Neff homecoming to feature family quilts

This Funkhouser Zirkle quilt will be one of many Shenandoah family quilts on display during the Elizabeth Neff quilt homecoming event in Woodstock on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Barbara Adamson


Shenandoah County families will celebrate historical heirlooms and share their stories when the Elizabeth Neff quilt makes its homecoming on Saturday.

The Shenandoah County Historical Society and New Market Historical Society recently assisted the Virginia Quilt Museum in the purchase of the 1843 Neff quilt, which was priced at $3,900. Barbara Adamson, president of the historical society, said that trying to determine who exactly made the quilt took plenty of research, since the Elizabeth Neff who lived in Shenandoah County would’ve been 10 years old at the time.

At the homecoming event, she said visitors will learn the stories behind a number of other family quilts bearing names like Stickley, Funk and Gochenour.

One Headley family quilt that will be on display ended up in a California home after it was sold out of the family at a Maurertown auction around 10 years ago, Adamson said. That quilt bears an embroidered dedicated to someone named Wilmer, believed to be the nephew of the 73-year-old quilt maker, Aunt Ella.

“We need to do some more family genealogy on the Headley family just like we did in the Neff family to find out who Aunt Ella is,” she said.

So far, Adamson said she believes that the featured Neff quilt will be the oldest one on display. She said that although it’s dated 1843, there’s a chance it could be a few years older.

She said the Neff quilt homecoming event will provide visitors with the rare opportunity of getting a glimpse of Shenandoah families’ historical heirlooms.

“There’s just so many wonderful things that are out here that are kept safely in families, but the rest of us don’t have the chance to see them,” she said.


• When: The Elizabeth Neff quilt homecoming event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

 Where: Shenandoah County Historic Courthouse, 103 N. Main St. in Woodstock.

• Admission: free.

• Information: 540-459-1795.

• Related news: Quilt finds its way home:  http://www.nvdaily.com/?p=560408

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com