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Johnston, Jennie Kells
Bow Tie quilt Bow Tie quilt
around 1912 around 1912

This Bow Tie Quilt has strong eastern Ontario connections. The maker Jennie Kells was born at Sunbury, Ontario, north of Kingston, and married a farmer, William Johnston, of Hillcrest Farm, Inverary. Her daughter, Nettie Mae, went to Brownlee, Saskatchewan to teach, and there married another farmer, Archie McLean, in 1912. The couple honeymooned in Kingston and returned to Saskatchewan with the Bow Tie Quilt as a gift. Nettie Mae McLean, the granddaughter of the maker, remembered, “The quilt was never used by the McLean family as an ‘everyday’ quilt, but was reserved always for the ‘spare’ room, as the guest bedroom was called.”

The contrasting red and white and geometric symmetry of the block design, overlayed with the leaf-medallion stitchery, lends dramatic visual appeal to this Bow Tie Quilt, a style that dates to late 1800s. There are several variations on the “Bow Tie.” In this example, a smaller square patch is stiched in the centre of a four-piece block to create a “knot.”

 
Johnston, Jennie Kells
Born Sunbury, ON Born Sunbury, ON
Bow Tie quilt Bow Tie quilt
around 1912 around 1912
cotton cotton
180.0 x 197.0 cm
Gift of the Rhodes family and Diane Berry, in memory of Margaret Rhodes, 2010 Gift of the Rhodes family and Diane Berry, in memory of Margaret Rhodes, 2010
Q10-002

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