One name at a time: the past, present and future of Heidelberg's Busy Bee Signature Quilt

Central square of the Busy Bee quilt

In 2018, the Heidelberg Historical Society received by donation a Signature Quilt that was created in 1895-96 by the Busy Bees, a group of eight women who were members of the congregation of Heidelberg’s Scots Church. Their names are embroidered in the corners of the quilt's large central square (above).

The quilt project raised funds for the church. Constructed from 213 squares of cotton fabric, the quit is decorated with hand-made lace and embroidery, and framed by a substantial embroidered frill.

The quilt's past involved contributions by about 150 people from many parts of Melbourne and a lengthy sojourn in New Zealand.

Its present includes listing with the National Quilt Register and commendation at the Victorian Community History Awards.

Its future requires ongoing research into the 139 names that are legible on the squares, plus careful preservation by the Society.

This talk by Margaret Birtley will share insights gained from studying the quilt and its people, one name at a time.

An exhibition about the quilt is open for viewing from 2 pm to 4 pm. The talk will start at 2.45 pm.

Admission charges apply:

Adults $5
Children under 16 (and members of Heidelberg Historical Society) free

Click HERE to explore the quilt online.


March 14, 2020 at 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Old Heidelberg Court House
Corner Jika Street and Park Lane
Heidelberg, VIC 3084
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Heidelberg Historical Society · · (03) 9455 2130