'Our Stitched Stories' Heirloom Needlework Exhibition June 13 – 18 2016.

Every piece tells a story
The Community of Saint Luke mounted this very popular exhibition of over 100 pieces from 26 exhibitors. Brought out from the darkest corners of the homes in the community these pieces tell the stories of the needle-worker’s lives, experiences, hardships, joys and tragedies.

Cloth is an important part of our daily lives, whether we 
notice it or not. We wear cloth from birth until death. We surround ourselves with cloth in our homes, schools, and churches. 
The creation, care and maintenance of cloth are fundamental life skills taught at home and school. Cloth forms bonds between generations of women within families and communities.
We mark important personal and community life events with cloth. We personalise cloth with stitched artistic expression. 

Stitched stories remind us of shared memories.  
These pieces of cloth with their embedded stories, celebrate the heritage of Community of St Luke’s, its life and its people.

                      -Vivien Caughley: Needlework researcher


      For your enjoyment here is the catalogue containing the stories of the pieces.

                      Using this catalogue
                       For further information about each piece look for:
•    the first name of the owner on the exhibit card   
•    then the catalogue number                                       
                        Eg:  ‘A’ for Alison: 131     

1.    Alexa Johnston

158    Embroidered tablecloth
Joan Anderson, c1942

This tablecloth was embroidered by Joan for her trousseau prior to her marriage to Howard Anderson. It was used on the cover of the cooking book A Second Helping. More, from Ladies a Plate, by Alexa Johnston. Following the publishing of this cookery book in 2009, Joan gifted the tablecloth to Alexa.    

2.    Alison Blaiklock

131    Sampler
Eliza Owen aged 14 years 1844

Eliza Owen is Alison Blaiklock’s grandmother’s grandmother.  Family samplers, especially those made in England prior to 1850, not only have fascinating stories related to their maker, but also have stories that relate to their line of descent through the generations.  For this sampler, Minnie Helen Farmer c1868-1954, a daughter of Eliza Owen and a descendent of Thomas H. Farmer, brought the sampler to New Zealand.  It then duly passed to Minnie’s daughter, Alison’s grandmother, who in turn passed it to her son, Alison’s father, Peter Blaiklock.  He, in turn passed it to Alison, who is the sampler’s current custodian.

3.    Angela Murdoch

070    Floral picture
Mavis Harrison, before 1945

Great aunt Mavis Harrison had been engaged during the war but her fiancé died in Turkey.  This floral picture was worked during his wartime absence.  When Mavis learned of her fiancé’s death she put aside her needlework, and subsequently bequeathed the completed framed floral picture to her great-niece, Angela Murdoch. Mavis subsequently married Mr Andrews when she was 60, in Christchurch.  

071    Tablecloth
Mavis Harrison Andrews, during World War 2

This magnificent reversible embroidered floral tablecloth was made by Angela’s great-aunt, was rarely used, and was bequeathed to Angela.  It is one in a series of three embroidered cloths used as “in-the-family teaching pieces” down the female line.
072    Tablecloth “Wisteria”
Paula Glynan, the current owner Angela’s mother, 1950s

This cloth was made during the period of the maker’s engagement, and completed under the watchful eye of her Aunt Mavis.

073    Tablecloth
Angela Murdoch, c1985

This engagement cloth was worked around 1985, again with Great-Aunt Mavis’s guidance (see 071 and 072).
    Angela Murdoch
075    Sampler made by  Mary Ann Trott aged 10 years   

4.    Ann McKenzie

076    “Granny’s Rug”
Harriet Leontine Marshall (nee Carr), (1889-1983), rug crocheted c1950s; with some subsequent “reconditioning” by her daughter 

“Granny”, with her husband, lived in a large villa on a mixed sheep farm in Canterbury with their eleven children.  According to her granddaughter, Anne, she was “a left-handed, strong, resourceful person”.  Her abundant love for family and home were central to her personality and with fondness she used her grandchildren’s stitched samples to decorate her living room. As she got older her crocheted rugs kept multiple generations of her family warm.  Eventually deterioration in Granny’s sight meant that she could not make for her family any more. This rug was originally made for Ann McKenzie’s mother, child number six.

077    Tray cloth, now an antimacassar
Elizabeth Carr (known as Bessie, (nee Snell); great-aunt of both Ann McKenzie and Peter Snell’s father); 1876

Although this tray cloth was made on the boat, the “Charlotte Jane” coming out to New Zealand in 1876, Ann McKenzie uses this now-antimacassar “daily”. The visible mending was “probably done by Granny.” 

078    Afternoon tea cloth
Annie Smith (nee Bayliss), 1962

Embroidered by Annie Smith (nee Bayliss), Ann McKenzie’s aunt (her father’s sister), who was born in England.   “My aunt was a marvellous needlewoman. She was not a Quaker but was of a similar religious persuasion, “the religion with no name” or something like “The Friends”.”  Annie Smith came to New Zealand before the First World War, and eventually returned to England but her brothers stayed in New Zealand, hence family pieces remaining here. The cloth is used on very special occasions, and according to the current owner its associations mean it is “almost like touching when you can’t cuddle”.

