THIRD AVENUE METHODIST CHURCH QUILT

A CANADIAN RED CROSS QUILT

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CANADIAN RED CROSS QUILTS

Voluntary work by civilians in WWI was directed by the National Relief Committee, and was designed to provide goods necessary to serving troops and prisoners of war. Quilts were made for two main reasons: firstly to send to hospitals treating injured servicemen and secondly as fund raisers. Materials and designs were restricted by an injunction from the National Relief Committee published in the Spring of 1918. Inter alia, it specifies

‘Quilts — No quilts except white or white and red autograph washing [sic] quilts, size for single bed’.

An autograph quilt, sometimes called a signature quilt, is one where a number of people have signed their names or had their names written by others on pieces of fabric which have then been made into a quilt. They may be made as a gift, for example, by members of a church to give to a pastor who was moving on, or by friends of a bride-to-be as a memento of her childhood. This type of quilt was already established as a method of fundraising. People in a community would pay a small amount of money to have their name included.

From the quote above, it is clear that autograph quilts were sent overseas as aid to the troops.

Reference: Spring 1918 war work: containing official instructions for Red Cross supplies…