Signature Quilt

To celebrate the achievements of Australian women over the last 100 years, the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame created two identical Signature Quilts. One is displayed at the Museum in Alice Springs while the other was raffled. Each quilt is made up of calico squares, all signed by Australian women who have recorded firsts or those who have made significant achievements within their field, with alternate patches of patterned fabric, appropriate to the signatory’s field. So fashioned, the quilt will be representative of both a traditional women’s craft of the 19th century as well as making visible women’s achievements of the 20th and 21st centuries - a “Patchwork of Empowerment”.

NPWHF committee member and experienced quilter Jan Millington first initiated this innovative undertaking at the end of 2000. NPWHF Curator Pauline Cockrill researched the names and addresses of the women to be approached and Honorary Secretary Val Mitchell handled the bulk of the correspondence. Jan Millington and fellow quilter, Julie Heller, spent many hours putting the quilts together and searching for appropriate fabric. The completed quilt for display measures around 3 m x 2.5 m (10’ x 8’). It contains the signatures of 343 Australian women who have been first in a variety of fields within Australia, their State or Territory or their community.

Click here for a list of women who have signed the Signature Quilt and a description of their “firsts”.

Make a donation to our Quilt preservation campaign

We are grateful for donations of materials from the following businesses and quilters, both local and interstate. Colleen Byrnes of Sew ForU of Alice Springs: donation of calico and other fabric for squares. Mini Jumbuk of Naracoorte, SA: donation of Nu Wool Wadding. XLN Fabrics of Kings Park, NSW: donation of backing fabric and patterned fabric for squares. Victorian Textiles of Moorabbin, VIC: donation of Matilda’s Own Wool Batting. Rosmarie Imhof, Jean Gooding, Julie Heller, Mary McCarthy, Karren McCluskey, Barb Mcllvain, Barb Gurney (Alice Springs Quilting Club): donation of fabric. Jane Gibson, Lynn Hewitt and other members of the NSW Quilters Guild: donation of fabric for squares. Marg Waters, Val Mitchell, Pauline Cockrill: donation of fabric for squares.

The Signature Quilt Project was a special feature in the No 5 issue of the “Homespun Quilters Companion” entitled “A Patchwork of Empowerment”, pp 52/3.

Object ID: Signature Quilt - Signature Quilt