Kristine Gray

Kristine Gray
Owner: 
Kristine Gray
Location: 
NSW Sydney
Maker
Maker: 
Bessie Gray
Made in
AUSTRALIA NSW
Date: 
1941 - 1970
Description: 
Double sided frame quilt. All reused materials including corduroys, wools and light weight suitings. Machine made and not quilted There is no padding as already heavy and warm.
1780 x 1530mm
History: 

The quilt was made of necessity by Bessie Gray in Sydney in the mid 1940s. Bessie has given it to her daughter Kristine. It is not used.

Story: 

Robert (1857-1935) and Margaret (1865-1950) Mays were married at Hartley NSW in 1884. Robert came to Australia from Norfolk (England) in 1879. Margaret was the daughter of Samuel Perry a convict transported to Australia in 1835. They were pioneers of the Rydal district near Lithgow NSW. Robert and Margaret had 12 children.
Margaret (Maggie) (1897-1981) was a daughter of Robert and Margaret Mays. She and Arthur Flint were married in 1919 and moved to Bassett Downs a sheep station at Cowra NSW where Arthur worked on the property and Maggie cooked for farm labourers and shearers. They had 4 children. Maggie made her own soap, preserves, jams, pickles, sauces bread etc. just as her mother and sisters did. She also made all her children's clothes on a treadle sewing machine. Like her mother she had neither electricity nor running water in her home.
Bessie (born 1925)is a daughter of Margaret and Arthur Flint and grew up at Bassett Downs and lived there until she was 20 years old. She cooked for the shearers and did a man's job during the war, mustering, killing sheep, milking cows etc. She also learnt unarmed combat. Bessie married Ian Hamilton Gray in 1946 and they moved to the St. Mary's district NSW where they had 4 girls. This was the first time she had electricity and running water. Bessie ran the school canteen for 10 years, made her own pickles, jams, preserves etc. She also knitted , crocheted, embroidered and made all the children's clothes. Kristine, her daughter, remembers having her first bought dress when she was 13. Bessie is still an active needlewoman, knitting and crocheting for her grand children and Mission Austeralia. She has passed on her considerable skills to her daughters just as she learnt from her mother, Margaret Flint, who in turn had learnt from her mother, Margaret Mays.
Most of the quilts registered with the NQR were made by Bessie Gray at her home at St. Marys on a treadle sewing machine. All the quilts were made of necessity. Scraps left over from making the children's clothes were often joined when the garment was finished with and put away until there were enough joined pieces to make a quilt. The very heavy ones were called 'Waggas' and the others 'rugs' or 'blankets'. Many of the quilts were made in one large piece and then folded over. Bessie and Kristine Gray can still recall which garments many of the scraps came from.
The quilts are valued and will be handed on in the family with pride.

[Notes taken from family history accounts by Kristine Gray and also conversations Bessie Gray, Kristine Gray and Wendy Hucker (NQR) in Wagga Wagga on 2/3 October 1999]

Robert and Margaret May, c.1888
Robert and Margaret May, c.1888
Margaret and Arthur Flint, 1919
Margaret and Arthur Flint, 1919
Bessie and Ian Hamilton Gray, 1946
Bessie and Ian Hamilton Gray, 1946
Share

Related Quilts:

Jindera Pioneer Museum
Quilt made of 26 x 13 rectangles of woollen men's suiting samples. Each rectangle is about 70 x 130 mm. Wide variety of patterns, mainly stripes, and colous. The padding is part of a worn cream blanket and joined pieces of woollen clothing. The backing is a well worn piece of brushed cotton. Machine made.
11900 x 1870 mm
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
Julie Bos
Allover pattern in woollen dress materials in blue, grey, navy, black and pink. Hand stitched. The owner suggests it was made in the 1950s or earlier. It is not used.
910 x 1250mm
Shelley Cameron
Cotton scrap quilt with shapes of squares and diamonds and strips. There is no padding and the backing is calico.
2125 x 1440mm
Muriel Hartmann
Old jute wool pack opened out and joined together selvedge to selvedge. Ends bound with recycled curtain material.
1550 x 1321mm
Art Gallery of South Australia
Patchwork quilt in the Tumbling Block pattern in light and dark silks in bright colours. On both sides and at the bottom is a wide border in Tumbling Blocks, the pattern vertical at the sides and forming a triangle centre bottom, with an edge on both sides of two black bands with pieced diamonds between. Made for a poster bed. Hand sewn.
1790 x 1750mm