Monday, January 1, 2018

Introducing the Neff Quilt

The Neff Quilt

Inscribed: Property of Elizabeth Neff
Pattern: Birds in Flight Variation
Dated: 1843

We are very pleased to have you join us as we share 4 very special quilts this year, along with their stories.  Part of what makes these quilts so endearing to us is the fact that they were all made here in the Shenandoah Valley.  

A couple of these quilts have traveled well beyond the Valley over the years.  But with great passion and determination, Gloria Craft Comstock, Curator Registrar, tracked them down and the Museum was able to procure them. The Neff quilt was obtained in 2016.  Through fundraising, this quilt was purchased in part through private donations from our Museum patrons, membership and community.

Grab yourself a cup of warmth and join us for our first story.  Without further adieu, let us introduce to you the Neff Quilt and the women that provided the wonderful research and documentation for this quilt.  
Doreen & Patti

Original Quilt Property of the Virginia Quilt Museum
Research and Documentation by Gloria Craft Comstock, Curator Registrar , Virginia Quilt Museum and Barbara Adamson,  President, Shenandoah County Historical Society

Elizabeth "Bettie" Neff was born in 1833 and raised in Shenandoah County, VA.
The fabrics of Elizabeth’s quilt indicate an 1830-35 date that it was made. Elizabeth was 10 years old in 1843. Therefore, the hypothesis is that Elizabeth was given the quilt. This can be supported in that “Property of” is inscribed.

The family was of the Brethren Faith. Even though there is not a distinct aesthetic, the quilt maker’s use of color, particularly, the browns and subdued tones frequently were used in that community.

Shenandoah Valley patterns frequently used triangles, peaks and points. The borders on each side are triangles turned on their sides that could emulate mountains. 

The border is made of 2 different figured fabrics.

Triangles have fabrics of different toiles and an occasional chintz. These fabrics may have been imported.

"The black & white toile fabric is present in several blocks.  This probably was an imported fabric."  Gloria Craft Comstock  

The batting, back and top are cotton. Thread is also cotton. The front is brought to the back for the very thin binding. 

 "Sample of the quilting and the back.  Also, the applied binding.  Many typical browns from the 1830-40s.  The blue and brown figure print is a suggestion of Art Deco design that is 100 years later. " 

Gloria Craft Comstock 
MA Textile History & Quilt Studies

Virginia Quilt Museum

Hand pieced and hand quilted, the finished quilt measures approximately 90" x 86".
The Condition of the Neff quilt is very good, considering it’s  journey.


We designed this pattern with all types of Quilters in mind.  So whether you prefer to Hand Piece, Machine Piece or Foundation Paper Piece, you will find this pattern user friendly.
For your convenience we have included Full Size templates for cutting and piecing your blocks.  We have also included Rotary Cutting instructions.  And for those who prefer to Paper Piece their blocks, we've included Foundation Patterns.  

If you enjoyed the historic information we shared about this quilt - more good news!
You will also receive along with your pattern -  a full page condensed version (that includes a picture of Elizabeth "Bettie" Neff) 

Another Important Convenience.....

You can purchase this pattern as an Instant Download.

Or, you can purchase a Print copy of the pattern.
The Museum will ship Domestic/US as well as International shipping.

To Purchase this pattern - click on the direct link below to the Museum's Shop page.
Scroll Down to the Neff Quilt and choose your preferred purchase option.
Please note:  The Instant Download option is a Blue button that says Add to Cart.

click here to enter the Virginia Quilt Museum Shop page.

Or you can click on the Neff Quilt found on the right sidebar to access the Shop Page.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Neff Quilt!
Next month we will begin sharing pictures of blocks and projects made using this pattern.
We are happy to share your pictures as well, if you decide to work on this quilt (or any of the quilts we cover this year)

Pattern reproduced with permission by Doreen Johnson & Patti Snyder on behalf of the Virginia  Quilt Museum © 2016 

Celebrating Virginia's Quilting History, one story at a time ...