Not currently on display at the V&A

Canadian Red Cross quilt

Patchwork Quilt
ca. 1939-41 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Quilted patchwork bedcover of printed and brushed cottons. The cottons used in the quilt are mostly recycled dress and pyjama fabrics, with most dating to the late 1930s. The printed cottons have been arranged in blocks of 9 patches and then pieced into a wider design of 42 blocks against a patterned light blue ground. It is tuft quilted with red wool and lined with a brushed cotton in a design of grey, blue and red striped. The original Canadian red cross label has been removed at some point prior to acquisition.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cotton patchwork
Brief Description
Canadian Red Cross quilt, patchwork with printed and brushed cottons, ca. 1939-1940.
Physical Description
Quilted patchwork bedcover of printed and brushed cottons. The cottons used in the quilt are mostly recycled dress and pyjama fabrics, with most dating to the late 1930s. The printed cottons have been arranged in blocks of 9 patches and then pieced into a wider design of 42 blocks against a patterned light blue ground. It is tuft quilted with red wool and lined with a brushed cotton in a design of grey, blue and red striped. The original Canadian red cross label has been removed at some point prior to acquisition.
Dimensions
  • Length: 207cm
  • Width: 173cm
Dimensions taken from departmental notes
Production typeUnique
Credit line
Given by Rosemary Cox
Bibliographic Reference
Prichard, Sue. Quilts, 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories. London: V&A, 2010. The following excerpt is taken from p. 226: 'This quilt was made by the Canadian Red Cross Society as part of its initiative to provide relief for civilian victims of the Second World War. The scheme set up a supply network across Canada, whereby women could create quilts from donated materials. This particular quilt was donated to a child who lived in Bromley, England, in August 1944. The family were on holiday in Wales when their house was demolished during an air raid. After losing most of their material possessions, the family sought out both a building to shelter in and essential goods. The mother of the child found an empty house and then purchased grey utility blankets, china, saucepans, chairs and a white kitchen table. At some point, the family received three quilts from the Canadian Red Cross, of which this is one. The [previous] owner charted not only the resilience and inspiration of her mother, but also the strong feeling of dislocation that she felt in the wake of the war. She remembers how strange it was to 'sleep in a bed again and have a room of my own'. Having slept in a Morrison shelter, the return to a sense of the interior was both welcome and unfamiliar'.
Collection
Accession Number
T.124-2015

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record createdSeptember 28, 2015
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