The exhibition, “Stitches in Time - Stories of the WWI Rylstone Autograph Quilt 1915” opened today at Rylstone Memorial Hall.
The display explores the stories of local people who paid to have their signatures embroidered onto a quilt in 1915 to raise funds for the war effort and the relief of the wounded at the Dardanelles.
Publicans and saddlers, butchers, bakers and bootmakers, shop keepers, soldiers, siblings and sweethearts all signed the quilt. Rylstone, along with almost every town in the country, celebrated the first “Australia Day” on July 30, 1915, with a huge procession, fundraising auction, speeches and a concert.
The Rylstone Autograph Quilt was just one of the items auctioned, sold to local ironmonger, draper and grocer E. H. Nash.
It was donated to the War Memorial in Canberra in the 1970s.
Using the quilt signatures as the starting point, the exhibition features biographical vignettes, photographs, uniforms, badges, flags, and other items to tell the social history of the district at the outbreak of World War One.
There will be demonstrations of embroidery in the manner of the quilt, army sock knitting, and table loom weaving. War poetry will be recited daily at 2 pm.
The exhibition will be open from 10 am to 4 pm daily from Friday, September 4, through Friday, September 11, at the Rylstone Hall, Louee Street.
Entry is by gold coin donation. This is an official History Week Event presented by Rylstone and District Historical Society.