Virginias Quilt

Block Number: 148


Charlene and Gene Hollifield are the hosts of the 148th block on the McDowell Quilt Trail. On Saturday, November 23, 2013 Chairwoman Jill Lucas presented them with the Certificate of Authenticity for their quilt block entitled “Virginia’s Quilt” which is displayed on an outbuilding adjacent to their home at 143 Devonwood Drive, Marion, N.C.

Around two years ago Charlene was present at a Fall dinner to raise funds for the Carson House and bid on a quilt block square at the “silent auction” being held. She won that bid and is now honoring her mother, Virginia Wallace Cadle, by displaying the block, painted and installed by volunteer Mike Lucas. The pattern is drafted from a treasured full-sized quilt over 100 years old, faded and showing wear, passed from Charlene’s grandmother to her mother, Virginia, and now herself.

Charlene was raised in West Virginia and fondly recalls her mother being very proud of both sides of their family heritage and talking to her about the days of depression when she was raised. Living in the country as farmers, her parents found things difficult in those days, but although “the depression was hard on farmers, we had all we needed” and “walking a mile to catch the school bus” was routine. Mrs. Cadle, a quilter herself, highly cherished family tradition, and the craftsmanship of sentimental items. The quilt is typical of the times, the women piecing together whatever scraps of material they had on hand, often producing a wide variety of colors among the patchwork squares.

Nearby the farming family’s home in West Virginia is the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulfur Springs, known for its healing sulfur waters. The signature colors of the hotel, pink and green, were always favorites of Virginia Cadle and Charlene chose a square on the quilt with those colors for her star pattern. The 3 X 3 foot block features a traditional eight-pointed star with alternating points in two shades of green and two shades of pink on a creamy yellow background.

Charlene is now retired from her office job at East Junior High School but owns a small seasonal “holiday house” on Main Street called Shucks Pearls of Marion. The shop is open for the months of October, November and December and features affordable cultured pearl jewelry attractive to all ages. Each piece, similar to that of a quilt creation, is individually unique and Charlene enjoys talking with customers about the wide range of pearls and the topic of how cultured pearls are formed. There are seven basic pearl shapes, each with many variations, the size and shades of colors depending on the particle introduced to the oyster and other surrounding factors that occur as the pearl develops. She’ll be glad to chat about celebrating quilting as a form of art by displaying a colorful block on the Quilt Trail as well!

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