2023 Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival Quilt
This year's quilt was pieced by local quilter Susie Davis and machined quilted by Mickie Sienko and is 80 x 90 inches in size. The blue and white theme represents the sky that covers the apple orchards of the Panhandle with several apples placed throughout the quilting to pay homage to those orchards. The quilt is constructed of cotton and batik fabrics and the batting is all cotton.
About this year’s Quilt design. . .
This years Apple Harvest quilt is the Drunkard's Path block. The origin of this pattern can be traced back to Ancient Egypt. Archaeologists have also discovered the design on Roman artifacts. Quilters in the early American colonies knew this pattern under a variety of different names. It came into prominence in the late half of the 19th century.
American oral tradition states that this quilt design was used along the Underground Railroad. It may have been used to help slaves find their way to freedom. However the use of quilts in the Underground Railroad is an oral tradition which is widely debated among quilt historians.
Other stories suggest that the zig-zag pattern first originated with the Women's Temperance Movement in the early 20th Century. This last movement is considered the third wave of temperance, and began in the 1890s. This period saw the rise of the Anti-Saloon League, first organized in 1893. This prohibitionist wave attracted a diverse crowd of people across the political spectrum, and included a substantial portion of women. This last wave was temporarily successful with the enactment of National Prohibition from 1920 to 1933.
The widely-held belief is that the quilts were sewn to promote the abolition of alcohol in the US, and were commonly seen with a blue and white color scheme. While the veracity of these claims has been disputed by many quilt historians, the theory is still popular among quilters across America.
The theory behind the blue and white color scheme of the quilts is that the colors symbolize the purity of water seems. It seems unlikely to be true, as the color scheme is characteristic of a more common preoccupation with color harmony in the quilt. Regardless, it appears that the drunkard's path quilt patterns were the most popular quilt pattern used to further the cause of the Temperance movement. At the time women were prohibited from voting. Therefore, the quilt patterns were one of the few ways they could express their opinion on alcohol use in the US. While this design was not created for this purpose, it was co-opted by temperance workers for their movement.
Despite its murky history, these quilt patterns gets its name from the way the quilt block looks. Due to the arrangement of the curved pieces, it looks like a staggering drunk. What a surprise upon completion, when the connection to the Women's Temperance movement was discovered! (Historical information was taken from the AccuQuilt Blog on April 17, 2017.)
About this year’s Quilter, Susan Davis:
Susan comes from a long line of quilters, as both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were quilters. Susan’s paternal grandfather would help by cutting out wooden templates (patterns) for her Grandmother to use and also helped her cut out the fabric and tie the quilts.
Susan’s 91 year-old mother continues to quilt/sew for various nonprofits in the community. She taught Susan and her four sisters to sew. It was also her mom’s requirement for them to take sewing as a 4-H project.
Susan started quilting when she began teaching. She befriended the home economics teacher who quilted and would spend lunch time hand sewing in her room. She has attended numerous quilting retreats and used those experiences to start a quilting retreat at Camp Frame, near Hedgesville.
A retired educator, Susan taught health and physical education for 37 years; 3 in Hancock County (WV) and 34 at Hedgesville High School.
The Mountain State Apple Harvest is honored to work once again with this year’s quilt sponsor, Brown Funeral Home. Brown Funeral Home has been in business in our community since 1880. Three generations of the Brown Family have compassionately served and supported our community. Robert C. Fields is the current owner licensee-in-charge/President of Brown Funeral Home. Brown now has 3 locations (Martinsburg, Inwood, Ranson/Charles Town) and is in the process of developing a fourth location in Spring Mills. Brown has the only crematory in the Eastern Panhandle, and also a pet crematory. Brown is truly a family business with three of Mr. Fields’ sons, Brandon, Robert M., and Jordan, involved with the funeral home.
Queen Pomona will have the honor of selecting the winning ticket on October 22, 2023 at 4 pm.
If you would like the chance to win the 2023 MSAHF Quilt, you can purchase raffle tickets before the festival begins online at MSAHF.com, or in person at Bowles Rice, LLP, Brown Funeral Home, Jordan & Hess or any Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival Court member or member of the Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival Board of Directors. During the festival, the tickets are available at the Pop-Up Shops at the Berkeley County Youth Fairgrounds.
Purchase tickets at this link. Online minimum is 20 tickets per order. If you wish to purchase a lower quantity they can be purchase for a $1 each from any board member or at Brown's Funeral Home. Buy Here