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99/60/1 Quilt, 'Wagga' patchwork style, delicate floral motif, cretonne / cotton / wool, made by Mrs Sayers and finished by Norah McPhee-Hall, Muswellbrook / Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia, 1910-1950. Click to enlarge.

'Wagga' style quilt

Designed
Quilt made from three layers joined together: patched cretonne cover, woollen blanket lining, pink cotton back. The cretonne cover is pieced in a simple mosaic pattern of cretonne samples ranging in size from 140 to 150 mm wide and 130 to 320 mm long. The majority of the pieces are placed lengthwise along the quilt though the pattern is occasionally broken by horizontally placed pieces. There are ten rows of cretonne pieces across the width of the quilt and eight to nine rows along the length. …

Summary

Object No.

99/60/1

Object Statement

Quilt, 'Wagga' patchwork style, delicate floral motif, cretonne / cotton / wool, made by Mrs Sayers and finished by Norah McPhee-Hall, Muswellbrook / Glen Innes, New South Wales, Australia, 1910-1950

Physical Description

Quilt made from three layers joined together: patched cretonne cover, woollen blanket lining, pink cotton back. The cretonne cover is pieced in a simple mosaic pattern of cretonne samples ranging in size from 140 to 150 mm wide and 130 to 320 mm long. The majority of the pieces are placed lengthwise along the quilt though the pattern is occasionally broken by horizontally placed pieces. There are ten rows of cretonne pieces across the width of the quilt and eight to nine rows along the length. The cretonne sample pieces are joined together by machine stitching. In general the pieces are in shades of cream, blue, green, red and yellow and most are in a 'realistic' all over floral pattern however some pieces are more stylised. All the fabrics appear to have been intended for furnishings.

The finished cover was then tacked to the blanket by hand using a simple running stitch that ran lengthwise along the quilt. Nine rows of running stitch run along the quilt. After 1933 the quilt was given a pink cotton backing and new binding to the edge. It is possible some pieces of cretonne may have been replaced then. The three layers of fabric were joined by running stitches along the sides and by nine rows of machine stitching running the length of the quilt. A replacement binding of floral cotton was handstitched around edge.

Dimensions

Height

1785 mm

Width

1415 mm

Production

Notes

Designed and made by Mrs Sayers using samples of cretonne from a sample book. The quilt is pieced in a simple mosaic pattern, the size of the rectangles being determined by the size of the fabric samples. The pieces have been machine stitched together. The quilt resembles those made from tailor's samples (such as 85/371 a quilt of suiting samples made by Caroline West of Trundle in about 1930). Originally the cretonne was stitched on top of a blanket. When the donor inherited the quilt from her mother she lined the underside of the quilt with pink cotton. This style of quilt is often described as a 'wagga' which, strictly speaking, is 'a covering from corn sacks, chaff bags or similar material', but also encompasses quilts made from a patchwork of blankets and old clothing sewn onto a backing and covered with cretonne or other cheap fabric. An article on 15 August 1951 in New Idea recalled, 'In pioneer homes, where such blanket were used ... some were neatly bound with coloured binding, some were given an attractive fringe, while some were even covered with cretonne or other cheap material. In one home I saw wagga rugs on every bed'. With a single blanket providing the wool lining, this quilt is a simplified version of the wagga.

The cretonne cover was made for this quilt by Mrs Sayer who started it shortly after she arrived from England. Her husband worked as a farmhand on Dangar Station near Singleton and she finished the quilt in Glen Innes. The Sayers had ten children in all and Mrs Sayer took in washing and worked as a seamstress to help make ends meet. She died in 1933. Her daughter, Nora McPhee-Hall, inherited the quilt and made the pink backing for it, using it on the children's beds. Mrs McPhee-Hall settled in Beresfield and donated the quilt to the Museum when she and her husband moved into a retirement village.

It is not known when Mrs Sayers arrived from England, however the style of cretonne fabric suggests a post 1900 date. It was acquired by the donor in 1933 and, after adding the pink lining, was used by her as bed covering for her children.

History

Notes

The quilt was begun by Mrs Sayers shortly after she and her family arrived from England. It was used by her and then by her daughter Mrs Norah McPhee-Hall.
The quilt was donated to the Museum by the daughter of the original maker when she and her husband moved into a retirement home.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Nora McPhee-Hall

Acquisition Date

21 June 1999

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Wagga' style quilt 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 September 2021, <https://ma.as/167731>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/167731 |title='Wagga' style quilt |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 September 2021 |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.