Individual units constructed from patches. They are usually square and joined together to create a quilt top.
This is a British term and Medallion is the American equivalent. It refers to a surface pattern using a central motif as a focus surrounded by a range of fabric borders or frames. These are usually patchwork but sometimes applique or a combination of both.
A pieced block construction with the blocks repeated. Small rectangular pieces are arranged around a central square (the hearth/chimney) often with the materials in the square split on the diagonal into light and dark colours. There are many variations.
Small shapes pieced together to form an all over pattern. The most common shapes are hexagons, squares, rectangles and diamonds, eg Tumbling Blocks.
The filling in a quilt. Also called wadding and batting. In some Australian quilits the padding is old clothes, produce bags and/or worn blankets.
Small pieces of material, called patches, sewn together ie pieced, together. The patches can be a wide variety of sizes and shapes.
The NQR definition is: a bedcover of 2 or more layers sewn together (or tied) either by hand or by machine. It is often but not always quilted. A quilt may be made for decoration or warmth or both.
The act of fastening together 2 or 3 layers of material usually with a small running stitch, back stitch or machine stitch. Some quilts are tied not quilted. In Wholecloth quilts, quilting is often the defining feature.
Pieced, usually unlined decorative bedcover. Circles of material are drawn into a puff with a running stitch around the outside of each circle. The puff may be filled or pressed flat or left as it is. The individual puffs are then usually joined at 4 points to adjacent puffs to form a bedcover.
A cardboard, paper or plastic shape used as a guide for tracing material shapes. Used in the English paper method of quilt construction and sometimes papers are still found within old quilts.
Made primarily for warmth. See also Reused Clothing and/or Blanket.
A quilt top of one piece of material or several pieces of the same material seamed together. A surface pattern is often created through quilting as in Durham quilts and Greek and Italian quilts. Utilitarian quilts are often Wholecloth in a cheap or reused material often without any quilting or decoration.
A typically Australian quilt is often defined by a combination of features such as the type of material, if it includes parts of reused clothing or furnishing material or old blankets, the construction and the intent of the maker. With the exception of traditional Waggas constructed only from bags, the padding is a very important element. Most typically Australian quilts (excluding Motifs and Names) were functional and made for warmth. They fall into 5 broad categories as shown on the Quilt Tree.
These were made by women and, by definition, always included bags, usually the lighter weight sugar or chaff bags. Often the bags were used as a centre layer to which pieces of used clothing or blanket were stitched. The top and backing may then be wholecloth or often a simple pieced pattern. They were always made for warmth.
[THIS DEFINITION FIRST USED BY THE PIONEER WOMENS HUT 1989 TO DISTINGUISH DOMESTIC WAGGAS FROM THE MENS TRADITIONAL WAGGAS ]
A Motif is an easily recognizable distinctive feature and Australian motifs on quilts include, waratahs, wattle, parrots, wild flowers, kangaroos etc. Names refers to names actually on the quilt, eg names of towns, prominent families, historical events, agricultural shows, charities and organizations. Quilts within this category of Motifs and Names are possibly the only quilts that are uniquely Australian.
These quilts were a pragmatic solution to a common need for more warm bed coverings. Pieces of worn out, or grown out of clothing or scraps from dressmaking (especially woollen) were used to construct layers within a quilt and often the top and backing also. Pieces of blanket worn thin, or an old whole blanket, were also used and valued.
Women like to use the out of date sample books (from which men ordered suits) as the swatches were a standard size and good materials, often woollen. These quits were usually Utilitarian quilts with padding of pieced used clothing and/or old blanket but sometimes they were mainly decorative.
Made by men who were often, but not always, itinerant workers, preferably from heavy jute bags usually wheat or 150lb flour bags (flour came in calico bags up to 150lb which were jute). The bags were left unopened and hand stitched along the long side with a bag needle and twine found in every shed. Hessian, (a mixture of hemp and jute) bags were not often used as they were a more open texture and so lighter and not as warm as the close twill weave jute bags. Sometimes damaged jute wool packs were used.
[ IN COMPILING THIS DRAFT GLOSSARY WE HAVE BEEN ASSISTED BY MANY PEOPLE INCLUDING NQR CO-ORDINATORS, ESPECIALLY ANGELA NASH; THE HISTORIC HOUSES TRUST OF NEW SOUTH WALES, ESPECIALLY SHERIDAN BURKE AND SCOTT CARLIN; THE POWERHOUSE MUSEUM, ESPECIALLY KIMBERLEY WEBBER AND CHRISTINA SUMNER, THE NATIONAL QUILT STUDY GROUP OF AUSTRALIA AND MANY, MANY OTHERS. Thank you .