Archive for the ‘Quilts’ Category

The Pentons add to Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Walhalla, SC

September 15, 2015


The home of Vanessa and Danny Penton located at 302 South College Street in Walhalla, SC, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The pattern of the quilt is called Grandmother’s Garden and was originally quilted by her Maternal Grandmother and Great Grandmother, Ellen Gunter and Hattie Butler of Birmingham, AL. It was made in the 1960s.


This is an old pattern and a familiar name for rosettes of hexagon patchwork, but the name is much newer than the pattern itself. The design first appeared as ‘hexagon’ or ‘honeycomb’ patchwork in the January 1835 issue of Godey’s Ladies Book, an influential fashion periodical. During the early 20th century, many quilt patterns were renamed to make them sound quaint and ‘colonial.’


Vanessa says, “My grandmother and her mother were both quilters and my grandmother was a wonderful seamstress. She made all my mother’s clothes as she was growing up including beautiful embroidered collars. My mother would tell me she was jealous of her friends’ store bought clothes and they were jealous of hers.”

For more information, click the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail’s new website at (

Hospice of the Foothills in Seneca, SC, Joins Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

August 12, 2015


Hospice of the Foothills has received an addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt block donated by the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail and acquired by Jan McKinney of Salem at the Hospice Foundation’s annual Christmas Tree Gala auction. She then donated it to the Hospice property located at 390 Keowee School Road, Seneca, SC.

The pattern is called Prairie Star and was made by Barbara Schoonover of Salem. She told us she was taught to quilt by her maternal grandmother, Dessie Decker, when she was 8 or 9 years old in Ohio, where she grew up.


“We would sit around a large floor quilt frame and Grandma always wanted me to sit beside her so she could make sure I didn’t get any blood on the quilts if I stuck my finger on the needle. My mother, Beatrice Howell, was also a quilter and I have several pieces of her work. I am always amazed at how small and even her stitches were. Today, my quilting mentor is my younger sister, Bobbie Moore, who makes beautiful quilts.”

According to the National Park Service’s Quilt Discovery Experience booklet, stars are probably the most common motif used on quilts. Homesteaders traveling west used the stars for guidance and they looked upon stars as religious symbols of their faith in God. There are hundreds of star patterns. Some quilts have just one large radiating star, often called the Star of Bethlehem or Blazing Star, while other quilts display dozens of smaller stars. The simplest and most popular star pattern is an eight pointed star.

A star pattern is not the easiest to cut and sew. Precision is extremely important as any inaccuracy in cutting or piecing is multiplied as pieces are added. If poorly pieced, the quilt will not lie flat when finished. An intricate star pattern was one way for a quilter to show her needlework skills.

Many times, the quilter deliberately sewed a mistake somewhere in the quilt, perhaps to reflect the maker’s faith in God, for only God can make a perfect thing.

For more information and pictures, click on (

Hopewell Plantation in Clemson, SC, Joins Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

August 8, 2015


Hopewell Plantation, adjacent to the Clemson University campus, in Clemson, SC, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Rebecca Calhoun Pickens’ coverlet utilized a candlewick technique which traditionally uses an unbleached cotton thread on a piece of unbleached muslin. It gets its name from the nature of the soft spun cotton thread, which was braided then used to form the wick for candles. Motifs are created using a variety of traditional embroidery stitches as well as a tufted stitch. Subject matter is usually taken from nature. Most of the designs were simple and stitched on unbleached muslin fabric. After the embroidery was completed, the fabric would be washed in very hot water to shrink the fabric and cause the stitches to fluff up, which would hold the stitches in place and give the puckered look of what would become traditional candlewicking.


Pickens’s used flowers, insects, and pine trees in her coverlet which were all native South Carolina plants.  It is a variation of the vase or basket of flowers design popular in the late 1700’s. Pickens was the sister of US Senator John Ewing Calhoun, Sr., aunt of Vice-President John C. Calhoun and wife of Revolutionary War General Andrew Pickens.

General and Mrs. Pickens had a dozen children, including a lieutenant governor and governor; six daughters who married into prominent families; and three children who died young. Their home, Hopewell Plantation, was built about 1785, and is representative of a rural house, common in the late 18th and early 19th century in the South Carolina backcountry. Beginning as a small log structure, it was substantially enlarged by General Pickens and was his plantation home for about 20 years.

