VFTE Raffle Quilts

Voices From the Earth, Inc. is a theater arts organization based in Thomas, WV that has been serving the community since 1991.


 

Freedom in America Series - “Crossroads: Life in Liberty” Quilt
“Sticks and Stones” 72” X 74” Cotton Fabric Machine Pieced Hand Quilted pattern by Ilene Evans and Dolores Johnson 2015

Crossroads: Life in Liberty

Voices From the Earth commemorates the 150-year after the conclusion of the Civil War with a memorial quilt called Crossroads: Life in Liberty. The quilt was made in memory of the freedmen and women of Mitchelville, South Carolina. Mitchelville was the first independent and self-sustaining community created in 1862 by families of African descent, newly freed by Federal forces. The Crossroads quilt is on display at the Grant County Bank in Davis, WV for the month of July and will be raffled off on September 20, 2015.

The Crossroads quilt is in memory of the historic Freedman’s community at Mitchelville, SC, the first self-governing Freedman’s Town in America. Beginning in November of 1862, before the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, Mitchelville was built on the former Drayton Plantation on Hilton Head Island. It became known as “The Port Royal Experiment.” Union General Ormsby Mitchel proclaimed to the newly freed men and women, “You are in a position of responsibility. This experiment is to give you freedom, position, homes, your families, property, your own soil. It seems to me a better time is coming … a better day is dawning.”

Port Royal, formerly the seat of the Southern Aristocracy, was home to the Port Royal Experiment, a radical rehearsal for the racial and economic reconstruction of the Deep South. Amid such wealth, fortune, and privilege, this community once sustained by slavery, became the battleground for the most radical of American ideals: freedom and equality.

Port Royal was a symbol of hope—a dream—for the creation of a society and nation based on genuine freedom where each and every soul truly was equal before God and man.

The entire country scrutinized and assessed the “experiment.” Journalists embedded within the community and among the Black troops recorded the successes of those previously held in bondage in articles that altered both public opinion and political policy. The black community at Port Royal demonstrated its ability to learn, to organize, to work . . . to succeed; and America’s sable warriors proved their ability to fight. The men and women of Port Royal united in a common cause achieved great success.

Donations and Raffle tickets are $1/each or a book of 6 for $5
Available at Tip Top Coffee Shop in Thomas, WV
Grant County Bank in Davis, WV
The Thomas Education Center 324 Brown St
info@vfte.org 304-288-6255
Drawing September 20, 2015 EWVCTC


 

Voices of Freedom Series - “Birds in Flight” Quilt In Memory of the Children
Hand Quilted Cotton 90”X 95” by VFTE African American Quilter: Ida Murphy and Ilene Evans 2014

Flying Free: Children of the Civil War

...the ongoing quilt project explores the Journey of Freedom in America. The “Birds in Flight” quilt pattern was associated with Quakers and abolitionist leaders working to guide people out of bondage in the time of the Underground Railroad. One such quilt (1830-1860) has survived made by Deborah Coates of Pennsylvania. The triangles represent the geese flying overhead. Geese in flight. The flock grows in number. Nine birds in the air led by a tenth. The Flock of Geese is heading North. The call to freedom they cannot resist. Soon, they will all be free. “I was born free in my heart.” “Yes dear, we are all born free in our hearts. Now fly with all your might.” We also remember the thousands of children put to work and in harm’s way in the course of the long Civil War. They were munition makers, drummer boys, orderlies, nurses, cooks and spies, gathering information about the enemy, risking their lives again and again for the promise of freedom.

African Americans in the Civil War Quilt Raffle Drawing “Flying Free: The Children of the Civil War” September 17, 2014 7:30 pm at Fairmont State University Wallman Hall, Fairmont, WV Tickets available at VFTE Box Office

"We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident..."
by Ilene Evans and Charles Everett Pace

An evening of storytelling by Ilene Evans and Charles Pace in the old Chautauqua style, where history comes to life! Ilene Evans will be portraying Harriet Tubman. Charles Pace will be portraying Frederick Douglass.


 

Roll Call: A Memorial of Our Brave Black Soldiers
September 26, 27 and 28, 2013

We have a winner! This year's winner of the Roll Call USCT Quilt raffle is Jude Binder. Congratulations, Jude!

 

The Story of the VFTE “Roll Call USCT” Civil War Quilt
The quilt is done and the raffle has begun! 100% cotton 76” X 88” pieced quilt and hand quilted. 18 pairs of hands have done the hand quilting on this symbolic quilt, 36 caring hands that stand against race hate and intolerance. They started the long process of designing, gathering, cutting, piecing and sewing the quilt in December and finished May 8, 2013. This year’s quilt is called “Roll Call USCT” in honor of the United States Colored Troops serving from 1863-1866, in more than 160 federal regiments. They were fighting for their own freedom and the honor of the national dream of equality. That promise was the highlight of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Lincoln and the Congress in September of 1862. Once it was enacted in January of 1863 men of African descent were actively recruited to legally aid in the efforts of their own freedom. Their story is one of the lesser known facts in shaping the ideals and practice of brotherhood, valor and courage in America.

The design of the quilt is based on the “18 Patch” and the “Around the World” patterns to represent the strength and power of the troops on the battle fields. Ilene Evans, the quilt designers said, “The earth into which they bled did not know the color of the men’s skins, they bled and died for a common belief, that all should share in the promise of equality and freedom.” Not all the colonels and generals for the USCT were abolitionists at the start of the war, but seeing these men in action changed their minds and they came to see the worthy and just cause into which they led these brave soldiers. Each of the 12 blocks stands for the men and their commanders - men who bore the collected hatred of the confederacy - whose “take no quarter policy” for the Black regiments and their officers led many massacred on the fields.

