Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in South Carolina Announces New Additions to the Quilt Trail

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The log home of Hoyt and Laura Grant on Hwy. 11 just below Table Rock Mountain in South Carolina has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt block pattern is an 8’ x 8’ size in red and white gingham, surrounded by red and white solid blocks called a Nine Square and were installed on the family’s Century Barn. The cloth quilt was originally made by Mrs. Grant and given to their grandson for Christmas 2014.

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The Nine Square or Nine Patch, as it is also called, was a popular pattern used by pioneer women. The earliest homesteaders had neither time nor fabric to spare. Most of the quilts they made were utility quilts, quickly sewn together for warmth. The Nine Patch is one of the simplest and quickest quilts to sew because it was a good way to use up every scrap of fabric available and was used often.

The property on which the Grants live consists of 168 acres and was originally purchased in 1952 by Mr. Grant’s father, S.C. ‘Bud’ Grant. He took over the lumber mill that his father, Charlie Brooks Grant, had established, and then passed it on to his son, Hoyt. When Hoyt retired in 2006 at the age of 75, his son, Terry A. Grant, took over. Today, the property is home to the children and grandchildren and the fourth generation lumber mill.

According to former neighbors in the area, Fletcher Chastain and the Masters Family, the log crib was the first building on the site and it was built during the Civil War. The barn was built in the 1800s. There was a large 2 story house there that burned down in the 1980’s. Hoyt and Laura’s log cabin, built in 1994, is just in front of the old home site. It was called Grant Meadows when they joined Upstate Forever, an organization dedicated to promoting sensible growth and to protect special places in the Upstate region of South Carolina. This is the most photographed spot in South Carolina.

Laura Breazeale Grant grew up in Pickens, SC, the daughter of a farmer. There were 11 children in the family, three girls and eight boys. “After we had fed my Dad and my brothers their lunch, we girls sit down and sew. We would make a quilt a day. There were so many of us we had to quilt and sew all the time. My dad and brothers raised all the food we ate, we girls did the cooking and the sewing and whatever else needed to be done.”

A Bicentennial Quilt by Mary E. Granger, sponsored by the Hagood Community Center Fiber Arts Program was placed on the Hagood Community Center at 129 School House Street in Pickens, SC.

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The original quilt was made by Mrs. Mary E. Granger
(1932-2008) as a Bicentennial quilt. A native of Rochester, NY, she received degrees in nursing and art history. It was the latter training that yielded years of creativity. Her talents showed in the areas of dress making, pen and ink drawings, photography, reverse painting on glass, traditional rug hooking, painting and quilt making. She married her husband, James, during his medical school training. After graduation, he re-entered the service as a physician in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. While stationed in the Washington, DC area, she met and was influenced over the years by Jinny Byers. Mary started her Bicentennial quilt while the family was stationed in Augusta, GA and continued to work on it as she moved from Georgia to North Carolina to Tennessee. When finished, it was featured in Ms. Byers Medallion Quilt Book, a reference book at the Pickens Senior Center. Then Governor Lamar Alexander, now Senator Alexander, wanted to buy the quilt, but Mary wisely declined.

This spectacular quilt is done in red, white and blue, with four eagles, and medallions of stars and tassels in celebration of the four Presidents of this nation from Virginia – George Washington, James Madison, James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson. Dr. Granger hopes the quilt and others in her collection will be enjoyed by the Pickens community, as well as her other collections gathered over the years: sewing items, antique clocks, Depression glass, sheet music of old popular melodic songs, and reference books related to these collections.

The Pickens Senior Center is the current owner of the quilt and is housed in a building begun in 1929 as the Pickens Mill School for the children whose parents worked at the Mill.

Mile Creek Park located in Six Mile, SC is the 150 location joining the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt pattern, called Forest Lake, was designed by McKenna Ryan and originally quilted by Joy duBois of Seneca, SC. The original quilt was made for her grandson, Joey Marcus, for his 10th birthday. This addition to the UHQT is made possible by a Pickens County ATAX Commission Grant.

