Archive for the ‘Quilts’ Category

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Names 2016 Quilter of the Year – Diane Schonauer

September 30, 2016


The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate SC is pleased to announce the selection of Diane Schonauer from Anderson, SC, as the 2016 Quilter of the Year. This award recognizes a local quilter who provides leadership and community service through their quilting.

Schonauer will be recognized at the Fall Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Meeting on Oct. 7, 2016. in the first floor conference room at the Anderson County Public Library located at 300 N. McDuffie Street. The public is invited to attend the reception from 3-5:30pm. Quilts made by Schonauer will be displayed in the lobby windows for the month of October.

Schonauer has made many contributions to Anderson County and the State of South Carolina through her leadership and volunteer efforts with Quilters of South Carolina; Anderson Quilters Guilds in leadership positions and making charity quilts for donation through the Guilds many programs. In addition she is the Anderson production team leader for the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Schonauer is always willing to help area school students learn about quilting and painting a block for their school or helping the students make the fabric quilt. Schonauer promotes quilting through demonstrations, educational programs and enthusiastic leadership.

“I started this quilt in a class in Illinois in 1998 at a shop called Pieceful Hearts. Sara Nephew’s construction method eliminates the challenging ‘Y seam’. Each block contains two 60 degree diamonds and four 60 degree triangles, the two triangles in the ‘medium position’ are matching fabric,” say Schonauer.

“My mother had started a few quilts, among them Cathedral Window and Log Cabin, before 3 daughters and full time employment stopped her from completing them. I loved seeing these pieces as a young child and consequently have always liked quilts.”

“My sister, Linda Lilly, actually taught me how to sew. She made all of our clothes from the time I was 10 through my high school years. She is a very accomplished seamstress and has a degree in clothing and textiles. In the 1980’s Linda and I took a quilting class at Katie’s Calico Corners. I was hooked; Linda has not ever quilted again! In the early 1990’s, quilting classes were offered as an adult continuing education program and I signed up for the very first one. I have been quilting ever since,” say Schonauer.

For further info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail call 864/723- 6603 or visit (

The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Adds Two New Quilt Blocks to Their Trail

August 29, 2016


183 Blue Heron


The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, (Oconee, Pickens and Anderson Counties in SC) is pleased to announce the Blue Heron quilt block, created by their 2015 Quilter of the Year, Penny Little of Salem, SC. The Quilter of the Year award was created to honor quilters who not only are talented artists, but also give back to their communities in very meaningful ways.

Little is a member of the Lake and Mountain Quilters’ Guild making charity quilts for donation through the Guild programs and helping with a variety of Guild activities and programs. She leads the Hi-Fiber Art Quilters. She donates her time and expertise to the Tamassee DAR School, where she teaches sewing and quilting to aspiring young people on a weekly basis. She has been active in supporting the Oconee Animal Shelter making pet beds. Little has taught many classes for the OLLI program at Clemson University and done classes and demonstrations of her skills at Blue Ridge Arts Council and Locker Hooking at a Quilters of SC retreat.

Her quilts have won numerous awards in local and regional venues as well as national and international competitions. Her accomplishments in the world of art quilters is impressive. “African Bride,” has won first place at the 2006 Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild show and was also a semi-finalist at both the International Quilt Association’s Houston show and the American Quilters Society show in Paducah, KY, that same year. In 2012, “Numida I” took 3rd place at the Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild show and was also a semi-finalist at Paducah. “Reflections of Africa” was a semi-finalist at two AQS shows in 2014 as well as taking second place at the Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild show. These are just a few of her many awards in competition. She has also had a number of one-woman exhibits throughout the upstate.

Little was born in Detroit, MI, attended Eastern Michigan University, is the mother of three sons, two daughters-in-law and six grandchildren. She and her husband lived in several states and Tokyo, Japan. She is a retired travel agent and enjoys the good life living on Lake Keowee near Seneca, SC. As a young child, she can remember cutting up clothes and hand stitching the fabric into doll clothes or turning cardboard into little houses or villages. Later she made clothes, upholstered furniture, macramé or any craft that was popular. This quilter’s story started in 1994 when she was introduced to the world of quilt making and found her true passion. Her first quilt took two years, a block a month for twelve months followed by hand quilting for another twelve months. After joining quilt guilds, reading books, and attending workshops she became an adequate quilter. Although traditional quilts were useful, for Penny they were monotonous to make. That all changed when she discovered art quilts. The guideline for designing quilts is “there are no rules”. A typical quilt of Little’s may have an African theme, be made entirely from scraps, have no straight lines only curves or a focal point or embellishing from beads to seeds. The fabrics are frequently batik or her own hand dyed fabric.

