This is a Canadian Red Cross quilt brought to Ely in South Wales during the Second World War. It is one of thousands distributed in the UK by the Red Cross to help families made homeless by the hostilities. Sadly only a few remain, but those that do contain great textile samples from the war years. The Quilt Association has another quite different Red Cross quilt in its collection which you can view here.
The quilts were made quickly and simply using everyday fabrics and basic techniques by Canadian women using the sewing rooms of their Red Cross branches throughout Canada. The effort was co-ordinated by the Standardised Workroom – some of the quilts, such as this, have the recognisable Canadian Red Cross label stitched into the reverse side.
This quilt is a typical suiting samples quilt, machine pieced using tailor’s fabric samples in brickwall style. Fabrics include cotton and flannel, some suiting and shirting, in dark hues of blue, green, brown, and black, with some check patterns. The wadding is an unspun cotton. The quilt has been hand quilted with a dark grey thread in a large cable pattern, and the binding brought from the back.
You can read more about the Canadian Red Cross Quilts at this Popular Patchwork website.