The following text has been transcribed from the wall notes accompanying the display of the E Dickens Quilt in the NGV Federation Square.

E Dickens Quilt

E Dickens Quilt

Unknown   England/Australia


Cotton (chintz) linen, silk, wool

Gift of Sam Black, 2007

Qulting was a common pastime of genteel and middle class women in colonial Australia.  Medallion style, pieced patchwork quilts suchas these were particularly popular in England and Australia in the first half of the nineteenth century.  Intriguingly, the reverse of this work features an embroidered deication in black cross stitch which suggests that the quilt may have been sent to an early Australian settler as a gift.

This design is composed of linear bands further embellished by applique surounding a central panel, recently identified as the English furnishing chintz, “Partridge and May Tree” printed circa 1815.  Noticbly the partridge and the flower motifs are executed in the Broderie Perse technique, which entails the painstaking use of tiny chain stitch.