Cultural Objects, Quilts

Mrs. Effie K. Brown’s Quilt Block Collection

Maker/Creator: Effie King Brown
Check (Locust Grove District)



Dimensions: 9 inches x 9 inches ranging to 12  1/2 inches x 12  1/2 inches


Each of the thirty-two pieced quilt blocks symbolizes an event or person associated with American history from colonial times through the settlement of the western territories. Most of the blocks are pieced by machine; blocks with appliqued designs are hand-stitched. Mrs. Effie’s handwritten notes for each pattern are also part of the collection. These include historical background, stories, sources, specific color combinations, and information on quilting techniques such as counterchanging.

quilt block, quilt square, pieced quilt, appliqued quilt, scrap quilt, patchwork quilt, counterchanging
Bio Sketch

Effie Byar King Brown (1910-2012) took to heart these words from her father Thomas Merritt King, “Why sit in the back when you can lead from the front?” Her love of family, community, and country led to her involvement with a number of local groups including Stonewall United Methodist Church, the Floyd County Courthouse Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Floyd Garden Club, the Floyd County Historical Society, Delta Kappa Gamma, the Floyd County Retired Teachers Association, and The Old Church Gallery Quilters Guild. She helped found some of these organizations and held every office in many of them. At age 88, she wrote a family history, Descendants of John King 1759-1843. At age 91, she was nominated for state honors as the most active member of the Virginia Retired Teachers Association. She was still quilting at age 98. Her keen memory and equally well-honed sense of humor endeared her to generations of Floyd Countians.


Transcriptions of Mrs. Effie’s handwritten descriptions of the stories behind each pattern are on permanent display along with each of the individual blocks at Old Church Gallery.