Quilt No.73MC - Mare Carter

Mare Carter
Owner: 
Mare Carter
Location: 
NSW South East
Maker
Maker: 
Eva Leota Towe
Made in
USA
Date: 
1921 - 1940
Description: 
Patchwork quilt, all cotton including cotton padding. 'Tree of Life' pattern. All 'Trees' are on white squares and are red or blue. Alternating squares are fawn or white. Simple diagonal quilting. Hand stitched.
1880 x 1728mm
History: 

Made pre 1928 by Eva Leota Towe in southern California. Eva's grand-daughter, Mare Carter, came to Australia in 1950. In 1953 Eva died. "In 1960 my mother brought me grandmother's legacy, her hand-works including the quilts, when she visited Australia". This is one of a collection of 16 of Eva's quilts now ownd by Mare Carter. They have
been much used and loved family quilts. Now used only occasionally.

Story: 

"VINTAGE QUILTS 1898-1938
These quilts were made by my grandmother, Eva Leota Towe. Her maiden name was Tussey and she came from Missouri, U.S.A. In early 1900 grandmother moved to Washington State and later to Southern California.
Patchwork was our family tradition. It provided a frugal means to "dress" a home and to make cosy beds which were also pretty. I rarely saw grandmother without her bag of patches and templates handy, rarely saw her sitting idle; usually while chatting or listening to the radio, she'd be quietly piecing together patches which were cut mostly from used garments. Her scissors were kept sharp by my grandfather, she wore out countless thimbles, her needles were regularly pushed in and out of a little sock of sand to ginger up their points. The actual quilting was often done in company with friends who belonged to the Rebecca Lodge. At least one of these quilts is a Friendship Quilt made and signed by those women in 1933.
Grandmother also embroidered, to decorate her tables, her aprons and also her tea-towels which were always made from bleached flour sacks. It embarrassed my Mother and her sister that their underclothes were made from the same materials. Maybe this is why sewing and handcrafts skipped a generation in my family. The contribution my mother made was to keep these things safe and gradually pass them along to me.
My children suffered from allergies. Wool was too itchy, and too hot. The cotton quilts of my grandmother were perfect for our beds here in Australia. Thus we used our legacy to good purpose. Sadly, most of the quilts are now tattered and worn, but much loved for that, and for the affection which she sewed into them. She never made things to be preserved as objects of art. They represent her creativity, her duty as a woman and a home-maker, and her principle means of recreation and sociability."
[Mare Carter, Foxground. 1998]

Eva Leota Towe c 1940
Eva Leota Towe c 1940
Share

Related Quilts:

Red Cliffs Historical Society
Crazy patchwork quilt pieced from velvets, satins, braids, taffetas, cottons with some decorative stitching. A ruffle and the backing are in ruby red satin. There is a dacron type padding.
1620 x 1200mm
National Trust of Australia (VIC)
Hand stitched silk quilt in mosaic patchwork based on triangles. Pieces include dress materials and some embroidered linings fom men's waist coats. Paper templates. The backing is cotton.
2200 x 2000mm
Mare Carter
Friendship Quilt'. All cotton with thick cotton padding. Each of the large panels of patchwork is different and many are signed by the makers who belonged to the Rebecca Lodge in Linwood California. Dates on the squares with signatures are 1933. Wide variety of colours and patterned and plain fabrics. The quilt is now in 2 pieces.
1981 x 1727mm
National Trust of Australia (TAS)
Patchwork quilt of cotton hexagons in a random mix of colours and prints, the predominant colours being blue, red, green, light yellow and pastels. Patches hand sewn. There is no padding and the backing is a grey wool blanket. The top is machine stitched around the edge to the blanket.
1645 x 1060mm
Jean Winchester
Patchwork quilt in the Log Cabin pattern, made from cotton fabrics in prints and plains in bright colours. There are 185 squares, all sewn on to check gingham. No padding. Backing is of black cotton.
2718 x 2540mm
June Johnson
Hand sewn cotton cot quilt with pattern of red and white lozenge shaped hexagons measuring approximately 65mm from top to bottom. A centre flower is constructed from 2 circles of 19 hexagons in red and white. This is surrounded by 8 smaller hexagon flowers. Additional single red hexagons are scattered at random on the white background around the rows of flowers. The quilt is not quilted or tied but is attached at all 4 edges. Writing on the back of the quilt (probably added later) reads "Made by Sarah Hodge, Newport, Wales UK for her first child John." There is no padding and the backing is white cotton. 1000 x 1250 mm.