A remarkable exhibition on display in the Rylstone Memorial Hall this week paints a picture of the people of the township during World War I.
“Stitches in Time – Stories of the WWI Rylstone Autograph Quilt 1915” 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.
The quilt was found in a collection of linen purchased at auction in Sydney in the 1970s and was donated to the War Memorial in Canberra for safekeeping.
Historical society president, and curator of the exhibition Helen Marsonet said the discovery six years ago that there was a Rylstone autograph quilt in the collection of the War Memorial led to a massive project researching the signatures.
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 at the Rylstone Memorial Hall in Louee Street from 10 am to 4 pm daily from now until Friday, September 11.
Source: Mudgee Guardian, newspaper article [http://www.mudgeeguardian.com.au/story/3330466/amazing-stories-from-wwi-quilt-revealed/]