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Hand Quilted Northumberland Quilt

  • Owner:
    Powerhouse Museum
  • Location:
  • Maker:
    Hannah Reed
  • Pattern:
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 239
    Width: 222


"The maker of the quilt was Hannah Reed, nee Coulson. The quilt was made in Hannah's home and the name of the farmlet was 'Swinhope Mill' of Swinhop, Sparty Lea, Allendale, Northumberland, England.
"The quilt was passed down through the family. It was left to the donor's aunt, Phyllis Jane. Then it was passed on to the donor's brother, Thomas William Ritson, next to his mother Ruth Ritson. Ruth brought the quilt to Australia in 1914 and passed it down to Lavinia McFadyen in 1919, just before she died. The quilt was not used, but kept as a treasure and donated to the Powerhouse Museum in 1983." [PHM]
The quilt is used for research and exhibition only. "Hannah Reed died at the age of 77 in 1892. At that time she was living with her daughter Ruth; her granddaughter Lavinia was 12 years old." On 8 February 1983, Lavinia McFadyen wrote:
'My Grandmother Reed was a thrifty, hardworking lady and was left a widow when Grandpa died at 55 years. I'd say she made and helped make several quilts in her time. She died at 77. When you read the quilting history I'm sending you'll see it was very time consuming. My aunties were all very good needlewomen and my mother taught needlework at a girl's school until she married and I had a beautiful display of quilts and much fancy work at my 2 sales. I gave a lot away until friends asked me to sell it.'
[Lavinia McFadyen for the Powerhouse Museum]


"A wholecloth hand quilted Northumberland quilt made from fine white cotton. The design features a large centre medallion of flowers, shells and leaves with more foliate designs in the corners and edges; the remaining area is quilted in a diamond pattern. The blue lines of the quilting pattern are still visible on the surface. The quilt has been machine finished with cotton wadding and a cotton backing. A label with the words 'Mrs L McFadyen/Inverell' is sewn to the edge." [PHM]
This is one of three quilts by Hannah Reed in the Powerhouse Museum collection.
2395 x 2220mm

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