The VFTE “Roll Call USCT” Civil War Quilt was Hand quilted by : Ida Murphy, Mary Jane Smith, Tena Black, Nancy Lesher, Melissa Brown, Dolores Kelley Katherine Knotts, Mary Watring, Mary Mullenax, Eva Rudy, Jackie Burns, Ilene Evans, Veronica Staron, Karen Cuppett, Alice, Nancy Moore, Karen Peterson and Ruth Bullwinkle.

The raffle drawing will be on the opening night of the presentation of the new work of historical storytelling called Roll Call: Stories from the Brave Black Regiments of the Civil War.
Performances: 8:00 pm September 26, 27 and 28 at M.T. Pockets Theater in Morgantown, WW.
For raffle tickets and more information: 304-463-5461

More info...
They filled more than 160 regiments from every state – some from Africa, some from Canada. They came from New York, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland. They escaped Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida to fill the ranks in 1863 when the call went out for Black soldiers. They came because they heard their name called to stand with dignity and valor for the ideals of freedom, equality and justice. Sam, a black smith, Charles, a mason, James, a farrier, Robert, a sailor, Free Black men in America, serving the community and their families, living among the northern citizens as citizens. They came because they dreamed of freedom for the next generation and generations after that. We are the living testimony to their dream come true.

The hand quilting has begun on the new Civil War themed quilt by African American Quilter, Ida Murphy. This year’s quilt is called “Roll Call” in honor of the United States Colored Troops serving in more than 160 regiments, fighting for their own freedom and the honor of the national dream of equality. Their story is one of the lesser known facts in shaping the ideals and practice of brotherhood, valor and courage in America. The design is based on the “18 Patch” and the “Around the World” patterns to represent the strength and power of the troops on the battle fields. The earth into which they bled did not know the color of the men’s skins, they bled and died for a common belief. Not all the colonels and generals were abolitionists at the start of the war, but seeing these men in action changed their minds and they came to see the worthy and just cause into which they led these brave soldiers. Each of the 12 blocks stands for the men and their commanders - men who bore the collected hatred of the confederacy - whose “take no quarter policy” for the Black regiments and their officers left many massacred on the fields.

The cotton pieced quilt will be 76’ X 88” when finished, hand quilted by the many caring hands who stand against race hate and intolerance.

The raffle drawing for the quilt will be September 26, at opening night of the presentation of the new work of historical storytelling called Roll Call: Stories from the Brave Black Regiments of the Civil War. Performances: September 26, 27 and 28 at M.T. Pockets Theater in Morgantown, WW.



2012 Women of Port Royal Quilt Raffle Winner!

We have a winner!
Jodie Sylvester of Lost Creek, WV won the annual 2012 quilt raffle held at the VFTE fundraiser May 5 at the Thomas Education Center. The quilt is named “Women of Port Royal” (information below) and pictured with Jodie is and Ida Murphy, African American quilt maker who donated the quilt for the raffle.

  • The Story of the Civil War Quilt:
    Women of Port Royal

    This was considered a “Nurses Quilt. ” Ours is a replica of the 1879 quilt by Betty West, currently held in the Smithsonian collection, donated by the children for whom Ms. West made the quilt. For Ida Murphy, it honors the thousands of African Americans and their struggle for freedom. Ms. Ida named her reproduction “Women of Port Royal” as it represents their struggle to establish a new kind of American society based on racial equality and social justice in Port Royal, South Carolina from 1861-1865. The themes of flying geese and the Ohio star to symbolize the many different people who supported a radical reconstruction of the Southern aristocracy no longer based on privilege and race. The triangles represent the flying geese, people flying to freedom any way they could. The stars represent the leaders who brought them together and coordinated their efforts.

    “Women of Port Royal” Nurses Quilt 87”X 88” by VFTE African American Quilter: Ida Murphy 2012



    2011 African American Quilt Raffle Winner!

We have a winner!
Donna Markley, resident of Thomas, WV won the annual 2011 quilt raffle held at the VFTE fundraiser April 16 at the Thomas Education Center. The quilt is named “Puzzle at Port Royal” and commemorates the Port Royal Experiment and the contributions of African Americans to gaining their own freedom. Donna has worked as a volunteer at Courtland Acres many years. She was excited to win the quilt and kept saying, “I have never won anything before!” In the Photo from left to right is Melissa Brown VFTE Board President; Donna Markley, quilt winner; and Ida Murphy, African American quilt maker who donated the quilt for the raffle.

  • The Story of the Civil War Quilt:
    Puzzle at Port Royal

    This quilt represents the struggle to establish a new kind of American society based on racial equality and social justice in Port Royal South Carolina from 1861-1865. West Virginia artist, Ida Murphy, uses the charm pattern to symbolize the conflicting interests journey for liberation of the Freedmen and women, the United States Colored Troops, and those who supported a radical reconstruction of the Southern aristocracy no longer based on privilege and race. The abstract impression of motion in the puzzle pieces represent the constant movement of military and civilian support. The thrust of the blades interlock in an optical playing field. The foreground shifts to the background. The battle front also had a back commemorated on the reverse side of the quilt.



    VFTE Raffle Quilts 2005-2011


    2005
    Baby Tumbling Blocks

    2005
    UGRR Sampler Quilt

    2006
    Ohio Star

    2007
    Monkey Wrench

    2008
    Wagon Wheel

    2009
    Fan Quilt

    2010
    Catch Me If You Can

    2011
    Charm Quilt:
    Puzzle at Port Royal

     

    For Further Reading on the Part Port Royal Played in the Civil War, click here.