Twelve Quilts of Christmas 2017 – #10

Military Quilt, Corporal Thomas Noonan, Melville Island, Halifax, Nova Scotia, c. 1870, wool (no back or batt), 215 cm x 230 cm, from the collection of the Nova Scotia Museum.

Military Quilt, Corporal Thomas Noonan, Melville Island, Halifax, Nova Scotia, c. 1870, wool (no back or batt), 215 cm x 230 cm, from the collection of the Nova Scotia Museum.

 

After seeing the exhibit "War and Pieced:  The Annette Gero Collection of Quilts from Military Fabrics"  at the American Folk Art Museum this fall (it is on until January 7th and if you can't get to the museum to see it, there is a book available), I wanted to include this spectacular piece in this year's celebration.  

 

We are fortunate to know who was the maker of this quilt.  Corporal Noonan fought with the British Army during the Crimean War. This technique and quilt style has a strong British heritage and this is likely where he learned about it.  Making a quilt like this is incredibly hard work as the fabric is thick and it would take strong hands to draw a needle and thread through it.  There is no batt or back and the nature of the fabric and the technique means there is virtually no visible seam allowance.  

 

 Scott Robson and Sharon MacDonald write in their book Old Nova Scotia Quilts, "Corporal Noonan never completed his quilt.  He died on February 1, 1874, aged 38, as a result of exposure after rescuing a boy who had fallen through the ice of the North-West Arm."

 

This quilt is magnificent and sobering on many levels.  It is an honour to be able to share it here with you.

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