5.    Anne McKenzie Fenwick

096    Framed Picture - Illuminated Bible text
Anne McKenzie Fenwick

This embroidered picture was inspired by Anne’s childhood in England. Anne remembers being with her parents when she saw the Lindisfarne Gospel in the British Museum. The picture is based on a commercial pattern, and took a year to complete. Anne was working full-time outside the home, and embroidery was a leisure activity.    

099    Basket of cottons with wooden spools
This basket of cottons on wooden spools belonged to Anne McKenzie Fenwick’s great-aunt Con.

098    Sampler
This sampler was started by Anne’s mother, Barbara McKenzie, and completed by Anne while on holiday as a teenager.  Anne worked most of the design. Anne describes the bottom row as “a mistake”.  Because she added her name and the year of completion as an acknowledgement of sampler form, the charted corners no longer “worked” and had to be realigned accordingly. 
162    Frank Lloyd Wright embroidery
Stitched from a commercial pattern.  Stained glass window ‘Tree of Life’.  Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Darwin Martin House, New York.

6.    Barbara McDonald

079    Christening gown
Johanna Sargent Witt, owner’s great-grandmother

Barbara McDonald’s grandmother, Florence Lillian Witt, born in Hobart in September 1874, was the first person to wear this christening gown, which would have been made by her mother Johanna (nee Sergent, also born in Hobart); the family eventually moved to Sydney, NSW, where Florence married Eustace William Ackland, a New Zealander, in 1899. They thereafter moved to New Zealand. Their daughter Margery, was Barbara’s mother.  The gown was worn by all four of Barbara’s children. The garment displays hand-worked stitching and lace.

Photo of Florence Witt    

7.    Barbara Smith

004    Sewing tools
Unknown makers

Needles, a boot hook, and an awl are reminders that tools could be found in every house, and were in constant use.  
005    Mission Cloth, Chinese Presbyterian Mission
Unknown maker, 1910

This cloth is understood to have been made in a Chinese Presbyterian Mission in Canton and brought to New Zealand with Revd William Mawson and his wife Margaretta in 1923.  After some time learning the Cantonese language Mawson was ordained for Mission work, married, and for the next twenty years lived and worked in China. After returning to New Zealand Mawson served at the Chinese Church Auckland and the Foreign Missions Committee of the Presbyterian Church.

006    Embroidered tablecloth
Joyce Josephine Mahoney (1913-2013)

From Barbara’s aunt, this tablecloth has been used regularly for tea parties.   
008    Black Shawl
Unknown maker, before 1878

From Eliza Jane Smith, Barbara’s great grandmother, who came to New Zealand in 1878, and is buried at St Marks’ Remuera.

009    Reticule
Unknown maker

Sometimes referred to as a Miser’s purse because of its restricted opening, these accessories carried small objects, such as handkerchiefs, and were fashionable in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

010    Tray cloth; “The Mount”
Maureen Marguerite Smith, 1941

This tray cloth was worked while Maureen, Barbara mother, was on her honeymoon at Mount Maunganui in 1941.  
015    Tea shower
Maureen Marguerite Smith, after 1941

During wartime cloth was in short supply.  Sometime after her 1941 marriage Maureen refashioned her nursing veil into this much-used-since-then tea shower.
159    Embroidered dressing gown
Joyce Josephine Mahoney (1913-2013)

This dressing gown was worked by Barbara’s Aunt Joy, who embroidered it for her trousseau.    

8.    Brenda Harris Fenwick

093    Book of Embroidery Training
Auckland Training College 1957
Brenda Harris, 1957

Brenda’s teacher was Miss Rae Vernon (from Otago), in the absence of specialist lecturer Louise Henderson in 1957. Brenda undertook Secondary School Training, and as Embroidery was an examinable School Certificate subject, it was part of the course.  After training Brenda taught “Homecraft and Clothing” at Onehunga High School, Mt Roskill Intermediate, Queen Victoria College, Mangere College and Nga Tapuwae College. Because School Certificate Embroidery was not offered as an examinable subject in any of these schools, Brenda never taught the course herself.
See 127 for a completed School Certificate sampler.

9.    Carol Fraser

118    School cooking apron and cap
Carol Fraser, 1955

This “Pinny” was made in Standard 4 1955, at North Chatton School, Southland.  The school had 12 pupils (18 at one point), four of whom were Carol’s siblings.  Carol’s mother was seconded by the sole male teacher to be the sewing teacher. Mother had been a trained tailor at Bruce Woollen Mills, Milton. Recalling that time now, Carol remembers that she “hated” sewing her “pinny”, and wonders if it went with her to boarding school in Dunedin, as her name is on it twice.

119    Christmas dinner tablecloth
Cathy Clark, c1939

Cathy Clark, of Clarksville, West Otago, was the youngest and most spirited of five adult siblings who, with their dour straight-laced Presbyterian mother ran the family farm like a military operation.
Cathy met and became engaged to an equally spirited local man, but he went off to war in 1939. During his absence Cathy stitched this Christmas tablecloth. Sadly, the fiancé never came home and Cathy never married.  She died aged 54.
After her death the cloth was passed to Cathy’s favourite cousin, who passed it then to her daughter Carol Fraser, because Carol happened to own the biggest table in the family.
152    Sampler (Gate of the Year)
Dulcie Fraser, after 1939

“The Gate of the Year” is a poem now forever linked with King George VI, who quoted it in his 1939 Christmas Message, when Britain and Europe had just embarked upon war on a global scale for the second time in a generation. Churches unfortunately had to add more names to their Roll of Honour Boards. The poem became a touchstone of hope for many people around the world during wartime, and was printed and embroidered often.  
This is one of two known embroidered versions of it stitched by Dulcie Fraser of Southland. It hung over her dining table for three generations at Isla Bank and Gore and is now owned by her daughter Alison Fraser Linscott in Timaru.

