Quilt No.915RH - Ruth Hansen

Ruth Hansen
Owner: 
Ruth Hansen
Location: 
QLD Brisbane
Maker
Maker: 
Mathilde Budich
Made in
AUSTRALIA VIC
Date: 
1941 - 1970
Description: 
Quuilt constructed from large pieces of used clothing pieced together to form the top. There are layers of under shirts once used by the maker's father and also by her husband Bill. The backing is an old cream blanket.
1700 x 1200mm
History: 

The quilt (called a 'Wagga' by the family) was made by Mathilde Laura (Tillie) Budich at Yarrara in north-west Victoria in the Mallee country called Millewa. It was made in the early 1940s. It is now owned by Tillie's daughter Ruth Hansen.

Story: 

"Tillie Budich 1903-1994
Mathilde (Tillie) Laura Budich was born 24th February 1903 at Sedan, SA, the youngest daughter of Johann Gottlieb Heinrich and Bertha Christiane Nickolai (nee Kaesler).
When she was about 15, the family moved to Pata, near Loxton, SA, where the area was being opened up for farming. Tillie began to be in demand as a home help for local families, and developed skills that were to enhance her whole life.
She was married on 10th April 1929 to Charles William Budich, in St. Peter's Lutheran church in Loxton. The wedding actually took place in a terrible dust storm. Their wedding finery was so dust-drenched that they were not able to be photographed.
Bill had taken up a block of virgin land at Yarrara, in north-west Victoria in the Mallee country called Millewa. Establishing the farm was unimaginably hard work. Tillie was a loyal, loving help-mate to Bill in every way. They were blessed with four healthy children who remember a childhood filled with love, good friends, good food and laughter.
Tillie did most of the sewing for her family; in the early days with a hand-turned Singer machine. She only learned smocking and knitting when the youngest daughter, Joan was born. She also made bread, jams, preserves, pickles, sauces and quince jelly; soap, milked cows and made butter for sale, sold eggs and she and Bill salted and pickled meat in brine and made sausages, smoked ham and bacon.
I can remember flour bags being used for all manner of things, including the lining for my brother's school pants. Sugar bags were made into peg bags, oven cloths, pot holders, hard-wearing aprons and mats. Worn-out clothing was made into waggas. Fortunately one has survived even though I had to rescue it from a dog kennel. My sister Doreen and I slept on one over a horse hair mattress in our brass and enamel double bed with a rug of kangaroo skins over us.
Due to the Depression and a succession of droughts, many of the original settlers in the Millewa gave up the struggle of farming and left. Firstly there would be a 'clearing sale'. Many of our possessions were acquired that way,[including] a black leather covered settle. We children noticed a small three-cornered tear in the leather, and busy fingers soon explored. When Tillie found us with pretty fabric scraps, she washed and ironed them, and then started to enjoy a new artistic outlet. Some were big enough to make aprons for us, but most were made into patchwork covers for our beds. She cut diamond shapes and feather stitched these on to calico, making fabulous stars of colour.
In the early 50s because of a Government reallocation scheme for the district and to be near the water supply, Bill acquired and moved a disused house to the south end of the farm and this was renovated and enlarged. Bill was happy to be able to provide Tillie at last with a comfortable, spacious home with a hot water service and electricity. Tragically Bill died of a heart attack a fortnight before they were to move in. He was only 56. Tilly then made her life the farm, her family, friends, her church and the community. He son Don and brother-in-law Herbert worked the farm but she was always involved.
In the 80s when staying with her daughter Joan Apel at Gayndah, Qld, Joan introduced her to traditional patchworking and she was away! She had learnt 'real patchworking' at last! Mostly her work was log cabin with variations, some of it her own innovations.
In the 80s she watched me making a 'yo-yo' patch cover for a doll's cot and that started her on another quite enormous project. She began to make yo-yo bed covers for all the girls in the family and herself. We can be sure of 14 that she made in about 8 years. She actually wore out needles sewing all those circles! She liked the idea of using up all those small, odd shaped scraps.
Her 90th birthday was celebrated in her home on the farms. Her daughter Doreen and son-in-law Jack were share-farming at this time and caring for her. Still enjoying good health, she kept busy patchworking in every spare moment.
Sometimes it does not seem possible that our mother can be gone from this life. She seemed indestructible, or perhaps we hoped she was. She had lost her love, her mate Bill, far too early. She lost her son and her brother-in-law also too early. There were set backs including storms and fire damage, droughts, mouse plagues; grief, illness and pain, but she battled quietly through all those times and got on with her life. So many wonderful memories, and so many lovely things made with those busy hands. A whole life-time of loving and doing."
[Written by Ruth Hansen. Edited for length by Deirdre O'Donnell Sydney for NQR. Part of a longer story about the life of Tillie Budich held as primary material at NQR]

Repairs made by Tillie in 1992
Repairs made by Tillie in 1992
Tille Budich in her 20s
Tille Budich in her 20s
The first home at Yarrara
The first home at Yarrara
The chaff shed and cow yard
The chaff shed and cow yard

Related Quilts:

Red Cliffs Historical Society
Pieced construction, repeat block format, American Blue Grass pattern. Hand stitched and quilted with a machined edge. Mauve check stars, 8 points, surrounded by 16 point stars in yellow floral. One star per block plus green squares and red strips. The background is yellow cotton and so is the backing. There is a dacron type padding.
1980 x 1740mm
Tanya Shephard
Patchwork quilt of squares measuring between 190mm and 220mm machined together. Materials include chenille, wool and nylon. There is no padding. The backing is green gabardine
1350 x 148mm
Mrs M Batts
This quilt is allover crazy patchwork not done in squares. Many pieces are awkward shapes. In the centre is a 150 x 150mm square of squares each 25mm repeating some of the materials in the quilt. Most of the materials are velvets, satins and silks. There is a border of red and green patterned wool and all seams are feather stitched in a thick gold thread. The padding is thought to be flannelette and the backing is polished cotton in faded red and green.
2560 x 2160mm
Romsey/Lancefield & Districts Historical Society
Wholecloth quilt made of royal blue satin, squares around a central panel. Seam lines are covered with a faggoting stitch. All names are embroidered in satin stitch, the central motif is hand painted. The border is quilted with a repeat scroll ing pattern in hellow thread, and edges are trimmed with a fringe of small pom-poms in burgundy, gold, blue and yellow, the colours mixed in each pom-pom. Quilt is backed with yellow satin cotton. Centre has embroidered: "Lancefield/ Presbyterian/ Sale of Gifts/ February, 1896'.
1880 x 1330mm
Ella Jarvis
Quilt made with a rectangular centre panel of cotton fabric printed with red poppies and black flowers in a japanese style. The panel is surrounded by a wide black satin border. The backing is of black cotton, covering a previous backing of green floral cotton fabric. The padding is feathers.
1700 x 1370mm
Ros Wight
One of a pair of patchwork quilts machine sewn from squares of cottons and silks in pinks, aquas and blues in plain and print materials. Both quilts are similar. The backing is white cotton. There is no padding.
2200 x 1500mm