When designing a quilt, ideas and color are the most difficult for her, she relates. Inspiration comes from fabric, workshops, travel, and books. Fabrics depicting African animals have inspired several of her quilts since her first trip to Kenya in 1995, second trip to Tanzania in 2006 and last trip to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe in 2011.

Little says, “A really fabulous day for me is quilting in my studio. I never lack for something inspiring to work on, talk about, design or get excited about. I enjoy teaching quilting to children and sharing my skills with others. In 2015 I was honored as Quilter of the year by the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. I was given a quilt block to be painted featuring a quilt made by me. I decided to donate the quilt block to the Lake Keowee community to honor quilters and artist. The great Blue Heron, which was inspired by Toni Whitney, seemed perfect for the lake community. The Heron took days and days to cut feathers and fused together and sew the edges.” The quilt was made by using hand dyed fabrics and batiks.

Toni Whitney, of Big Fork, MT, is the designer of the Blue Heron pattern. While pursuing a career as a wildlife painter, Whitney discovered the art of fusible applique in 2005. From her website (, “dabbling in textiles proved to be a thrilling experience that merged easily and effortlessly with painting…this medium seems to come hand in hand with the nicest group of people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, Quilters!”

When asked about the inspiration for the Blue Heron pattern, Whitney responded, “I live outside of a very small town in NW Montana in a heavily forested area. While I knew there were great blue heron in these parts it was a rarity to actually see one, I myself never had. I was thinking of my sister one morning and feeling particularly blue. She had passed suddenly many years ago with reasons never fully explained and finding closure for myself proved difficult. On this day of remorseful pondering I happened to look out of my window to see a beautiful great blue heron staring right back at me as if I were the oddest thing it had ever seen, perched, if you will, directly on top of a balsam fir just as comfortably as a chickadee, the top of the tree bent almost in half from the weight.

“Every morning for a few weeks following that day I would happen to look up at just the right moment to the bird, gliding low, silent and graceful over me,” said Whitney. “The peacefulness of witnessing such a large creature somehow effortlessly and quietly making its way through life out here in this wilderness which seems much too harsh for such a delicate creature somehow eased my soul and reminded me to take things lightly, try to live gracefully regardless of where I’m at and if I’m in a precarious place that I feel could snap at any moment sending me hurtling down to a horribly painful experience, I have but to lift my spirits and fly.”

The Keowee Fire Commission has unanimously agreed to display the quilt on the station on Highway 130, just north of Route 183. Rich Caudill, chief of the station explained the Keowee Fire Commission was established in 1993 as a fire tax district by the community and covers a service area of 30 square miles. This encompasses the Duke Energy facility, the lake communities of Waterford, Wynward, Waterside, Keowee Harbors and Keowee Key. The current station was built in 2008.

Little resides in the Keowee Key community on Lake Keowee in the upstate of South Carolina. In her usual selfless fashion, she has dedicated her award, the Blue Heron quilt square for community display and the fabric quilt that she beautifully crafted to honor the talented artists and quilters of Keowee Key.

184 Winter Cardinal


A Winter Cardinal quilt has also been added to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail at the Peck home on 202 Winterberry Lane in Seneca, SC. Jane Peck shared with us that “after downsizing from our lake house on Hartwell, it has taken some time for me to invite cardinals onto our feeders. At the lake I would have 6 to 7 families. Needless to say, I have missed them. Therefore, along with time welcoming all the birds in our new neighborhood, I want to especially show the joy of sharing our home with the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail by placing the Cardinal block for all to see. I believe the meaning of a Cardinal visiting your yard is a visit from someone close to you whom you have lost. Watching the Cardinal family, I have been fortunate to have witnessed the male bird feeding his young, protecting his mate. The art of creating a quilt has been something I have admired and the sentiment placed in each and every stitch has always caught my imagination. I am reader and a gardener. Taking great pride in my garden over the years, welcoming the birds and butterflies have given me peace.”

This quilt pattern was a project for work to show applique patterns using Batiks and Prisma dyes. Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka, owners of Lunn Fabrics in Lancaster, OH, create ideas for batik fabric for Robert Kaufman. Barbara Palumbo and Scott Clark worked together to make an appliqued quilt pattern for each season to promote new lines of fabric. The Cardinal was created in 2008 at the Studios of Lunn Fabrics.

