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Utilitarian Quilt

  • Owner:
    Griffith Pioneer Park Museum
  • Location:
  • Maker:
    Josie McRae
  • Pattern:
  • Pattern:
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 178
    Width: 104


Made by Josie McRae of 'Sunrise', Tabbita NSW about 1941 or 1942 when she was 9 or 10 years old. Her mother Mrs Ellen McRae helped. Donated to Griffith Pioneer Park Museum by Josie Hoare (born McRae) in 1993. One was also made for each of Josie's four brothers (seven children in the family). In 1939 the family's house was destroyed by fire, including most of their clothing, soft furnishings, blankets, sheets etc. The quilt was probably used originally on Josie's bed. Later it was used under the play pen when her children were little. Josie's husband Rex used it when camping and fishing. Then in later years, it has been used under the mattress on a bed. "Murd [brother of the donor] was about 16 then and working for the Hillmans (Mrs Hillman, nee Eliza Hill of 'Fairview'). Mrs Hillman made him a wagga, covered with blue cretonne covered with red roses. At one stage, Josie recalls Mrs Hillman, then an old lady, at their house seeking small pieces of fabric for a hexagon quilt she was making. They didn't have much spare material, but she only needed little bits. Murd wondered whether the idea of the waggas might not have come from Mrs Hillman, who used to make them. She may certainly have contributed filling for ones Mrs McRae made, since the Hillmans were among those who contributed clothing after the McRae house fire. Josie doesn't recall ever seeing a completed hexagon quilt made by Mrs Hillman."
[Conversation between Josie Hoare and Robyn Oliver, curator Griffith Pioneer Park Museum 23 August 1993]


Covered on both sides with corded floral chintz, probably originally curtains. Not attached to padding. Padding is a worn grey blanket onto which has been stitched (with large running stitches) a variety of unpicked and part woollen garments, including a navy overcoat (with pockets), handknitted garment (possibly a singlet) and herringbone tweed skirt. The cover and lining are currently separate, outer stitching unpicked by the donor for washing prior to donation and not re-attached.
1780 x 1040mm

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