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Heidelberg’s Busy Bee Signature Quilt, 1895-96

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Click on a quilt square to view a close-up of that square, and add your comments

Heidelberg’s Busy Bee Signature Quilt

Did your ancestor sign the Heidelberg quilt?

Almost 140 names are embroidered on this large signature quilt (height: 247 cm; width: 213 cm) as well as dozens of initials, decorations and place-names.

The quilt records the result of fundraising efforts by the Busy Bee group at Heidelberg’s Scots Church.

Contributors lived in various Melbourne suburbs and elsewhere in Victoria. They came from church groups, community organisations, businesses, government and through family and social networks. Many signatories were Presbyterians but some were members of the Church of England. Other Christian denominations may also be represented.

Explore and contribute!

Do you know more about the people, places and organisations represented on the quilt? We are gradually adding the results of our research. Please add your knowledge to ours, by commenting on individual squares.

How was the quilt made?

For a summary of the quilt’s history and a detailed description of the embroidery, fabrics and construction, visit the quilt’s listing with Australia’s National Quilt Register.

Now on display

Visit the exhibition at our Museum in the Old Heidelberg Courthouse on Sunday afternoons (2 pm to 5 pm) to see the quilt and to learn more about its history, the stories of its makers and signatories.

The exhibition explores five themes:

In 2019, the exhibition is open through to Sunday 24 November. After a summer break, the exhibition will reopen from mid-February to April 2020.

Visits and viewings by pre-booked groups of 12 or more people are welcome by appointment on days other than Sundays.

Contact the Society to discuss your plans:

Admission: $5

Members & children under 16: free


This information and the photographs have been supplied by the Heidelberg Historical Society Inc.

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Heidelberg Historical Society home page

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