Heidelberg's Busy Bee Signature Quilt 1895-96

Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 02:30 PM


Heidelberg Historical Society Museum
Corner Jika Street and Park Lane
Heidelberg, VIC 3084
Google map and directions

Event contact

Margaret Birtley

0418 814 957

Friends of the History Council of Victoria are warmly invited to visit the Heidelberg Historical Society where the current exhibition interprets an intriguing document of social history: a signature (or autograph) quilt that resulted from a nineteenth-century fundraising campaign.

The quilt is constructed from 213 embroidered squares. It carries 139 legible names plus many initials and decorations. Contributors to the quilt lived in various Melbourne suburbs and elsewhere in Victoria. They came from church groups, community organisations, businesses and government, and through family and social networks.

The Society is located at the Old Heidelberg Courthouse and received the quilt by donation last year. Members have investigated the why, how and when of the quilt’s creation, and have researched the stories and connections of the eight women from Heidelberg’s Scots Church who formed a ‘Busy Bee’ group and made the quilt. Representatives of the Society will be on hand to introduce the exhibition.

To learn more about the exhibition and the Society, visit this website:

Admission: $5 (includes afternoon tea), payable on arrival at the museum. You are welcome to bring 'Future Friends', people who share your interests and might join the Friends in the future. The RSVP form makes it easy to register your +1. If you wish to bring more than one guest, please email the Executive Officer ([email protected])

Also in the area: Heide Museum of Modern Art is a 20-minute walk from the Heidelberg Historical Society, across the Yarra River. You may wish to visit its exhibitions in the morning. It has an excellent Cafe where you may like to have lunch. 

Our visit to the Heidelberg Historical Society is a special networking event for HCV Friends and their guests.

If you are not yet a member of the HCV Friends, please click HERE to sign up now! Then return to this page to RSVP.

If you are already a Friend of the HCV, please accept this invitation by clicking on the RSVP button below. 

To assist with catering, please book before 10 am on Tuesday 10 September.

Postcard promoting the quilt exhibition   Archibald Cameron's square   Postcard promoting the quilt exhibition - reverse

All images courtesy Heidelberg Historical Society Inc. No. A0042118P

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Will you come?


The History Council of Victoria Incorporated (HCV) is the peak body for history in the Australian state of Victoria. Its vision is to connect Victorians with history and to inspire engagement with the past, their identity and the world today. The HCV champions the work of historians and the value of history. It recognises that history can be written about any place, any person, any period. The HCV advocates why history matters.

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As the peak body for history in Victoria, the History Council makes submissions on current issues. In doing this, the HCV Board is guided by its Advocacy Policy and by the Value of History, a statement developed co-operatively by the HCV and the History Councils of New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

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The HCV was formed as an advisory body in 2001 and incorporated in 2003. It comprises representatives from cultural and educational institutions and heritage bodies; history teachers and curriculum advisors; academic and professional historians; and local, Indigenous, community and specialist history organisations.

As the peak body for history, the HCV has both ‘outward-looking’ roles (including advocacy and representation to government and the wider community, consultation, community education, and networking with allied interest groups) and ‘inward-looking’ roles (including member support, information dissemination, and networking between members).



The History Council of Victoria acknowledges the State Library of Victoria and the Public Record Office Victoria for supply of the archival images that appear on this website.

We acknowledge the National Film and Sound Archive for the right to use of the video footage on the home page, titled "Melbourne: Life in Australia (1966)".

Image credits

  • Italian sailors on ship at Port Melbourne 1938, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese procession in Collins near Elizabeth Street 1901, Harvie & Sutcliffe, photographers, State Library of Victoria
  • People’s homes, Aboriginal station Coranderrk 1878, Fred Kruger Photographer, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese nurses at Children’s Hospital under scholarship 1947, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Ladies physical culture class VRI Melbourne c1931, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001, 011/02
  • Melbourne Cup, Derby and Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse 1936, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001/4802, 372/30
  • Flinders Street viaduct at foot of Market Street with advertisement for McRobertson’s Chocolate on bridge, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12800/P0003, ADV 1342