Quilt No.733LK - Lily Katakouzinos

Lily Katakouzinos
Lily Katakouzinos
NSW Sydney
Made in
1941 - 1970
Wholecloth quilt with the top of red satin and the other side of faded red cotton. All hand stitched. The quilting pattern is a five petal flower in the centre of a circle with parallel lines radiating to the border. The padding is raw cotton.
1900 x 1850mm

The quilt was made by a local quiltmaker in the Greek island of Lemnos in 1961. Lefkothea Kalogeras arranged for the quilt to be made for her daughter Maria who was migrating to Australia. It is now owned by Maria's daughter Lily Katakouzinos. It is not used.


"A Paploma from Limnos
Lily is a second-generation Greek Australian and her paploma (quilt) was made on the Greek island of Lemnos, well-known to many Australians for its beautiful natural harbour, Mudros Bay, used to launch the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915. Later, it was also the place where the armistice was signed between Britain and Turkey.
On Lemnos, in 1961, Lily's grandmother Lefkothea Kalogeras arranged for the local quilt-maker (in Greek, a 'paplomatas') to make this quilt for her daughter Maria who was migrating to Australia. The 'paplomatas' had a shop in the island's main town of Myrina, approximately thirty five kilometres from the village of Kaminia where the family lived. Lefkothea took with her the locally grown and woven cotton fabric which forms the quilt backing, then chose the lovely red satin for the main side; the padding is also of locally-grown cotton. She decided on the floral emblem for the centre, to be surrounded by parallel lines. As was the custom in those days, all the stitching was done by hand.
Maria Kalogeras, with this and several other quilts as part of her 'prika' (dowry), arrived in Sydney by plane in 1962. The following year she married Evangelo Katakouzinos, also from Lemnos; they went on to have four children: George, Lily, Ourania and Christo. Maria and Evangelo have worked hard to establish themselves in their new country, and although 'officially' retired, Maria works part-time in an aged-care facility. She recalls her early years in Greece and the traditional pre-wedding women's gatherings (a loose equivalent to our 'kitchen tea') where the bride's 'prika' (dowry) - quilts, blankets, sheets, towels etc together with a range of beautiful handworked pieces, would all be displayed in an 'doulapa anihti' (open wardrobe), which would be decorated with white tulle and satin ribbon. The traditional 'koufeta' (sugar-coated almonds) and rice would be scattered throughout, plus on the specially decorated wedding bed. Special sweets are served and traditional wedding songs are sung for the couple's future happiness. These celebrations are still held in many parts of Greece.
Lily, whose real name is Lefkothea named after this grandmother, has a background in art education and is a practising artist. One of her deep and abiding interests is traditional Greek handcrafts, so her paploma from Lemnos, together with her mother's stories, hold a special significance for her."
[Written by Lula Saunders from interview 29/4/00 for the National Quilt Register]

Lily Katakouzinos
Lily Katakouzinos
A bedroom in the Katakouzinos house in Kaminia, Lemnos
A bedroom in the Katakouzinos house in Kaminia, Lemnos
Maria (second from right) with friend and her parents. 1962
Maria (second from right) with friend and her parents. 1962

Related Quilts:

Yvonne Hamdorf
Wholecloth pram quilt with a top of pink cotton sateen, and the reverse is a more finely woven, ivory, fabric. All over quilting design as main feature, with stylised hearts, leaves and cross hatching. The padding is cotton batting. 870 x 660 mm.
John Tomkin
Hand stitched, cotton, appliquéd, quilt in a flower pattern on a plain background. Colours are shades of green, apricot and browns. This quilt was known as a 'Bride's Quilt'. Padding is thought to be layers of white fabric raised almost like a wadding. The backing is cotton material. 2470 x 2020 mm.
Christine Taylor
Autograph quilt consisting of 372 x 100mm calico squares with signatures worked in green thread. There is a scalloped border. The backing is green paisley flannelette and the padding is an old twill sheet.
2200 x 1840mm
Mary Robertson
Domestic Wagga made from 3 bags joined (the bags feel lighter than the jute wheat or flour bags) and covered back and front with floral cotton featuring large roses in red and oranges. The cover is machined.
1750 x 840mm
Dora Andonaros
Wholecloth quilt made from deep cherry red satin with a backing of red cotton. The padding is cotton wadding. It is hand quilted and the pattern is a central motif of a large diamond with diamond fill. Each corner has a pattern of curved lines and the quilt border is created by four parallel lines.
2070 x 2000mm
Powerhouse Museum
"A quilt or coverlet of natural cotton sheeting with appliqueed motifs cut from a variety of crimson cotton damask. The quilt is hand sewn and nearly square and has a 12 cm border made from the same crimson damasks. The applique motifs consist of a range of hexagons, rosettes, flowers, hearts and stars that radiate outwards from a large centrally placed star shape. All are the same shade of crimson red which suggests they were dyed in the same dye pot. The fabrics are now quite thin and soft which suggests that the quilt, or the fabric it was made from, was well used." [PHM]
1960 x 1950mm