Barbara Palumbo has been an avid sewer since a child and had been doing decorative painting for approximately 20 years, but had no experience quilting. She began by taking classes at Quilt Beginnings Quilt Store in Bexley, OH, and is still taking classes in different sewing techniques.

Scott Clark was hired by Lunn’s to design the caps (chops) that are used in making batik fabrics. Prior to that he designed patterns for screen print design companies. Lunn Studios still continue to make patterns that are available at the store and on-line.

A total of four season quilts were finished. Palumbo said about the quilt designs that, “It gave us a permission to play with applique.” “Also it was good resource to promote the Elementals’ line of batiks in each of the quilts and showed how you could make the fabric work for you”

Lunn Fabrics is located at 317 E. Main Street, Lancaster, Ohio, 43130, phone 740/654-2202. Visit their web site at ( to view Lunn Fabrics complete line of Artisan Batiks, Patina Handpaints and Prisma Dyes.

For further info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail call 864/723- 6603, e-mail to ( or visit (

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

July 6, 2016


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.

For further info visit (

UpCountry Quilters Guild of Pickens Presents Annual Program in Marietta, SC – Apr. 28, 2016

April 6, 2016

Pat Knoechel, Sister of Eleanor Burns of Quilt in a Day will be presenting her annual program for the UpCountry Quilters Guild of Pickens. This year the location for the meeting will be at the Pleasant Ridge Camp & Retreat Center, located in Marietta, SC, at 7pm, Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016. There is no cost for this program and directions are copied below.

The Pleasant Ridge Camp & Retreat Center is centrally located in between Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC. From Greenville head north on Hwy. 276. Take the Hwy 25 exit and continue north through Travelers Rest. Ten miles after leaving Travelers Rest take the Highway 11 exit. Turn left on Highway 11 and the Retreat Center is 2 miles on the right. The Center is located at 4232 Highway 11, Marietta SC 29661 Please note that internet maps/GPS sometimes directs you to drive past the park and turn right where Highway 11 joins Highway 276. This is a little too far and will just miss us.

For additional information contact Margaret Hampe Campbell, Publicity Chair, UpCountry Quilters Guild by calling 864/350-7515 or e-mail to (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Names Quilter of the Year and Presents a Gathering of Quilters

February 12, 2016


The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, has sponsored the Quilter of the Year Program since 2010. It began in Oconee County and now has been expanded to include Anderson and Pickens Counties. The program will be rotating the nominations by county. The 2016 nominees will be from Anderson County, 2017 Pickens County and 2018 Oconee County. Then the cycle will repeat. Nominations will only be accepted for residents of that year’s county. Nominees do not have to be a member of a guild or other formal quilting association or group. Nominations have to be submitted on the application form by date due

The Quilter of the Year Program was initiated to recognize a quilter who has provided community service and leadership through their quilting. The UHQT receives much support from the quilting community, it is our way to say thank you to these artists who provide service to their community.

Additional information and application can be downloaded from the UHQT web site (, under News tab or requesting application by contacting the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail at P.O. Box 333, Walhalla, SC, 29691, Phone 864/723-6603

A Gathering of Quilters – Mar. 5, 2016

Quilters of South Carolina – District One

The Gathering will be at the First Baptist Church in Williamston, SC, at 10am on Mar. 5, 2016. The address is 116 E. Main Street, Williamston, SC 29697.

Our speaker will be Lanette Edens, The Gypsy Quilter.

Please send the following to Susan Perham by February 19 to assure your reservation for the delicious HOT and YUMMY lunch! We will have show and share (please bring a beauty!) and VENDORS!!! There will be door prizes and we will be collecting 12” (finished) Q.o.V. blocks. Pattern of your choice, just use red, white and blue!!

Name ___________________________________________________________

Address ________________________________________________________________

Phone _____________________________________

Email _____________________________________

Please send cash or check ($7.00) to Susan Perham at 104 Cherrystone Court, Simpsonville, SC 29680
by February 19, 2016.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan at 864/918-4445 or e-mail to (

For further info visit (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Expands by Four New Quilt Blocks in Upstate, SC

February 12, 2016


172 Angles in Blue, Salem, SC


Hung in January of 2016, the original design for Angels in Blue is based on the traditional Windmill and Pinwheel patterns. It was designed by Margaret Walch whose granddaughter wanted to enter a project at the 4-H fair and wanted something simple since this was to be her first attempt at quilting. By reworking the traditional patterns, the design became an angel. The resulting pattern was published in Quilt World’s Christmas issue in 1991.

