CHARLESTON – First Lady Cathy Justice joined West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History Curator Randall Reid-Smith this week to unveil her official 2020 Limited Edition Christmas Ornament.
This year’s ornament was made by Huntington artist Cassie Mace. It celebrates the longstanding tradition of quilting in West Virginia and across America.
“Over the past three years, we had done three different mediums for our ornament. So for our fourth year, we wanted to do something different and thought a quilted ornament would be really appreciated,” First Lady Justice said. “Appalachia is famous for quilting. There are many West Virginians who still quilt to this very day.”
“This is a beautiful ornament, it’s just gorgeous,” she said. “The time that Cassie spent on this – it’s really just a labor of love. I know all West Virginians will love it.”
The 2020 Christmas Ornament is a quilted, square-shaped piece that measures four-by-four inches. The front has a red and green plaid border, featuring a square-within-a-square motif.
The interior background of the front side showcases a cutout patchwork pattern of the state of West Virginia on a snowflake motif background.
“When I was first approached about this, we were talking about how we wanted to highlight our quilting history and the Christmas season,” Mace said. “It made me think about family and I got to thinking about how every winter my grandmother would set up her hoop and she would make a quilt. I wanted to express how people that came before us worked to have practical items and now we can also use those things for decor to maintain that tradition.”
Only 500 ornaments were quilted. They are each numbered on the reverse side.
The ornaments are available for purchase at the Culture Center in Charleston and at Tamarack in Beckley for $22 each. As part of the First Lady’s efforts to support local artists, proceeds from the 2020 Limited Edition Christmas Ornament sale will go to Mace to help inspire future creations and broaden West Virginia’s artistic footprint.