Collection2001 National Quilt Register Collection by PWH
OwnerNational Gallery of Australia
Location ACT Australia
MakerSophia Wilbow
Origin new-south-wales
Pattern Patchwork Pieced Geometric Hexagon
Dimensions (H x W in cm)207 x 191


The quilt was made by Sophia Mary Wilbow between 1893 and 1896 for her youngest daughter Jane. Jane Wilbow did not marry and upon her death in 1956 the quilt was passed onto a niece, Victoria, who in turn passed it to her daughter Mrs Joyce Hedges, New South Wales. Joyce Hedges donated the quilt to the National Gallery in 1992.

"Sophia Mary Wilbow nee Payton (1829-1924) born in Pitt Town near Windsor NSW, made this quilt. Sophia married Thomas Mitchell Wilbow in 1846 and spent most of her life in the Hawkesbury River district where her husband was a farmer and hotelkeeper. She had fourteen children and made a patchwork quilt for each of her seven daughters. This quilt was the last one she made and was given to her youngest daughter Jane. It is believed Sophia worked on the quilt whilst she sat at the side of her dying husband who suffered a long illness prior to his death in 1896." [NGA]


"This quilt follows the traditional hexagon patchwork pieced pattern, which are then joined and sometimes edged with a contrasting border. The edges of the quilt have been turned and then scalloped edges made of identical patches to the main body of the quilt have been attached to the edge. The quilt is fully lined, and the lining is visible from the front face through the gaps between the scalloped edge. The lining is attached to the patchwork with a row of stitches along the edges; there are no stitches in the centre field. The fabrics of the quilt are plain weave cotton in simple floral and geometric designs. Most of the fabrics are monochromatic. Several different colour ways of the same fabric are evident which could suggest some fabrics were from manufacturer samples. The lining is a William Morris print.

Each of the patchwork pieces (there are several thousand present) are sewn together with very fine overcasting stitches. The quilt is entirely hand sewn. There is some evidence that templates from the hexagon pieces, possibly blotting paper, remain in situ. The quilt is not padded or quilted. The lining is fine twill weave cotton printed in pink and pale purple. The design follows William Morris's 'Strawberry Thief design'." [NGA]

2075 x 1911mm


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