Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Recognizes Tommy Forrest

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Tommy Forrest was honored with this painted quilt by the members of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Anderson Production team in November 2015. The quilt hangs in his quilting room at home in Anderson, SC.

Forrest is the one of the most loved and respected members of our Prickly Fingers Quilt Guild here in Anderson. He started quilting at age 68 with encouragement from his sister, Linda Hempel, following his wife’s death. His first quilt was “Winning Hand” which won a ribbon in a local area quilt show. He and his sister have made dozens and dozens of quilts and pillow cases for local charities and nursing homes since 2012.

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Tommy Forrest, chairperson of Anderson area Quilts of Valor (QOV) program and Diane Schonauer , UHQT Anderson production leader presenting painted quilt panel in appreciation for Tommy’s dedication to veterans.

He is the chairperson of our area Quilts of Valor program.  A veteran himself, he feels strongly about his fellow soldiers. The QOV program has become a calling for him especially after being wrapped himself on October 23, 2013. Since then he has made 40 quilts for the program himself and his group has wrapped over 100 veterans here in Anderson County alone.

The original was group project coordinated by Diane Schonauer. She shared that “this quilt pattern was found by my friend, Diane Kunzer, when we lived in Illinois. She put together a group of 10 women to do a Half-quarter square block exchange. Each participant utilized quarter square triangle paper and created 5 full sheets of red fabrics and 4 full sheets of cream/beige fabrics. Once sewn, these sheets were cut apart into Half-quarter squares, and divided by 10. Each person received their pieces and worked to complete the “stripes”. None of us repeated a fabric. Consequently, there are over 180 different fabrics used in the stripes.

“Each participant chose their own design for the star shield portion of the quilt. I selected the Ohio Star that was featured on the quarter square triangle paper package and made half square triangles in cream and blue which finish at 1,” said Kunzer.

“It was challenging to get all the points to match. I put this project away for a few years, moved to SC, and finally finished it in 2004. Nine of the participants are pictured on the quilt label. This piece hangs in my upper hallway where it greets me first thing each day.  It is a reminder of the great country we are fortunate to live in”.

For further info visit (www.uhqt.org).

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