Stitch

‘Aboriginal women were the first Australian women to make patchwork quilts in the form of cloaks and blankets using possum and kangaroo pelts. Sometimes the skins were sewn together whole; others were roughly cut into rectangular pieces and stitched together with bone ‘needles’ or awls.’

‘These were poked through the hide and then sinew from the kangaroo legs was pushed through the holes, stitching the pieces together.’

‘Sometimes these early cloaks or quilts were decorated on the inner surface by scouring or slashing the chamois to make patterns.’

‘Women have shown great skill in providing the necessities of life, particularly clothing, bed coverings and furnishings such as cushions. From the earliest times these have been made with whatever materials and techniques were appropriate.’

‘Rugs and quilts have kept the family warm, and some more decorative pieces of embroidered patchwork or appliqué made the bedroom a place of beauty as well as comfort and rest.’

Jennifer Isaacs
The Gentle Arts
200 Years of Australian Women’s
Domestic & Decorative Arts.
Page 76

Ure Smith Press 1991