153    Beaded Purse 
Margot Wolf Neumann’s mother, Germany, Pre-WWII 

This handcrafted lined bag, made by the German-born Jewish mother of one of Carol Fraser’s close family friends, arrived in New Zealand as part of the cache of objects she brought to New Zealand when she escaped Germany ahead of the Second World War.  Her eventual fiancé, also Jewish, had escaped from Germany with his parents.  However, because of his German background, he was considered an alien and was sent to Soames Island for the remainder of the war.  It was a sad indictment of New Zealand bureaucracy at the time.  Franz and Margot moved to Invercargill where he established a dental practice.  The beaded bag was part of a small number of personal belongings that Margot gave the daughters of Eve and Vernon Poole, whom she always considered her 'family', her own parents having perished in the Holocaust. 

10.    Cornelia Leenman

069    Sampler
Cornelia Leenman, 1984

Worked by Cornelia Leenman as a gift for her first granddaughter. The label on the reverse says: 
Artist: “Oma Leenman 1984” 
Title: “For Dominique Louise Leenman” 
Price: “Priceless”. 
Cornelia, born in 1930, came to New Zealand from the Netherlands in 1951, married in Greyfriars Presbyterian church, Mt Eden, and then lived in a flat in Khyber Pass. This is one of several samplers she has worked for her grandchildren. 

11.    Dorothy McCarrison

049    Tablecloth
Elise McCarrison (an Irish form of Elizabeth), c1954

Elise McCarrison, Dorothy’s mother-in-law, made this cloth as a gift for the wedding of Dutch-born Bob Ockhuysen, who had served in Indonesia during the Second World War, and his fiancée, Margaret from Rotterdam. Elise and Tom gave them their wedding in Taranaki, after which the newlyweds went to live in Opunake. The cloth has been gifted back to the McCarrisons, by Margaret who is now very elderly. She wanted the McCarrisons to have the tablecloth. “Dorothy”, on the cloth as a label, was put there to distinguish the current owner by Alexa Johnston for “Ladies a Plate” afternoons at St Luke’s Church. 

050    Baby floor rug
Elise McCarrison (an Irish form of Elizabeth), c1960

Used to put the baby on, as a floor rug, sometimes used as a cot cover.      
052    Runner
Unknown maker

Decorative runners were used throughout the home, sometimes on a table, other times on furniture such as a piano.

053    Crocheted collar
Unknown maker

Detachable decoration changed a plain garment into something special. Sometimes collars were detached for laundering, sometimes saved for reuse in a different garment by a different person.

058    Crochet-edged tea towel 
Unknown maker

Tea towels have always had a multitude of uses in every kitchen. This crochet-edged example hints that it may have been personalised and/or given as a gift.
059    Cloth with thistle
Unknown maker

This clearly distinguishable self-coloured thistle motif strongly hints at a Scottish heritage somewhere in the McCarrison family story. 

062    Blue duchess set
Unknown maker

Sets of cloths such as this duchess set, remind that cloths were made to cover the surface of many items of furniture, and that variety in the colour of the ground cloth could provide different challenges for the makers. 
064    Apron
Made by Dorothy McCarrison, 1962, for a Women’s Division of Federated Farmer’s competition in Awatuna, Taranaki 

For generations an apron was an indispensible part of a worker’s uniform for kitchen and household work.  This one, made for a Women’s Division of Federated Farmers competition in Awatuna, Taranaki, is made of gingham, a cotton cloth with multiple uses around the home.  The technique used is called “Chicken Scratch.” Gingham, with its pre-printed squares, provides the base pattern upon which the pattern is overlaid.

067    Bonnet
Unknown makers

Until recent times covering the head was considered essential grooming, both inside and outside the home.  This set reminds that bonnets were worn at every age and could be made from a wide variety of materials. 
057    Tea Cosy
Kay Marx, 2007

Kay Marx, who was aged in her eighties when she made this for Dorothy McCarrison, using a very old pattern (see tablecloth 111 and jug cover 106). Kay was married to Dorothy’s mother’s first cousin, a German.  Dorothy’s mother was a Sulzberger and came to New Zealand around 1900 with other German families. 