The home’s historic significance rests on the national stature of General Pickens who is remembered for his significant contributions as a Revolutionary War General and later as a Native-American negotiator. His decades of negotiations with the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Chickamauga Nations were monumental in peaceful treaties and cohabitation with Native Americans.  Hopewell is where General Pickens negotiated the Treaties of Hopewell with the Cherokees in 1785 and the Choctaws and Chickasaws in 1786.  These treaties still today provide civil liberties to First Peoples.

For more information and pictures, click on (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Expands in Anderson, SC

July 30, 2015


Concord Elementary, located at 2701 Calrossie Road in Anderson, SC, is the 152nd location to join the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Concord Elementary is an International Baccalaureate School meaning students are taught to be responsible global citizens in an ever-changing world. Kay King, art teacher, stated that “’Lighthouse to the World’ pattern showing children from different cultures holding hands around the world was a wonderful fit for our school.”

Students working on quilt


“Lighthouse to the World” was designed by Mike Lucas from the McDowell Quilt Trail in North Carolina and this quilt panel is located on Eastfield Elementary School in Marion. NC. Lucas states “I have been with the quilt trail since we started in 2006, now approaching block #200. I have done all the design work for all the blocks, including this one that is non-traditional. Also I have constructed, painted (with occasional help), and installed (with considerable help) all the blocks”. Lucas worked closely with sponsors to create a quilt pattern that represents their mission.  “Each of the four corners of the block have a yellow and old structure representing a lighthouse with white rays of light radiating from the center on each side.  Boys and girls of all cultures and skin pigments are united hand to hand dressed in bright clothing on a background of black. Their feet are all based around the world in the center of the block, the globe representing land, sea and white clouds in a blue sky.” Additional information about the McDowell Trail can be found at (

Art Beat in Action Day is an annual event at Concord Elementary encouraging learning through art and is sponsored by Wanda Griffin Elrod’s family in her memory. Elrod was a former student and parent of four students who attended Concord, Jenna, Betsy, Allie, and Rebecca Elrod. Her father and mother started the donation, and after her mother’s death, her dad, Gene Griffin, and his wife, Beth continues the legacy. The 2015 event was held on Thursday, March 26.

Campbell and Kay King teachers at Concord Elementary collaborated with the entire staff to create a plan for a day of “art in action.” they had various artists and volunteers from the area assisting students and teachers in creating collaborative art pieces and artifacts that would enhance the school and be permanently displayed for all the school community to enjoy. Third grade students worked with members of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail to paint an outdoor display and create a fabric wall hanging of “Lighthouse to the World”. King stated “This was a perfect fit to tie in to the third grade standards on South Carolina Heritage.”

For further information visit (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC Adds New Quilt Blocks in Long Creek, SC, and Pickens, SC

April 13, 2015


The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, adds new quilt blocks to its expanding Quilt Trail in Long Creek, SC, and Pickens, SC.

Faith n Grace, LLC, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.  The Open Air Farm Market is located on Route 76 in Long Creek, SC.  Partners Joan Facey and Dick Cawood named their company Faith n Grace because she is Faithful and he is Gracious.  Cawood is originally from York, England and his grandfather was the head gardener for the Duke of Norfolk.  It is believed that he inherited his love of the land from his grandfather.  Facey has a strong Scottish background, a deep love of the land, including natural organic products, going as far back as her childhood days in rural New Jersey.


The quilt block includes four different patterns – Apple Tree gleaned from Maggie Malone’s ‘5,500 Quilt Block Designs’; Scottish Cross, Link of Friendship, and Virginia Star from the ‘Quilters Album of Patchwork Patterns’ by Jinny Beyer.

The original quilt, called “Friendship Orchard” was created by Virginia Cawood to signify the main elements of the Cawood-Facey partnership. The Scottish Cross was used to acknowledge the Scottish ties of both families, while the Friendship Knot and Apple Tree symbolize the friendship and apples grown. The Virginia Star is for the quilter.

Dick and Virginia (Gini) spent more than 20 years living in Africa, where Gini joined a craft group and first started to quilt. She had sewn many items of clothing while growing up in Pennsylvania and liked the tradition of creating baby quilts. Gini has, over the years, participated in many crafts but when she moved to the Clayton, GA, area she found the camaraderie of the quilting community there was what she needed to happily settle just over the South Carolina border. Gini has belonged to the Mountain Laurel Quilters Guild, Clarkesville, GA, since 2007, and served as an officer or chairperson for 6 years.  She has learned many skills and made many friends as a member of the guild’s smaller sub-groups.  Her philosophy for participation in the quilting world is many faceted. The friendship and support of other members combined with the valuable education gained from those friends, is her main reason for quilting. She likes to approach each quilt as if it were a puzzle – satisfying her creative side and keeping the brain cells bouncing!  The quilt was quilted by Sissy Anderson, a local quilter, teacher and friend.

