The Maynard Quilt

On display in 'Growing Up in Old Treasury', this beautiful handmade quilt has the names of the Maynard family that lived in the Old Treasury Building between 1916 and 1928.
On display in 'Growing Up in Old Treasury', this beautiful handmade quilt has the names of the Maynard family that lived in the Old Treasury Building between 1916 and 1928.

The Treasury Building celebrated 150 year last year. During that time many have worked, visited and enjoyed the marvellous history of this amazing building and what has happened within its walls. Government and Gold, but also in the basement a family called this building home; John, the caretaker, Emma his wife and their children - the Maynards. The story of their life in the building is a fascinating encounter of how the family lived during the early 1920's. Wandering through the rooms, gazing at their photos one can only imagine what it must have been like. For Emma especially during the heat and the cold, the day to day chores and caring for John, her children and the Governor's teas, it must have been a difficult place in which to live and perhaps not the romantic establishment it seems to us today.

‘The Six Stitchers’
Glenda, Mary, Maureen, Moreen, Sheena, beginners as far as quilting is concerned, met and continue to meet once a fortnight with their teacher Janet - an expert quilter. They are from diverse, interesting professional and working lives. They have become special friends. On a trip into the city stopping at interesting buildings they visited the Old Treasury Building where Glenda is a volunteer guide. In the basement they noted Mrs Maynard's sewing machine, crochet rug and knitting and decided that a quilt would add to the handicrafts of that time. Often quilts were made from scraps left from shirts, dresses, curtains, blankets, samples of materials and even flour bags. During the War, quilts were embroidered with the names and dates etc. of loved ones. Sometimes messages, wishes and poems were also sewn onto the quilts. To celebrate 150 years of the OTB the group decided to make a quilt together, as a special project recognising the Maynard family. They hoped their effort would add some colour and warmth to the display. Typical of the time, it may be that Emma would have made something similar, something to occupy her after the children were put to bed.

The Making of the Quilt
Made up of a selection (sample) of blocks or patterns, the quilt is an adaptation of what is referred to as a “Sampler Quilt” as it displays various techniques in cutting and stitching. Each block is hand sewn, as are and the names of each member of the family, embroidered as a signature in the style of the writing of the time. Some materials are called heritage and are original. The backing is a reproduction regency pattern.

The Blocks

1. Lemoyne 

5. Bear's Paw 

9. Honey Bees

2. Crosses and losses

6. The House 

10. Card Trick

3. Churn Dash

7. Log Cabin

11. Jacob's Ladder

4. Grandmas Fan

8. Swamp Angel

12. Ohio Star.

To the Reader- We hope that Emma would approve of our quilt and that on those frosty Melbourne nights the Maynard children would snuggle up under it, whilst John perhaps read to them of bush rangers, gold and old Melbourne Town.