12.    Gail Hodder (St Aidan’s)

136    Doll dresses (2), on original dolls
(Gail Hodder’s grandmother)

The little apricot dress was made by my great grandmother around 1925. My mother received a German china headed doll which was wearing this handmade dress for her 8th birthday. 
My mother made a new pink dress for the china doll when she gave it to me on my birthday in April 1952. She died in May of that year making the doll and dress a very special gift from my mother.
Dressing dolls presents a multitude of childhood memories. The pink floral organza dress came on a walkie-talkie doll that was given to Gail by her mother, who died in 1952.  The apricot one was made by her grandmother for an antique German doll given to my mother around 1925, and since passed down the female line.
137    Cloth 
Joyce Dunlop (1918-1952), 1939

“Embroidered at the beginning of the second world war by my mother Joyce Dunlop who lived in the back blocks of Kaikohe, Northland as a young mother.  She was extremely lonely and spent much of her time creating things out of nothing.  Being very short of money she would make rug floor mats from old clothes, knitting articles from unravelled knitwear for her children, and making tablecloths from flour bags.  The flour bag markings on these cloths are still visible.”

138    Tablecloth 
Joyce Dunlop (1918-1952)
The flour bag marks are still visible on the back of the cloth.

142    Four Doilies
Alice Ann Groves, c1925

These doilies, and others similar to them, were used in the family–owned tearooms in Kawakawa as decorative additions on the cake plates.

13.    Glenda Tabuteau

026    Redwork Cot Cover
Frances Brown, current owner’s family friend

Frances Brown made this red-worked cot cover for her daughter, Joy, who was born in 1922.  Frances subsequently gave it to Glenda, its current owner, who boarded with Frances until her own marriage.  It was a personal gift to celebrate the birth of Glenda’s first child in 1967.    

14.    Glynn Cardy

156    Liturgical Stoles
Multiple makers

Worn by Rev Glynn Cardy, Community of St Luke, Remuera  

•    Red stole - unknown embroiderer from the Diocesan embroiderer’s guild, design by Glynn
•    Green stole - Ruby Van Oeveren
•    White stole – unknown embroiderer, and given as an ordination gift by Br Bruce Paul SSF
•    Black stole – unknown embroiderer
•    Rainbow stole – given as a farewell gift from the St Matthew’s Community Church
•    Woven multi-coloured stole - from Nicaragua     Glynn Cardy

15.    Helen Petersen

132    Embroidered purse with letter of love enclosed
Mary Strong, 1882

“A Joyous Christmas to Charlie”
If every leaf and petal here
Could speak a Christmas wish sincere
To me they still would seem too few
To utter all my love for you.

“Xmas 1882
Ever dear one,
Will you kindly accept this small offering as a token of my love? I know it is but mean & small, but it is the best I can offer you. I candidly confess that every leaf & flower are worked by a loving heart & display all the affection that flowers possibly can. Keep it & use it for my sake while there is a speck of love for me remaining within your breast & should that ever cease to be please dear comply with my wish by committing it to the flames.
Your enjoyment of health and prosperity during the coming year is the sincere wish of
A Faithful One”

This exquisitely simple poem and letter was composed, handwritten, and with a lock of hair, enclosed within the purse, a wife’s Christmas gift for her husband. Mary Strong was Helen Petersen’s great-grandmother.  

133    Two tablemats, plus accompanying explanatory document
Joan Anderson (1921-2013), unknown dates

Mrs Joan Anderson, Helen’s mother, was the first woman and first lay moderator of the PCANZ in 1979; remarkably, she had yet to be elected an Elder at St Luke’s, her home parish, at the time. Joan embroidered until her late 80s – a lifetime of embroidered works; she organised and documented her own works concurrently.  This undated selection features motifs that have a Christian significance, and her explanations mean their selection becomes self-evident. Joan was a parishioner St Luke’s from 1966 until her death in 2013; Mr Anderson is still a parishioner.  

154    Ecclesiastical Stole 
Joan Anderson (1921-2013), 1979

This stole was made by Joan Anderson, the first woman Moderator in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, to wear in her position as Moderator in 1979.

16.    Janet Irwin

034    “Sampler” of patchwork
Mary Cox, 1881 

Mary Cox made this patchwork “Sampler” (this is the name the work has always had) on board the ship “Rakaia” en route to New Zealand in 1881. Surprisingly, this Auckland-based family landed in Tauranga after a six-week journey from England.  The work has always been a framed work in current owner Janet Irwin’s recollection.  The inscription on the back, handwritten by Joyce Potter (Janet’s mother) states that Mary Cox begat Marie Cox who became Potter; Joyce Potter her daughter became Joyce Smyth; and Janet Smyth her daughter became Janet Irwin, the sampler’s current guardian.

17.    Jennifer Walters (Ramsay) (St Aidan’s)

148    School Sewing Otago Girls High School 1960 
Sampler Bag
Jennifer Ramsay, 1960

“We had an excellent teacher who was very strict. We weren’t allowed any knots or loose ends. The back of our work had to be as neat as the front. We started with a sampler bag and progressed to a tray cloth. We then made two wagon cloths of our own design. Then came the large supper cloth which was much harder. We had a pattern but we had to work out our own corners with a mirror. Our final work was a small cloth of hardanger (cut out stitch).”    

