The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Adds Nine Patch Quilt Block in Anderson, SC

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The log home of Patricia and Randy Travis located at 301 Lazy Street, Anderson, SC, has been added to the quilt trail by the addition of a Nine Patch quilt family heirloom.

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The Nine Patch quilt block is one of several kinds of patchwork quilts. Some of the earliest blocks consisted of blocks made up of 4 squares of fabric sewn together (4 Patch), or 9 squares of fabric sewn together (9 Patch) in many variations. These early patchwork designs allowed thrifty quilters to use very small scraps of fabric.

Annie Mae Hawkins Brewer is the cloth quilt maker and the great aunt of Patricia Travis. She was a significant part of Patricia’s early childhood years. Annie Mae was born in 1892 and was living in Starr, SC, when she died in 1971. According to Patricia, Annie Mae’s mother taught her to sew and make quilts. She would visit Patricia’s grandmother often on Issaqueena Trail in Clemson, SC, often staying for weeks at a time. Annie Mae’s sister, Emily Smith, made cotton shirtwaist dresses for Annie Mae, that included a pocket over the left breast to hold her hearing aid battery. Great Aunt Mae pieced the quilt out of some of the fabric scraps from those dresses, as well as old feed sacks she had saved. She eventually gave the pieced quilt top to Patricia’s mother, Evelyn Nelms, who then asked Patricia to find someone to finish it. Patricia and her husband were living in West Virginia at the time and found a woman who lived near Charleston, WV, to finish it for her.  Patricia inherited the cloth quilt in 1998 after her mother died. It now hangs in their log home. Each family member (her three daughters, sons-in-laws, grandchildren, and Patricia’s 81 year old Aunt Barbara McLees (her mother’s only living sibling) chose their favorite blocks in the cloth quilt to be painted.

While browsing in an antique shop in Pendleton, SC, Patricia found this quote: “Families are like quilts, lives pieced together, stitched with smiles and tears, colored with memories, and bound by love.”

For further info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail call 864/723-6603 or visit (www.uhqt.org).

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