The Stratford Perth Museum opened its new exhibit, “Many Hands Make Light Work” on Sept. 11.
The exhibit focuses on a collection of 18 important signature quilts from Perth County that were made between 1896 and 1950.
Signature quilts were made to commemorate significant family or community events, such as the 100th anniversary of S.S. #10 Ellice-Kuhryville. They were also made to support important causes, such as the World War 1 period quilts made by the Women’s Patriotic Society in Monkton and the I.O.D.E. branches in Stratford which raised funds for the Red Cross and for the relief of soldiers’ families.
Thousands of names from across the county are embroidered on these quilts. A few of the well known ones are Orr, Moderwell and Preston from the Stratford area, and Drummond, Campbell and Hicks from Mitchell. However, one quilt alone can have as many as 800 names.
The museum welcomes the public’s help in documenting the names of individuals and families represented on the quilts. Who were they? What part did they play in the life of their community? Are family descendants still in the county? Documentation is being gathered for each quilt.
The exhibit runs until Nov. 23. It is only one part of the museum’s year-long exhibition, “A Common Thread: Quilts of Perth County” celebrating the quilts and quilt-makers of Perth County.