18.    Jeny Terrell (St Aidan’s)

146    Kneeler for St Aidan’s Sanctuary
Multiple makers, especially Jeny Terrell, 1995

Jeny Terrell designed this kneeler. With a team of around twelve parishioners it was stitched in “sew-a-thons”, a good way to include newcomers into parish activities. ADMG, stitched at one end, means “To the Glory of God”.      Jeny 
Terrell plus other St Aidan’s parishioners

19.    Juliet Allen (St Mark’s)

127    School Certificate Sampler
Juliet Elsbeth Scoullar, 1962

This sampler was made for the School Certificate Embroidery examination in 1962 by Juliet née Scoullar under the careful interpretation of the syllabus and guidance of Mrs Jean Bauld (nee Evans), the Assistant Head Mistress at Wanganui Girls’ College. 
124    Collection purse
Unknown maker, unknown date

Granny Allen, the current owner’s husband’s grandmother, was a parishioner of St Luke’s, Remuera as well as Somervell Presbyterian Church.  A coin was carefully placed in the purse and the purse folded and brought to church, thus keeping the coin safe until the collection plate was passed round.

125    Keith Scoullar’s Army Hussif
Unknown maker, unknown date (presumed 1939-1945)

This hussif, standard World War Two issue (made for NZ Army Patriotic Funds/ Wellington/ Province) was issued to 262351 John Keith Scoullar, stock agent, of 4 College St, Wanganui (next-of-kin was wife Stella nee Meuli).  These two people were the current owner, Juliet Allen’s parents.

20.    Kathleen Rowe

045    Sampler
Kathleen Rowe, after 1997

“Sherilyn 1967-1997” is Kathleen’s younger daughter who was diagnosed with cancer, given a three-month prognosis, and died in 1997, aged 30.  Sherilyn’s older sister, Karen, gave her mother the pattern/pieces for the sampler after Sherilyn’s death. Kathleen worked it after 1997.  It was a slow process, and the sampler was completed and framed in 2003. It has many different techniques and patterns – “it was not a boring task”.  It currently hangs in Kathleen’s home.
035    Tatted cloth #1
Elsie Came (1911-2004), after 1942

Kathleen Rowe’s mother Elsie learned tatting while in hospital in Auckland recovering from tuberculosis in 1942.  She was told she had three months to live, and lived a further 62 years.  Her husband was left to look after the five small children, and visited only rarely because of wartime petrol rationing.  Thereafter her tatting output became prolific. She showed her work regularly at events such as A&P shows and was eventually asked not to enter pieces for competition to give others a chance. Every one of her eleven grandchildren, from five children, has received a significant piece made by their grandmother.  

036    Tatted cloth #2
Elsie Came (1911-2004), after 1942

Every one of this set of four cloths was worked on or after 1942 by Elsie Crane, the current owner’s mother, who lived at Whangapiro Valley, between Wellsford, Pakiri Beach and Matakana, north of Auckland. 
037    Tatted cloth #3
Elsie Came (1911-2004), after 1942

Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace from a series of knots and loops.  It is worked with a shuttle or a needle or a crochet hook, and its decorative qualities have been appreciated since the Victorian era.
This tatted edging appears to be of a different style to the others represented, perhaps revealing a different intended use within the home.
038    Crocheted cloth
Elsie Came (1911-2004), after 1942

040    Embroidery Course workbook
Auckland Training College 1958
Kathleen Came, 1958

This workbook was created in the Homecraft Course at Auckland Teachers College in 1958. An intake of 50 students from the North Island was established because there were not enough Home Science graduates in Otago.  Thereafter Kathleen taught at secondary schools but did not teach embroidery in schools, even though it remained as a subject for School Certificate until 1970 – “fabric and food” only

Embroidered examples (041-043) interleafed appropriately.
See 127 for a completed School Certificate sampler.

041    Assisi embroidered exercise
Auckland Training College 1958
Kathleen Came, 1958

See 040
    Kathleen Rowe
042    Hardanger embroidered exercise
Auckland Training College 1958
Kathleen Came, 1958

See 040
    Kathleen Rowe
043    Filet embroidered exercise
Auckland Training College 1958
Kathleen Came, 1958

See 040
    Kathleen Rowe
044    Ecclesiastical stoles
Ernestine Beresford (1918-2014), 1995

Given to Reverend Dr Keith Rowe, minister at Trinity Pakuranga-Howick Methodist church. Ernestine Beresford made many textile pieces for this church, including tablecloths, pulpit falls, wall banners, kneelers, and these stoles, made for each church season.  When the Rowes moved to another church calling they offered the stoles back to their maker and the parish, but she re-affirmed they were a personal gift.    

21.    Laurie Guy

151    Samplers  
Laurie Guy, 1992 and 1994

Laurie Guy took up embroidery as an evening pastime in the 1980s. His matching pair of family samplers celebrate the marriages and family lines of both his parents and his parents-in-law. The samplers were not worked concurrently but are now hung together as a matching pair.    

22.    Lilian West 

100    Pillowsham 
Mary Ellen Theresa Caroline Boddington (nee Rutherford, 1867-1936), unknown date 

This pillowsham, which may have been one of a pair, was made by Lilian West’s maternal grandmother Mary Ellen Theresa Caroline Boddington, who lived in the South Island all her life.  She married in 1885 and had a family of ten children. The pillowsham has been passed down the female lines within the family.
101    Runner
Mary Ellen Theresa Caroline Boddington (nee Rutherford, 1867-1936), unknown date 

This decorative runner showcases the techniques of drawn threadwork and hemstitching.

102    Pillowcase
Mary Ellen Theresa Caroline Boddington (nee Rutherford, 1867-1936), unknown date 

This pillowcase may have been one of a pair.

