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Hexagon Quilt

  • Owner:
    Rhonda Allardice
  • Location:
    VIC Australia
  • Maker:
    Florence Gertrude Awyun
  • Pattern:
  • Pattern:
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 330
    Width: 240


This hexagon quilt was made by Mrs Florence Gertrude Gwynn (born Taylor) in Footscray, Melbourne Victoria c. 1938. It then passed to Rita Bowe, Florence's daughter and now belongs to Rhonda Allardice, Florence's granddaughter. Florence used the quilt for approximately 35 years on her bed. It was then displayed for 8 years at Historic 'Bowe's Cottage', Maldon, VIC and is now on display at the 'Milliner's Cottage', Port Fairy VIC.

"The Story of the Quilt - It's maker: Florence Gertrude Gwynn (nee Taylor)
Born 30 April 1891 - Snapper Point, Mornington VIC. Father's occupation - Brickmaker.
1900 - Family shifted to Clifton Springs, near Drysdale VIC. Father's occupation - Fisherman. Florence worked as a domestic maid.
1905 - In Queenscliff at a Doctor's home; at the Federal Hotel, Melbourne (where she was exposed to the elegance of the upper class)
1909 - At Mac's Hotel, Portland where she met Thomas Gwynn who cleaned patron's boots.
1911 - Florence and Thomas went to Broken Hill. They married. Thomas was employed as a miner. They lived in a relocated corrugated iron home. Florence talked later in life of the heat during this time and how she hosed the house down at night time. Daughter Rita born 1913.
1915 January 1 - Florence and Rita were passengers on the 'Picnic Train' to Silverton. It became the scene of the only enemy attack on Australian soil during WWI, by two Turkish men. During the three hour battle, four people were killed and seven injured. There were 1200 passengers on the train, mainly women and children. Florence talked about this often later in her life [as it was] very traumatic.
1916 - The family shifted to Footscray where Thomas worked at The Maize Products on the Maribyrnong River. They had two children now. Rita and a son Jack.
1917 - Third son, Leslie born
1918 - Son Jack died of diphtheria whilst holidaying at his Grandparents home in Clifton Springs. He was aged 4.
1914 - Son Robert born.
1919-1930s the "Depression" years. Thomas was unemployed for four years. They took in a border who paid 12/6 a week - it covered the mortgage repayments and Florence was an excellent homemaker who 'made do', growing vegetables, sewing, crocheting, tatting etc. The quilt was made during the late 1920s using upholstery fabrics. Robert was an apprentice upholsterer who worked on high quality furniture 'the other side of Melbourne' at a company called Branchflowers. It took years to complete the quilt and was used on her bed until she died in 1975. Each year Florence displayed this quilt at Footscray Hospitals Annual Fete. Florence was awarded a Life Governor's Certificate for her charity work for the hospital.
1963 - After nursing Thomas through a very long illness he died. Florence herself suffered for a number of years as a result of this time.
1975 - Florence, still living in Footscray, took ill suddenly. When the family tried to have her admitted to Footscray Hospital for care, she was refused entry because of her age (over 80 policy at the time). The family were devastated, upset when amongst her items they found 'The Life Governor's Certificate', all the work she had done and they refused to care for her. Florence passed away 1 week later in Werribee Hospital. Died 19 May 1975, aged 84 years.
Florence was a gentle lady, an excellent homemaker, who often submitted entries [of] scones [and] cakes to the Royal Melbourne Show, collecting numerous prizes. [She was a] caring mother and grandmother who loved to be elegantly groomed, especially church days."
[Rhonda Allardice 1999]


“Since completing more family history research I have found that on her Birth Certificate she was originally named Gertrude Florence Taylor - not Florence Gertrude - although she was always known as Florence Gertrude to her family and friends.”
[Rhonda Allardice 2018]


Hand stitched quilt constructed entirely from hexagons formed into rosettes or 'flowers'. Seven hexagons to each flower and 440 flowers in the quilt. The material used is mostly upholstery pieces. There is no padding and the backing is pale green cotton. Cardboard templates were used.

3300 x 2400 mm

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