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Listed under:  Arts  >  Visual arts  >  Handicrafts  >  Textile crafts

Crazy patchwork quilt, 1890-95

This is a crazy patchwork quilt, measuring 202.5 cm x 268.0 cm, made by Rebecca King (1859-1915) in the late 19th century. The 'crazy' elements are immediately evident as the eye begins to take a journey across a spinning mosaic of different shapes and colours, which the artist created by sewing hundreds of small units ...


Knitting sampler, 1876

This knitting sampler was made in the former Czechoslovakia in 1876. Stored on a roller, it is a long narrow strip of white cotton featuring 70 different patterns created using fine needles. Some of the patterns are very intricate. A maker's mark ('Knitted, 'FM 1876') is incorporated into the first panel. The sampler is ...


Framed embroidery

This is a framed embroidery, made with wool, depicting an early, unofficial Australian coat of arms. The coat of arms is composed of a blue shield of four quarters that encloses a burgundy cross with five small white crosses, one at its centre and the others on each arm of the cross. The first quarter of the shield displays ...


Sampler by Isabel Buist, 1839

This is a hand-embroidered needlework sampler made in 1839 by nine-year-old Isabel Buist in Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land). The rectangular linen cloth is embroidered with cross-stitch in coloured cotton thread. Starting from the top, the sampler features two sets of the alphabet in grey and blue thread, the ...


Wedding dress worn by Hannah Palser Prior, 1882

This is a wedding dress worn by Hannah Palser Prior on her wedding day in 1882. The dress is made from silk gauze and has a cream wool-and-silk trained bustle. The skirt is trimmed with shirring and pleating and the cuffs and yoke are ruched white satin. The dress has a cuirasse bodice with a high round neck, long sleeves ...


'Federation' dress and sash, 1901

This is a woman's 'Federation' dress and sash, made of painted silk and cotton, worn by Margaret Chisholm to a Federation Ball in 1901. It consists of a a bodice, skirt and sash. The bodice features a Union Jack pattern in silk and the cotton skirt is painted with an early version of the Australian coat of arms and the ...


Margaret Chisholm wearing a Federation dress, 1890-1901

This is a hand-tinted photograph mounted on heavy card showing Margaret Chisholm wearing her Federation dress. The photo was taken at some stage between 1890 and 1901. Her hair is ornamented with a small flag and she carries a riding whip in her right hand. She leans with her left hand against what appears to be a table ...


Patchwork quilt, 1857

This is a rectangular pieced quilt made by Amelia Brown in 1857. It features rows of pieced and appliquéd squares radiating out from a central medallion. The patchwork pieces are cut from plain and patterned cottons, including small floral prints, checks and stripes. The central motif of a cockerel is appliquéd in red on ...


Grid dress by Elly Joel, 2001

This is a one-off sleeveless cotton 'grid' dress made of hand-torn squares of black shapewell interfacing, with a smaller square cut from the middle of each larger square. It was made by Elly Joel in Western Australia in 2001. The squares are joined by a grid of machine-stitched lines to form a reconstructed fabric. To ...


Honiton bobbin lace border, c1840-60

This is a handmade Honiton bobbin lace border featuring floral and leaf sprays with butterflies, linked by bars. The border is finished on three sides by an engrelure, possibly for use as a collar. It was manufactured in Devon, England.


Traditional Estonian shawl, c1989

This is a handknitted woollen shawl made from cream-coloured wool in a traditional Estonian triangular design. It was made in Estonia about 1989.


Nanduti lace collar from Paraguay, c1890-1920

This is a gold keyhole-shaped nanduti lace collar, manufactured from silk in Paraguay. The collar features a design of nine wheel-like motifs with radiating star points, surrounded by an intricate knotted background and motifs featuring concentric circle patterns. The collar has a large scallop-edged border.


Kalocsa embroidered mat, c1940-50

This is a Kalocsa embroidered and needle-woven lace mat, manufactured in Hungary. It features pen-cut work around a wreath of brightly coloured flowers embroidered in Hungarian satin stitch. The centre of the mat has three embroidered flowers and leaves that are surrounded by a ring of circles with solid centres. The edge ...


Lace cloak, c1860-70

This is a machine-made lace cloak, manufactured from cotton. It features a neck band with net stiffening. Floral motifs radiate up from the base with no obvious seams. The cloak was manufactured on a Leavers lace-making machine.


Lace panel by Cecilia Heffer, 2007

This is a machine-made and printed silk organza lace panel designed and made by Cecilia Heffer, Sydney. It is rectangular in shape and comprises circles of printed silk organza machine-stitched together to create a delicate openwork panel. The print depicts Australian wildflowers - banksias, flannel flowers and grevilleas.


Woman's outfit by Jenny Kee, c1982

This is a mannequin wearing an 'Oz Ali' women's outfit designed in Australia by Jenny Kee. The costume is made from wool and cotton and consists of a jumper, skirt, vest, tabard (short outer top), leggings and a cap that is not visible here. Each item is richly coloured and patterned with words and/or images related to ...


Roma Field's Order of Australia Medal, 1981

This is a cased four item set of the Order of Australia (OAM), awarded to Florence Roma Field (1891-1985). It was designed by Stuart Devlin AO (1931-) in 1975 and made by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The gold-plated silver medal is a convex disc with a surface of stylised mimosa flower ...


'We all live in Australia' panel from Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel designed by Murray Walker using images created by Aboriginal schoolchildren from Echuca in Victoria, Cape Barren Island in Tasmania and Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory. The background is two blue panels on left and right with a larger black panel in the centre. Colourful childlike representations ...


'Ngak Ngak in Limmen Bight Country' panel from Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel designed by Northern Territory artist Ginger Riley. The design is in white, red, orange, purple and green on a blue background and is a representation of the artist's 'mother country'. The white sea eagle Ngak Ngak appears prominently on the left. Also seen are the dual serpent-creator Garmilal, ...


'The Heidelberg School' panel from the Federation Tapestry, 2001

This is a tapestry panel designed by artist Murray Walker. The background is white and pale pink. There are portraits of artists Tom Roberts (at left) and Arthur Streeton (at right) as young men. At left is the cover of the catalogue from the 9 x 5 Impression exhibition of 1889. At the bottom is an extract from Joseph Furphy's ...