23.    Margaret Davidson 

001    Christening gown & petticoat
Unknown maker, worn since 1884 for five generations in the Longson/Davidson family

This christening gown and petticoat has been worn for five generations in a direct line.  The first baby to wear it was Temuka-born John Rayburn Longson, Margaret Davidson’s grandfather, in 1884.  Thereafter it was worn by Margaret’s mother (and her siblings), herself (and her siblings), her children and her grandchildren.  The maker of the garment is unknown.
Photo of Margaret’s christening in 1948 and her daughter, Becky’s Christening 1974    

002    Sampler
Hannah Longson (1840-1853), 1853

Hannah Longson, the sampler-maker, was Margaret Davidson’s great-great aunt, and the sister of her maternal great-grandfather, John Longson who emigrated from Glossop to New Zealand in 1881.  John and Ellen Newton were John and Hannah Longson’s maternal grandparents, and Rachel was their aunt.  The sampler-maker herself died in November 1853.  This sampler conforms to Victorian mourning sampler traditions, and would have provided a socially acceptable hand-made expression of grief within the bounds of respectability. The text suggests Hannah may have been aware of her own impending death, but the sampler’s existence now shows that she and her family members are remembered decades and centuries later on the other side of the world.

003    Pillowsham
Eliza Longson (nee Ormes, 1847-1938), unknown date

This pillowsham, which may have been one of a pair, was made by Mrs Eliza Longson, Margaret Davidson’s great-grandmother. She worked it in Glossop, Derbyshire, England, or on board the emigrant ship which brought her to New Zealand in 1881, or South Canterbury, New Zealand on her arrival in the new country.    

162    Tatted doilies 
Isabella Stringer (1874-1946), 1920s

Isabella, Margaret’s grandmother, lived on a small farm at Waitati, near Dunedin, and tatted to earn extra money when her husband George injured his back and was unable to farm.      

161    Embroidered flour bag pyjamas
Rebecca Gertrude Fourneau, 1930s 

Rebecca Gertrude Fourneau was Carolyn’s grandmother, raised on a farm in Norsewood. After her marriage in 1911 she moved to an apple and peach orchard at Pakowhai, near Hastings. She joined the Country Women’s Institute (CWI) when it was formed in 1930 along with her daughter, Betty, Carolyn’s mother. They both loved to stitch and did it every day. The family rose early, worked hard on the land all morning, milking the cow, making butter, house cleaning, baking to feed the orchard workers, midday dinner for the men of the family and the seven children. After the dinner dishes were done they changed into their afternoon clothes and spent the time embroidering until the cow needed milking again.

These flour bag pyjamas were made Rebecca for a CWI monthly competition in the 1930s. They were entered into the class “an article made from flour bags”. The flour bag was even dyed pink to trim the pyjamas. In the 1930s the emptied flour bags had many uses as it was the Depression and the era of ‘make do and mend’.    Carolyn Hawthorn

155    Liturgical Stoles
Heather Crew (nee Davidson) for her brother Allan

The Green stole incorporates both the symbol of the Trinity and the New Zealand-inspired landscape. The Red stole, worn on High days and Feast days, incorporates both the Cross and images of light, and the Celtic Cross.  The White stole, used on Feast days and sacramental occasions, incorporates symbols of the Eucharist and the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, and again reflects the New Zealand landscape with sea, land, rivers, mountains and sky.
    Margaret Davidson

24.    Margaret Parr

121    Book Embroidery Training – Primary
Auckland Training College 1959
Margaret Parr, 1958

Embroidery training was part of the general course material, with a Primary teacher focus. Every student in the course year (all women, no men) made a book. Needlework formed part of the Standards/middle-upper school course.  Recognisable samplers were part of the Standards 1, 4 and Form 1 curriculum in the Creative section. Margaret taught at Glen Innes School, and taught to the Standard 1 level of the syllabus, using mainly sacking and wool as materials.
“Boys as well as girls did this - big needles were OK for boys”.
See 127 and 148, examples of school sewing    

25.    Margery Dwerryhouse

028    Crochet medallions
Margery Dwerryhouse’s mother, unknown date

These medallions were made by candlelight and have been always kept in the medallion cover. Margery crocheted extra to enlarge the cloth.    Margery Dwerryhouse
033    Wagon Covers
Margery Dwerryhouse, around 1940

This pair of wagon covers with their pansies were a gift for Margery Dwerryhouse’s mother replacing a first worked pair which had been lost in a missing suitcase. They were bought hemstitched with the pattern stamped on them. Margery chose the purple and yellow, the colours of pansies, and thinks her mother would have preferred paler colours (the wagon covers in the lost suitcase were embroidered with autumn leaves).