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McKenna Ryan tag line is “Simply Beautiful…Beautifully Simple”. McKenna says, “As I’ve grown over the years, I find that I want to challenge myself in capturing more depth and dimension with the use of fabric, while still making it a project that is easy and fun.” Additional information about McKenna Ryan can be found at (www.pineneedles.com). The Forest Lake pattern portrays an underwater scene of a mountain lake in lovely shades of blue, green and yellow.

The pattern portrays an underwater scene of a mountain lake in lovely shades of blue, green and yellow.  Mrs. duBois began quilting in order to make a quilt for her daughter Nancy. It was made in an Ohio Star pattern using materials saved from her pre-school dresses. After finishing that quilt, Mrs. duBois went on to make quilts for friends and family and to decorate her home.

“I spend a lot of time working with my friends on quilt projects. I really enjoyed the Thimbleberries classes that spanned many years. The first McKenna Ryan pattern that I quilted was a large wall hanging for my husband’s real estate office. Teaching my granddaughter Shira to quilt was especially meaningful. She now makes quilts and wall hangings for her friends.”

Mile Creek Park is located at 757 Keowee Baptist Church Road, Six Mile, South Carolina, and is the perfect family vacation site, a fisherman’s paradise, with the area’s best access to beautiful Lake Keowee. With its scenic natural setting, modern facilities and great amenities for the whole family, Mile Creek Park is an outdoor jewel.

As their website says, “Refresh your mind at Mile Creek Park. Hike along a rugged shoreline and watch the clouds sail across the water. Listen to birds singing and children playing. Pitch a perfect ringer, spike a volleyball, and cast a line across the water. Host a family get together, watch the sun set over beautiful Lake Keowee. Build a campfire and tell some stories.  Let Nature sing you to sleep.” For more information or to make a reservation, go to (www.visitmilecreekpark.com).

Table Rock State Park headquarters has a new fabric quilt and painted panel. The quilt block called A Walk in the Park was made possible in part through a Pickens County ATAX Commission grant and a donation from Vicki Bauer Fletcher, Executive Director of Pendleton District Commission; in honor her husband COL (Ret.) Nicholas Fletcher III, and Table Rock State Park Manager, Poll Knowland. Mrs. Fletcher said that “Poll and Nick have deep roots in and a fierce love for “The Rock.” Poll came with his family to Table Rock State Park in 1998, where he still serves as Park Manager. Thirty years earlier, in 1968, as a Clemson Parks and Recreation intern working at Table Rock, COL Fletcher (or Nick) lived on the Park grounds in Oolenoy Girls’ School with his first wife, Jean. We hope this quilt square will honor their service and dedication as well as the many men and women who have served at Table Rock throughout the years.”

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A Walk in the Park was originally designed and quilted by Gail Sexton, with creative input from Poll Knowland, Una Welborn, Jeanette Moody, and Chad Sexton. Mrs. Sexton donated the fabric quilt to the Park; it will be displayed inside Park Headquarters. The painted quilt panel hangs at the entrance to the Park Headquarters Building. Mrs. Sexton has been quilting for 30 years after working as an artist in oils and acrylics, painting mostly landscapes in the early 70’s. “I like to incorporate my artist background into my quilts. I make traditional as well as non-traditional quilts and I currently teach and do truck shows around South Carolina and neighboring states.”

Table Rock State Park encompasses 3,000 acres and is located on Highway 11 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina. The park offers cabins, a campground, and an old-fashioned swimming hole on one of the park’s two lakes. Its hiking trails take visitors past mountain streams and waterfalls and serve as an access point for the 80-mile Foothills Trail. Hikers can travel between several connected SC State Parks and walk to the tops of Pinnacle and Table Rock Mountains. While the park is well known to outdoor enthusiasts for its natural features, it also has its place in history. Many of the Table Rock State Park cabins and other structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. They are still in use and are on the National Register of Historic Places.  For more information on the park, go to (www.tablerock@scprt.com).

For more information about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail visit (www.uhqt.org).

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