Calling All You Quilters!

Louisa’s Walk appeals to so many people, young and old, those interested in tracing their convict history, those just interested in history and anybody who enjoys a good story (that’s just about everybody isn’t it?).  But if you are a Quilter and interested in old patchwork quilts then Louisa’s Walk is a must!!!  We feature the famous Rajah Quilt in our story and the voyage we make is the very one on which the quilt was made in April 1841.  The Rajah Quilt is the only convict made quilt still in existence today.

Last weekend we took the Jones family out on Louisa’s Walk. After our performance is over, when we come out character,  Russell Jones told us that his mother owns an old quilt which has a fascinating history and he has been kind enough to send me some details and a photograph which I reproduce here:

47 Year old Sarah Jackson( nee London), a hard-working widow for 22 odd years, and whose employment was being a ‘Carer’ for a bed-ridden person in Elsternwick, was finally free to visit her siblings, because her patient became deceased in Dec. 1900.  Sarah won the quilt in a raffle at Maldon, Victoria, at the turn of the century. It’s size is 155cm x 155cm.   Sarah’s siblings were all living in Victorian country towns then, but on this occasion when Sarah won the quilt she was visiting brother Robert Walter London who lived and worked in Maldon – he was the proprietor of a Wholesale & Retail Grocery business .

The actual year when Sarah won the quilt is unknown. While crazy quilts were very popular from 1880 to 1910, there was a particular event that may have caused a special quilt showing, and hence a raffle,  and that was when the Duke & Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary) visited Melbourne in May 1901 to open the first Federal Parliament.  Crazy quilts were then exhibited in department stores, including Robertson & Moffats, and it is known that the Duchess did, in fact, view these exhibits .

Contact was made about 9 years ago with the Maldon Historical Society who organized an advertisement in the local paper asking if anyone had any knowledge of a special raffle event at the beginning of the century. There was no response.  However, there were some special ‘family’ events that took place in 1901 and 1902 that may have got Sarah to visit brother Robert. Firstly, as Robert got married in June 1901 to Lillie Jane Mollard, it could have been that occasion that got Sarah to visit, or perhaps, even the engagement.  Also, that couple had their first child in May 1902. Another big occasion might have been to introduce Sarah’s new beau before she finally remarried late in August 1902 to William Perry.

A backing has been put on it by a very reputable firm in the city, plus the edging added to it.  The backing is not actually attached to all of the back, but simply at the edge next to the cording.  It has been kept in a tin truck all of the years with bay leaves scattered inside to deter moths etc..

I am sure that if anyone has any information to add to the history of this quilt, the Jones Family would be fascinated to hear about it.  Please make contact via this web site.

A Crazy Quilt



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