The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
90/731 Quilt, 'Friendship', embroidered crazy patchwork, cotton / silk / felt, Marion Gibson, Australia, 1892. Click to enlarge.

‘Friendship’ Quilt

Made by Gibson, Marion in Hay, New South Wales, 1892.

This is a rare example of a quilt that is not only well provenanced but whose maker left a detailed description of its construction and materials and the reason for making it. Marion Gibson was born in Scotland, the daughter of a tailor. In 1854 she married John Gibson, a bootmaker, and John persuaded Marion, who lame in one leg, to sail for Australia. On the journey he truned one guinea into 2 by making and mending boots for the passengers.They settled in Colac in Victoria where John set up bus...

Summary

Object No.

90/731

Object Statement

Quilt, 'Friendship', embroidered crazy patchwork, cotton / silk / felt, Marion Gibson, Australia, 1892

Physical Description

Double bed size quilt, hand pieced in crazy patchwork style from multicoloured irregularly shaped patches cut from plain and patterned silks, cottons and velvets, including damasks, brocades, tartans and stripes. The edges of these randomly shaped patches are embroidered with polychrome silks in a variety of decorative stitches. A red cotton binding has been applied to all four sides, forming a narrow edging on the front and a broader facing on the back. A wide ecru-coloured machine-made torchon lace flounce has been added all around. Wide grosgrain ribbon loops have been added to the upper edge at a later date to enable the quilt to be hung.

Dimensions

Height

2295 mm

Width

1935 mm

Production

Notes

This quilt was designed and made by Marion Gibson, Hay, New South Wales. At the time, crazy patchwork was very fashionable and heavily promoted in women's magazines. The style involved stitching together irregular shaped pieces of different materials to produce a vibrant mix of fabrics, textures and colours. Marion Gibson specifically chose this method to allow her to use scraps and pieces from friends 'far and near'. She called it her 'Friendship Quilt'.

The quilt was made by Marion Gibson. She later wrote to her granddaughter about it, 'I called it the Friendship Quilt and to me it was a labour of love .... I am sorry I cannot write a history of it -- for as the eye is dazzled by the many colours of the different bits, so the mind is puzzled by the loving memories of dear friends who contributed and took an interest in the Friendship Quilt ... I must add I spent many a happy hour on it.'

Heather Garland 21/1/2013 - My great grandmother used blanket stitch between the patches on her early quilts and only later feather stitch as seen in this quilt.

History

Notes

The quilt was made by Marion Gibson and passed to her eldest grand-daughter. It has since been treasured by successive generations of women in the Gibson family.
The quilt was about to be sold at an auction overseas when the family got together and raised $10,000 to purchase it. Overseas it would have fetched a higher price than in Australia.
A book was written about the Gibson family - to be located.
The Hay Museum has many objects relating to the Gibson family history.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased with funds donated by the descendants of Marion Gibson, 1990

Acquisition Date

15 August 1990

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Friendship' Quilt 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 July 2019, <https://ma.as/109335>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/109335 |title='Friendship' Quilt |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 July 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

Know more about this object?

TELL US

Have a question about this object?

ASK US