Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Installs 181st Quilt Block


The 181st addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail is entitled “On My Farm,” purchased by Sandra Powell at the Westminster Depot’s one-woman show in 2015. The quilt, a small wall hanging, is a variation on the traditional log cabin block pattern. It is aptly named as the combination of light and dark color values in this design form into diagonal lines across the quilt and this layout is known as Straight Furrows. This appears to the eye as a field of crops, planted in parallel rows.


The quilter, Susan Hunston of Seneca, SC, is a well-known long arm quilter in the upstate. She has been quilting with the long-arm machine for 17 years. Her quilts have won awards for Best of Show at numerous shows throughout the upstate; at Lake and Mountain Quilters’ Guild show, Prickley Fingers in Anderson, SC, and in North Georgia’s Misty Mountain Quilting show. She has had examples of her work published at both the national level, as well as in Japan and Korea. Her work on the long-arm for her customers will be exhibited September of 2016 at the Lake and Mountain Show in Seneca, SC, and in the Spring 2017 show for Anderson Guild Prickley Fingers.

Hunston has over thirty years of quilting experience. She got her start at a very young age, hand-sewing doll clothes, graduating in Middle School to making her own garments. Her mother told her that with three daughters she just didn’t have the time to sew, but she would buy the fabric if she would sew. Originally from Portland, OR, Hunston took her first quilting class in 1981 at a local community college. That hand-pieced pillow top she fashioned got her interest and she then found a class at a sewing machine shop where she made her first “Rail Fence” quilt for a friend’s baby.

Hunston says she is inspired by her love of the log cabin design, as she favors the older, more traditional patterns in her own work. Her one-woman show in 2015 was arranged through the Westminster Chamber of Commerce and was titled, “A Little Bit Now, A Little Bit Later.” Hunston describes herself as a traditional quilter with a twist, and said that the “On My Farm” quilt was one she made for her own gratification.

Sandra Powell, who works at the Chamber, saw the quilt during the show and was captivated by both the design and its name. She purchased it during the show, as her parents, Derrill and Catherine Blackwell, still reside on the family farm in the Long Creek area of Oconee County, west of Westminster.

Long time neighbor to Powell, Claudia Spearman and her mother Mildred Spearman, a family friend for many years, offered to sponsor the quilt block for the Blackwells’ farm. It hangs on the front porch of their house built in 1953, where Powell was born and bred, on the property where the family has raised beef cattle for seven generations.

Powell’s brother, Bruce also has a home on the property and runs the farm for his parents in addition to working full-time in Pickens County.

Powell says she was thrilled to have the quilt in time for her father’s 90th birthday and Derrill and Catherine’s 65th wedding anniversary on the 4th of July in 2016.

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