26.    Marie Taylor (St Aidan’s)

150    Marie’s Glory Box 
Marie Taylor, multiple dates

This selection of individual tray cloths and sets of doilies, napkins, and table adornments was made especially over many memorable summer holidays when the family holidayed at Takapuna Beach, and which eventually made their way into Marie’s Glory Box.  Much has been given away.  These are some of what remains.    Marie Taylor (St Aidan’s)

27.    Marie Thomas

114    Negligee case, white on white embroidery
Georgiana Bertha Sare (nee Hill), Marie Thomas and Lilian West’s paternal grandmother

Lilian West and Marie Thomas are sisters who lived on a remote farm in Central Otago.  When they were five years old they were each sent to live with a grandmother.  Lilian went to stay with her mother’s mother, Mary Ellen Theresa Caroline Boddington, in Christchurch, and Marie went to stay with her father’s mother, Georgiana Bertha Sare, in Dunedin. The sisters were reunited when they reached Intermediate School age, and thereafter boarded together in Timaru, where they attended Timaru Girls High School.  This is the reason for each sister having each grandmother’s stitched cloths.
104    Underwear, “envelope chemise”
Georgina Bertha Sare (nee Hill), late 1920s

The “Envelope Chemise” began in the 1920s and was worn next to the skin, replacing the bra and panties, or over the bra like a slip. In its early form it had a very straight cut with a simple button closures at the crotch to define the legs. It developed into a more fitted step-in garment with short legs and a fitted bust line in the 1930s and 1940s.  
105    Baby bonnets
Unknown makers

Bonnets for babies were lovingly worn by each new arrival and kept to be passed down through a family line, perhaps to be worn across generations. These two bonnets showcase the techniques of knitting and needlelace.  
108    Tablecloth
Mary Ellen Theresa Caroline Boddington (nee Rutherford, 1867-1936)

This tablecloth has always been known in the family as “Mary Ellen”, after its maker.
109    Round doilies – set of 5
Georgiana Bertha Sare (presumed), unknown date

The large size of this doily suggests it may have been made for a specific piece of furniture in the home.
110    Pair of pillowcases
Georgiana Bertha Sare (presumed), unknown date

Pillowcases were often made in pairs; this pair’s crocheted edgings suggest they were made with particular loving care,
111    Tablecloth “4 o’clock tea”
Georgiana Bertha Sare, unknown date

Marie presumes her paternal grandmother made this cloth.  It was brought out for visitors and for special occasions. What is of great interest is that it appears to have been the feature piece of a dining table set of patterns.  The sugar cover, with the same probable maker (see 106), and the crocheted tea cosy (see 057 suggest the patterns were possibly distributed through a woman’s magazine, available throughout the country.

106    Beaded Milk jug and sugar bowl covers etc. (2)
Georgiana Bertha Sare , unknown date

There was no electricity in the house where Marie and Lilian lived at Middlemarch where they spent their childhood.  Jugs covered with hand-made cloths to keep flies away were one of the food preservation techniques utilised before the advent of refrigeration.
113    Tablecloth
Georgiana Bertha Sare (presumed), unknown date
    Marie Thomas

28.    Noel McGrevy

082    Knitted cardigan with embroidered rosebuds
Mavis Mary McGrevy, Noels mother

The embroidered rosebuds, added around the yoke of the cardigan, transform a functional garment into a special token of affection from a mother to her child.
086    Little girl’s dress 
Hettie Mary Louisa Sly, Noel’s grandmother, 1911-1913

Noel’s maternal grandmother made this dress for her daughter Mavis Mary, Noel’s mother.
089    Christening gown with blue ribbon and petticoat

The gown was made by Mavis Mary McGrevy, Noel’s mother, in Auckland.
The petticoat was made by Hettie Mary Louisa Sly, Noel’s grandmother.

The very fine petticoat was made for Noel’s brother, who was premature. Hettie thought that the original thicker petticoat made by Mavis was too heavy for the small premature baby. The gown was worn by both Noel and his younger brother for their christenings.

085    Wedding dress and outfit
Olive White, Auckland, February 1936

Mavis Mary married Andrew McGrevy at St Jude’s, Avondale on 14 February 1936.  Her dress was made by Olive White of Mt Albert the same month.  The receipt for the cost of materials and making of the dress has remained with the photograph of the happy couple and their wedding party.  
    Noel McGrevy

29.    Noeline Eastwood Creighton

117    Christening gown and petticoat
Jane Menzies Turnbull (nee Campbell), Noeline’s grandmother

“Made by Granny”.  Granny was Jane Menzies Turnbull the daughter of a minister from the very remote village of Tresta, Fetlar, Shetland Islands, the northernmost island group of Great Britain.  Grandfather was a doctor at Inverness, Scotland.  He became a locum on the island of Fetlar, and stayed at the Manse, where he fell in love with a daughter.  Grandfather came to New Zealand in 1904 and set up practice in Mangaweka.  Granny followed him in 1904 and married him two days after her arrival.  The gown was made by Jane for her children:  the first daughter, Grace, was stillborn; Jane had four more daughters. Noeline’s mother Tresta, the second but eldest surviving daughter, was named after her mother’s village. The gown was worn by granddaughters including its current owner.  Over the years the gown has been somewhat “cannibalised” for new generations of children to fit it. For example, the sleeves have been enlarged by removing tucks.    

116    Quilt
Noeline Eastwood Creighton, after 1962

This sampler quilt, made up of blocks of a variety of techniques and patterns, was made by Noeline for her 25th wedding anniversary and makes reference to both her marriage and all four of her children.
115    Sampler, NZ Occupational Therapy School
Noeline Eastwood, 1955 

According to “Legacy of Occupation”, the history of the New Zealand Occupational Therapy School that Noeline co-wrote, embroidery held a strong place as one of the crafts about which trainees were expected to both have mastery, and the ability to teach others.  The book details the camaraderie as those with skill levels shared their resources to complete a “diploma-level” sampler on a blank piece of linen, and the satisfaction at a job well done when it was completed.     