Faith n Grace purchased the Crooked Oak Orchard that was first established in 1960.  They have spent the last six years rejuvenating it and are proud to say that it is again beautiful and producing apples.  Crooked Oak is a strange name for a property that had up to 4,000 apple trees, but only one oak!  The Cawood family has a farm almost across the street from the orchard with horses, the neighbor’s cattle and a Leyland Cyprus nursery.  The children and grandchildren play and swim in the rivers nearby, ride dirt bikes and target practice on the farm they all refer to as their ‘Happy Place.’

The Open Air Market opened in 2014 to sell apples from Crooked Oak and canned goods from Chattooga Belle Farm.  The Cawood and Facey families have ancestral ties to Scotland.  Among other things, Dick Cawood has been building picture frames for more than 30 years both as a hobby and as a living.  His wife, Virginia (Gini), is a member of the Mountain Laurel Quilters Guild, serving as both an officer and chairman for the last 7 years. The Cawoods also have a private barn quilt on one of their barns created by Dick for his wife as a Christmas present in 2012.

The Gatehouse Restaurant, located on Ann Street in Pickens, SC, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.  The quilt block, called Pickens Where the Mountains Begin, was designed and quilted by Elizabeth (Betty) Dalton of Pickens.


“I collaborated with my good friend and sister quilter, Angeline Byers, to come up with a design.  She found a similar block on the Internet which I edited somewhat.  It is a stylized mountain landscape.  The blue pieces represent the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Of course the orange circle represents the sun; and the triangle represents Glassy Mountain.  At the bottom of the triangle are darker colors representing the homes and farms found there.”

Betty Dalton taught 7th grade mathematics at Pickens Middle School for 50 years.  She had been a lifelong seamstress, having learned to sew in 4H.

“In those days we had to make hidden plackets rather than use expensive buttons.  We learned to make them, though, thanks to Matilda Bell of McCormick, SC, who was the Home Demo agent.  I also learned by making clothes for my Shirley Temple doll.  Then I was invited to join the Upcountry Quilters Guild in Pickens and was given a year’s membership as a birthday present.  I was always a soft touch for fabric and I especially like bright colors.

My first quilt was a ‘ying yang’ pattern for my husband.  Then I made a Mariner’s Compass, which I was asked to exhibit in Paducah, KY, at the quilt museum.  I published pictures of quilts in the Quilters Newsletter and became so addicted to quilting classes that I guess I’ve made about 27 quilts in the last 8 years.  Nearly all of them have won ribbons.”

The Gatehouse Restaurant is owned by Dean Holder and his son Jeff Holder, both natives of Pickens.  Dean was with the Pickens County School District for 33 years as a teacher, coach and principal, retiring in 2002.  He and Jeff have been in residential construction and in real estate and had an eye on the Gatehouse property for some time.  The building had been empty for several years and they bought it to renovate to sell or lease as a restaurant.  Without being able to work out a sale or lease they decided to open it without any experience.  They are now in the fourth year of serving food. The Gatehouse is open Tuesday thru Sunday for lunch and dinner with plans to expand to Monday service in the near future.  Dean is married to Ruth and they have five children and thirteen grandchildren.  Jeff is married to Liza and they have two sons– Jonathan and Jacob.

For more information and pictures visit (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Expands in Pendleton, SC

March 31, 2015


The Mercantile, a family business housed in a historic building in downtown Pendleton, SC, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Connie Earl opened The Mercantile at 149 East Queen Street in 1988. The Mercantile was Earl’s dream. She and her husband were in the area while he was on sabbatical and she fell in love with Pendleton upon her first visit. After they returned home (Alfred, NY), she had a dream one night that she had opened a gift shop in Pendleton. When her husband retired, they moved to Pendleton and worked to make her dream a reality. The Mercantile is a gift store with something for most everyone, including old-fashioned candy, candles, toys and creative supplies and classes.


