THIRD AVENUE METHODIST CHURCH QUILT
A CANADIAN RED CROSS QUILT
02 January 2023
David March © 2014
THE MAKING OF THE QUILT
The only information we have about the making of the quilt comes from the centre panel where the “RED CROSS CLUB” is named together with “THIRD AVENUE METHODIST CHURCH, SASKATOON, CANADA” and the date “1918”.
Nothing is known of the background to the making of the quilt nor how and why it made its way to England and the Imperial War Museum. The only date is the year, 1918, on the centre panel. The embroidered names on the quilt are sometimes clearly ‘signatures’ but in many cases appear to be written by the same hand.
The people represented come from a wide ranging group – children through to those in their 80’s, many were Methodists but altogether we have identified sixteen other religions. Their employment also covered the whole range of manual workers, shop and office staff, managers, lawyers, doctors, ministers of religion and many housewives. With over 900 names on the quilt it would appear that this was a major work involving the whole community of Saskatoon.
DESCRIPTION OF THE QUILT
Owner: Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ
Museum reference: EPH 8470
Size: 68in by 86in
Pattern: Strip and plain
Top: Machine stitched - seven strips of cream calico, with a finished width of 9½in, each with five or six red crosses, surrounded by embroidered names.
Generally the red crosses are formed from two strips of red calico 2in wide by 7½in long with the horizontal strip overlapping the vertical strip. The edges are turned under giving a finished size of 7¼in by 7¼in with the arms being 1¾in across.
The red cross in the centre of the quilt is formed in the same way but is slightly larger, using two wider strips of red calico giving a finished width to the arms of 2½in across.
Backing: cream calico with a single centre seam
Finishing: machine stitched binding in red calico about ½in wide
Quilting: by hand with white cotton thread in a grid pattern, following the edges of the red crosses; approx 6 stitches per inch.
Construction & design: group quilt by experienced needlewomen
Central feature: embroidered in white on the central red cross
Third Avenue Methodist Church 1918
George K B Adams
H Alice Adams
Red Cross Club
There are approximately 940 names embroidered on the quilt.