Mary Graham’s Redwork Signature Quilt

This is a square from one of the museums redwork signature quilts, one with an interesting history. The quilt was made by the Elmvale Womens Institute in 1917 and sent to Mary Graham, who was serving overseas as a Nursing Sister. She recorded in her diary:

May 10, 1917

Received a parcel from home today. Just when I was feeling homesick for kith and kin and country a wonderful surprise package arrived. It contained a lovely red and white quilt. There must be five hundred names embroidered in red on the quilt squares. I had a wonderful hour reading all the names of friends and relatives from my whistlestop homebase of Saurin near Elmvale. It was splendid of them to think of me in this way.

Outside of their value as an object of beauty and example of womens work, signature quilts can be studied to reveal family and community histories, and social and kinship relationships.

One thought on “Mary Graham’s Redwork Signature Quilt

  1. What a wonderful gift for that nurse to receive. I bet that meant more to her at that point than anything else she might have gotten.

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