We met in the Chapter room on March 5th. One of the first things we talked about for those that were not able to make it to the meeting was the creation of the chapter pin. Final patterns were shown and everyone seemed to be pleased. We discussed the cost and voted to go ahead with the design.

Our Vice President, Courtney Bailey, with help from our President, Sharon Jennings, presented a program on Ella’s Crazy Quilt.

Mary Ella Yates Aiken was the sister to the founder of the Ladies Memorial Association, Miss Augusta Yates. Ella, like most women in the day, fell into the hobby of Crazy Quilts. After the war and with little to no money, it was commonly known that you could not waste any cloth despite the size. Enter the birth of the Crazy Quilt, a fad that went from 1876 to 1920.

These quilts became an obsession. Woman would go to great lengths to get free pieces of cloth. Factious tales would be told to dress makers and other industries to include getting samples of cloth for a fake store.

Families would keep bags of scrap cloth and trade them with others. Some of the pieces of cloths were gathered from deceased family members. These pieces as well as other objects were embroidered into the quilt to remind them of loved ones and other memories.

Two of the many kinds of quilts were the Mosaic and the Block. Ella chose the block style. She chose 20 blocks with 4 across and 5 down with each block measuring 15 inches squared. She has 5 inch borders and the total measurement was 70 inches squared.

Common things found on these quilts are symbols. Some of the symbols represented love, happiness, patriotism, and family. They also had places, pets, animals, flowers, birthstones, and dates scattered in many corners. Whatever chosen, it was important to the quilter. But the most common object to find on the quilt is a spider web to represent good luck. These quilts seemed to be a personal record of the artist own experience.

Ella made her quilt, pictured right, before her marriage. She did not sign or date her work. It was said to be added to her hope chest for when she did marry.

In conclusion, the quilts would embody the life and emotion of the quilter. Some made the quilts for a loved one’s birth to the hopes of a marriage. Especially their own marriage with messages to the viewer who gazes on their work with hopes of approval and admiration.

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Anne Eliza Johns Chapter 164Danville,VirginiaText Box: Chapter News

Ella’s Quilt


The Old South Ball

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Vice President Courtney Bailey giving the presentation on the Crazy Quilt.

Ella’s Crazy Quilt hanging in one of the upstairs bedrooms in the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History.

Picture of the film strip about Mary Ella Yates Aiken

The Old South Ball was held April 2, 2016 at the Danville Community Market. There was dancing and a guest speaker Ben Jones who played Cooter on the Dukes of Hazzard.

My apologies for not having the web address up on time. Let’s hope this isn’t the last ball.

Ladies and Gentlemen Mr. Ben “Cooter” Jones

Our Historian, Vernell Gwynn and our Chapter President, Sharon Jennings

Group lining up for the first dance of the night.

Text Box: Let’s take a trip in May