Quilt No.780NL - National Library of Australia

Owner: 
National Library of Australia
Location: 
ACT
Made in
AUSTRALIA WA
Date: 
pre 1850
Description: 
Patchwork quilt with centre frame of 4 pointed starwith radiating borders of pieced squares and rectangles. Materials are cottons and some linen and it is constructed using the English hand piecing method. There is no padding and it is backed with cotton sheeting joined by machine so it is a later addition.
1400 x 1050mm
History: 

The quilt was made in Western Australia c.1845 by aboriginal children under the instruction of Miss Elizabeth Irwin. In 1854 the family returned to England and the quilt was kept there by a former family nursemaid, Jane Nixon. It passed to Mrs. Mary Willis ( a friend) in 1921 and much later was donated to the National Library of Australia by Mrs. Willis together with a letter detailing what she knew about the hsitory of the quilt.

Story: 

According to Mrs. Willis the quilt was made by aboriginal children at the Swan River settlement WA under the direction of Miss Elizabeth Irwin who it is thought may have taught the children sewing, reading and given them religious instruction.
Elizabeth Irwin was the neice of Colonel Frederick Irwin commandant of Western Australia and sometimes acting Governor of the colony.

Related Quilts:

June Brown
Pieces of heavy woollen material have been strip pieced and then joined. The joined pieces have then been folded over and restitched along the sides to make a double sided quilt. It is very heavy.
1830 x 1400mm
Yass & District Historical Society
Patchwork quilt made of approx. 730 Suffolk Puffs, using mainly cotton materials in florals and plains. Each puff is 45mm diameter. The quilt centre has a square of 16 pink puffs outlined with a single row of blue puffs. Each corner of the quilt has a square of 9 puffs in a single colour. No padding. Quilt is edged and backed with a red and white tartan cotton.
Anne Langford
Hexagon quilt with rosettes centred in an all over diamond pattern. It is hand pieced and hand quilted. All the materials are either linen or pure cotton. The quilt is padded with batting (American) and the backing is floral cotton.
2360 x 1800mm
Mrs. L. M. Chick
Hexagon quilt made by hand from a wide variety of cotton materials. There is no padding and the backing is calico.
2286 x 915mm
Win Adcock
The quilt on longer exists, just the label, but the quilt was squares of flannelette shirt material, velvets and woollen pieces. The backing was calico. The label was sewn to the backing and it reads: 'Red Cross Killarney Manitoba'. It is embroidered in red and is on a white piece of sheeting.
National Gallery of Australia
"A medallion or framed quilt in design. There is a central field of small patchwork diamonds, and from this radiates plain stripes of fabric bordering areas of patchwork panels. The edge of the quilt carries bands of red cotton, which are slightly larger at the top and bottom edges, and here the band is additionally decorated with appliqué diamonds. The fabric of the patchwork is cotton in fine plain weave of pale coloured florals and small geometric designs. The framing and border stripes are of bright red twill weave cotton. The small diamonds of the central field are hand sewn, with more use of machine stitching around the outer edge of the quilt.
The quilt is not padded. The patchwork is fully lined with a printed plain weave cotton fabric with a design commemorating Queen Victoria's Jubilee. The design is based on a repeated grid of circles. In the centre of each circle is a cameo of Queen Victoria, surrounded by images of the national flowers of England, Scotland and Ireland: the rose, the thistle and the shamrock. The edge of the front face of the quilt is trimmed with a red and white cotton braid." [NGA] 2380 x 2220mm