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Women in History Quilt & Antique Quilts Auction on March 9

Clifton Forge, VA (Feb. 5, 2024) - Twenty quilts with accompanying art work have been on display since October on the third floor WestRock Room of The Historic Masonic Theatre in addition to 20 antique quilts from the 1800’s. The Women in History Quilt, Art & Antique Quilt Exhibit is free of charge and will be open during Theatre hours through February 29. On March 9 from noon until 4:00 pm, the quilts and artwork will be auctioned on the stage of the Theatre. People may attend the auction live or tune in to see and bid for the quilts online. The link to register for the auction is https://www.blueboxauction.com/auctions/detail/bw112822.

The majority of the Women in History quilts were designed and made by international quilt designer, author and teacher, Kaye England. The twenty quilts honor women in history who left an indelible mark on the country and the world. They include Martha Washington, Helen Taft, Betsy Ross, Dolley Madison, Harriet Tubman, Frances Cleveland, Lucille Ball, Amelia Earhart, Carry Nation, Sarah Breedlove “Madam C. J. ” Walker, Priscilla Alden, Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Grace Coolidge, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Julia Ward Howe, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Louisa May Alcott, and Helen Keller. When asked what started Kaye England on her quest to design quilt blocks for famous women in history, she said, “In researching existing quilt blocks that contained famous/historical women, I realized there were only a few women that had been recognized with a quilt block design. Being a history lover, this opened the door for me to choose women whose contributions I admired. To make an entire quilt, I needed 12 quilt blocks and 12 women in history. I wound up making not only the quilt honoring twelve different women but I also made a quilt to honor each of the twelve. That led me to a second project with 12 more women, twelve more quilts and two books titled, Voices of the Past, Volume One and Two! I’m even considering a third! When do you quit!!!”

Fourteen pieces of art, including a signed letter by Helen Keller, accompany the majority of the quilts with the most valuable piece being a signed photo of Amelia Earhart.

The entire collection of quilts, art, and several first edition books about the women in the collection were donated to the Theatre by international quilt maker and designer, Kaye England and auction proceeds will go to the Theatre. Twenty antique quilts pieced and quilted by hand in the 1800’s join the “Women in History Quilt and Art Exhibit for a truly one-of-a-kind display in the historic setting of the third floor of the 1905 Historic Masonic Theatre.

Kaye visited the Alleghany Highlands as a presenter at the Heritage Day Festival in 2016 and has returned in subsequent years to teach sold-out Quilt Retreats in the Historic Masonic Theatre.

Kaye comments, "I've visited the Alleghany Highlands area several times--on my first trip I had the experience of getting a tour of a neglected and deteriorating Theatre by my friend, John Hillert. I made all the oooh and ahhh sounds while thinking, 'Good luck, Buddy...you have a whale of a task ahead of you', and secretly thinking, 'this will never happen’".

“However, the area intrigued me because of the possibilities and the next time I visited Clifton Forge was as a guest speaker for the ‘Heritage Day’ event in the newly restored, gorgeous Historic Masonic Theatre. And on one of my visits, I attended a poignant ‘Celebration of Life Service’ for John in the Theatre Auditorium that is named for him.

“At that time, Gayle Hillert and I planned the first Quilt Retreat--the building lends itself to small conferences and seminars. I'll be teaching my fifth Retreat in March and my feelings about the potential of this area have not changed. With the creativity of the people, the volunteerism, the arts and crafts venues, this area seems to be on the cusp of something amazing. I've traveled all over the world and I've seen small towns like Paducah, Kentucky and Sister, Oregon totally reinvent themselves and become thriving areas because they focused on what they knew and did what they did best--in their case, quilting. The key is having a vision, a plan and people to implement."

Kaye will be teaching two Welcome to Spring Quilt Retreats in March. Quilters attending the retreats this year represent 18 different states in the United States. The first Retreat is March 1, 2 and 3 and is sold out with a waiting list. The second Retreat is for Quilt Shop owners and is March 5 (set up) 6, 7 and 8. The Women in History Quilt, Art & Online live and online auction and the Antique Quilt auction will follow the second retreat on Saturday, March 9 from noon to 4:00. All are invited to the Theatre during that time period to experience the auction.

For more information, please visit historicmasonictheatre.com or contact the Theatre at 540 862 5655 or visit the website at www.historicmasonictheatre.com


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