Spearheaded by Earl’s daughters, the family decided to sponsor the quilt in her memory. Earl loved pink dogwood, so the family chose to have the flowers featured on a dimensional curved piecing technique developed by Annette Ornelas of Southwind Designs. One of Earl’s daughters, Susan Earl Congdon, who resides in Aiken, SC, completed the cloth quilt in 2014.

Congdon has fond childhood memories of learning to sew in the 4H Club, which led to her learning more sewing techniques through magazines, local classes, state retreats, and quilt shows. After choosing the pink dogwood design, she found a pink ribbon batik that features the words “Hope” and “Love.” According to Congdon, this fabric is in two of the three blossoms as a fitting memorial to a mother “who shared with us her hope and love.

Her daughters recall that their mother was supportive of all 6 of her children (4 girls & 2 boys) in their endeavors. This meant sometimes attending sporting events or band/choral concerts, helping them make their own Valentines cards and Easter baskets and much, much more. As a member of the community, she was also very supportive. She was warm and welcoming, greeted everyone with a smile and treated customers that entered the store as if they were guests in her home. She was very active in her breast cancer support group (1 in 8 in Anderson) and often people came to her to share about their journey. Even when in Hospice, she reached out to someone else who was battling cancer and sent them a message that she was praying for them.

The Mercantile web site is ( and they are also on facebook.

Additional information about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail can be found on the web site at (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Adds New Quilt Block at Spearman Home in Westminster, SC

February 16, 2015


The home of Claudia Spearman, located at 200 Augusta St. in Westminster, SC, is the 144th quilt block added to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt block, called “Josephine’s Knot”, hangs next to her front door. Mrs. Spearman made the original cloth quilt while recuperating from gallbladder surgery. It is in honor of her father’s mother, Josephine Jones Spearman, who died when Claudia’s father, Jim Spearman, was a little boy. And it was her mother, Mildred Spearman who worked with the UHQT volunteers in painting the quilt block for the Trail.


“Josephine’s Knot” was designed by Debbie Maddy. She is a designer, teacher and founder of Calico Carriage Quilt Designs.  “I love fabric, sewing—and quilters! I design patterns for quilts that are visually stunning but easy to make. Since 1993, Our Philosophy is Simple at Calico Carriage, we believe quilting should be easy and fun! Our patterns and books are written and illustrated in an easy-to-follow style, so you can just read and sew, and love the quilts you make!.”

For more information and pictures, visit (

Magic Needle and Piecemakers’ Quilt Guild Offers One Stop Shop Hop in Lancaster, SC – Feb. 28, 2015

January 8, 2015

The One Stop Shop Hop is an event geared towards quilters, knitters and needle arts sponsored by the Magic Needle and Piecemakers’ Quilt Guild.

This is the 9th year for our event. It will be held at USC-L in the Bradley Building on Feb. 28, 2015, from 9am – 4pm. Admission is $3 and parking is free.

We usually have about 20 vendors from NC, SC and GA.

For further information contact Donna Sawyer by e-mail at ( call 803/273-3834 or 803/288-0177.

Westminster, SC, Adds Quilt Block to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

January 6, 2015


The 1921 Sears Roebuck craftsman style cottage owned by Mildred and Jim Spearman located at 101 Augusta Street was added to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.  The original quilt was made by Mildred Spearman in the late 1970’s in Westminster, SC.


She calls it a Crazy Quilt, a style made popular following the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition Centennial. Inspired by the Japanese Pavilion’s crazed ceramics and asymmetrical art, American ladies quickly adapted the shapes into their sewing by designing quilt patterns using lavish, velvet, brocade and silk fabrics embellished with fancy embroidery stitches. Ladies magazines made this style quite the Victorian rage, lasting until about 1910.

Her husband had many colorful wide neck silk ties. The style changed in the 70’s to a more narrow tie, so just as her grandmother, Questria Claudia Purvis Bane of Mullins, SC, had done many years before, Mildred reused the fabric to make a quilt piece to be used as a top for a round box in which Jim kept small personal items.  After adding the needle work, however, she found it was too small to cover the top of the box; so she placed it in an embroidery hoop and used it as a piece of art work.

The connection reaches even further, in that Jim, a Westminster native, played as a child under his grandmother’s quilting frame.  She was Sarah Judson Buchanan Jones of Westminster.  This quilt block was sponsored by the Spearmans and is in honor of both their maternal grandmothers.

For more information and pictures, click on (

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

December 31, 2014


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.


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 (


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