30.    Rosalie Lockwood

046    Tablecloth
Muriel Grocott (1915-1981), before 1939

Muriel Grocott, Rosalie’s mother, married local farmer Melville Blakemore of Pleasant Point in December 1939. Rosalie believes this tablecloth was worked before their marriage, and was therefore probably part of the trousseau.  Muriel and Melville had a long engagement. This is the only cloth Rosalie has that was worked by her mother, and she now wonders if the edge was also worked by her. Rosalie has childhood memories of the cloth being used for special occasions, afternoon teas, etc. It now comes out annually for Christmas. 
047    “Music a la Picasso”
Rosalie Lockwood, 2003

After being inspired by a painting by Pablo Picasso, Rosalie interpreted, designed and worked this canvas work picture. Rosalie is self-taught, latterly in tapestry canvas work. The supplies were purchased locally, and the work was framed by the Framers’ Guild. It hangs above Rosalie’s piano.  It was worked as a recuperative exercise after surgery, and took perhaps three months. “I’m quite proud of this.”

048    “Fire screen a la Clarice Cliff”
Rosalie Lockwood, 2005

Inspired by Clarice Cliff pottery designs; Rosalie’s interpreted and designed the fire screen to fit her 1930s-era home.  The fire-screen with an empty panel, was purchased in an antique shop in Greytown. The worked panel is able to be removed. The checked edging design tends to be hidden behind the wooden frame. It was backed with cloth to match sofa and chairs in the room.    Rosalie Lockwood


31.    Shirley Bevins (St Aidan’s)

147    Collar and cuffs
Shirley Bevins’ mother, 1938

“My mother stitched this collar and these cuffs for a turquoise everyday dress in 1938 when I was 14. Being a teenager and not wanting something different from my peers I was very unappreciative of her hard work.”
    Shirley Bevins

32.    Vivienne Hayward

081    Wedding dress, 2-piece
Unknown maker, but worn on 22 April 1908 in Invercargill

This was the wedding outfit worn by Violet Rowlands at her marriage to Robert Hunter, held on 22 April 1908 in Ellis Road, Invercargill at 1 pm. Violet was Vivienne’s grandmother.

The dress has never been worn as wedding dress again, but a friend wore it as costume for Cecily in a local production of “The Importance of Being Earnest”.  It has been modelled at least twice at various “fashion parades”.

Photo of the 1908 wedding     Vivienne Hayward

016    “Frederick the cat”
Vivienne Hayward, 2003

Inspired by her mother, Vivienne taught herself to embroider. This framed picture, a commercial design, was “fun to stitch.” Note all the book titles.
    Vivienne Hayward

025    “Hussif pod” with sewing tools and thimbles
Vivienne Hayward, 1999

Vivienne made this set at a class. It contains two thimbles.  One is a family heirloom, owned by Vivienne’s grandmother Violet, who married 1908 (see wedding dress 081, and “note how well-worn the thimble is”), the other a cloisonné one, used by her granddaughter. Violet’s daughter Joan was Vivienne’s mother.  Violet lived with Joan, a war widow, and Vivienne until Vivienne was aged 16. Vivienne now cherishes moments using these thimbles in these hussifs with her own granddaughters.
    Vivienne Hayward

080    Signature cloth, “D”; Invercargill 
Multiple makers, 1940s

This enigmatic cloth has been handed down the family line. Cloths such as these were popular community cloths during wartimes as fundraisers, but there are few hints of any purpose such as this here. Other than that her mother worked at Dalgety’s and many of her family names, including hers as a toddler, are stitched, Vivienne Hayward, its current owner, is unsure of the specific reason her family has this cloth.

One possibility is that it was connected, somehow, to Vivienne’s father who fought in the Second World War, was captured in Crete, and died in captivity in Stalag V111B Lamsdorf, Germany, in February 1942, leaving Joan, Vivienne’s mother a widow, with eighteen-month-old Vivienne. He was 29 years old.
Photo of Vivienne’s father who died in a prisoner of war camp in Germany.    Vivienne Hayward

160    Assisi tablecloth
Joan Christina Dunn, c1957

“My mother, when I was young in Invercargill, had a period of self-education, with WEA and visiting Home Science tutors and embroiderers from Otago University Extension. Embroidery tutors would stay with my mother.  This was made as a gift for me.” 
    Vivienne Hayward

We invite you to stay a while and enjoy a traditional tea in our Common Room



Thank you for supporting the Community of Saint Luke’s 
church organ restoration fund.


We acknowledge with thanks:

Vivien Caughley:  researcher 
Sandra Duncan: Curator  
Smith and Caughey: Mannequins 
Guy Fisher Gallery: Display Cabinet
Auckland City Library: Display cabinet
Barbara McDonald: Flowers
Geoff Olliff: music

The Exhibition Team:

Margaret Davidson
Barbara Smith
Anne Fenwick
Carol Fraser

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