The Angels in Blue Quilt was made by Christine Lusk of Salem. Mrs. Lusk was a seamstress in Oconee County garment factories for more than 33 years.

Mrs. Lusk’s grandson, Jacob Lusk, wanted to honor his grandmother with his Eagle Scout Service Project and together they selected this pattern, which was especially appropriate as it was to hang on the fellowship building at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church which his grandmother attends. The church is located on 2 Old Flat Shoals Road off Hwy 11 in Salem. Interestingly, the Church is given a #2 on its name. The original church, # 1, is underwater at Lake Jocassee and was used in the filming of the movie Deliverance before the valley was flooded!

The quilt was painted by Jacob and members of BSA Troop 55 with the assistance of Troop Master Robert Eden and Jacobs coach Cindy Blair.

While only four squares of the beautiful quilt is displayed, the original is full of bright yet peaceful colors.

173 Cascade, Anderson, SC


David and Diane Schonauer have added a quilt block to their 1892 Victorian house located in the Westside Historic District in the city of Anderson. It is known locally as the Cathcart House since the Cathcart family owned the home from 1919 until 1991. The Schonauers purchased the home from the estate of the last Cathcart residing there and are only the home’s third owners. An extensive interior renovation and addition were constructed and completed in 2002. The Tumbling block has been placed on the rear addition.

The “Tumbling Block” pattern was first used by Victorian ladies to show off scraps of their finest silk fabrics. The diamond pattern requires the corners to be matched with great care for this patterns unusual geometric effect to be realized, since the 1830’s quilts of this pattern were designated as more luxurious than the square block patterns. This pattern also has many other names including cubework, heavenly stairs, and Pandora’s Box. This particular pattern is called “Box of Tricks” from the book Building Block Quilts by Sara Nephew.

Diane Schonauer pieced the quilt top; it was quilted by Heirlooms and Comforts, and completed in 2006.

“I started this quilt in a class in Illinois in 1998 at a shop called Pieceful Hearts. Sara Nephew’s construction method eliminates the challenging “Y seam”. Each block contains two 60 degree diamonds and four 60 degree triangles, the two triangles in the “medium position” are matching fabric.

My mother had started a few quilts, among them Cathedral Window and Log Cabin, before 3 daughters and full time employment stopped her from completing them. I loved seeing these pieces as a young child and consequently have always liked quilts.

My sister, Linda Lilly, actually taught me how to sew. She made all of our clothes from the time I was 10 through my high school years. She is a very accomplished seamstress and has a degree in clothing and textiles. In the 1980’s Linda and I took a quilting class at Katie’s Calico Corners. I was hooked; Linda has not ever quilted again! In the early 1990’s, quilting classes were offered as an adult continuing education program and I signed up for the very first one. I have been quilting ever since.”

174 Lone Star, Westminster, SC


Kimberly Wulfert, PhD., Quilt Historian (, has stated that “The Lone Star quilt block is likely one of the most recognizable quilt patterns to Americans. It is also one of the oldest patterns, along with the Mariner’s Compass, Orange Peel, Job’s Trouble and Irish chain. But this is a pattern known by many names. There are variations of it with 6 points, 8 points (the most common design) or even more.

Various Lone Star quilt pattern names are given to the pattern with a large central star, made up of diamond shaped fabric to form the star points from the center out. Often the colors are chosen and placed to form what appear to be concentric circles radiating around the center. It is placed in the center of the quilt top and can be appliquéd down to the background or pieced in. Sometimes other tiny stars are placed in the large blank areas surrounding the star, or flowers may be appliquéd in those areas.”

Mary Elizabeth (Libby) Long of Westminster made this Lone Star quilt for Mr. Cecil T. Sandifer. She began quilting late in her life, upon her retirement in the year 2000. As a child, she helped her mother make quilts, a necessity in those days. So far, she’s made 18 quilts, one for each of her three children, 5 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Lucky friends have been gifted with quilts in honor of anniversaries and other special occasions. Her philosophy about quilting is that it is a craft that needs to be taught to the younger generations.

The history of this quilt, relates to the history of Cecil T. Sandifer, founder and owner of the Funeral Home. Mr. Sandifer has worn a tie since his years as a teenager, as evidenced by old family photographs. He began wearing ties when he was named the bus driver at Connie Maxwell Orphanage where he and his wife, Frances, were raised. They moved to Westminster in 1952 and established the Sandifer Funeral Home. He has continued to wear a tie for the 90 plus years of his life.

The current location of the Funeral Home bears a plaque that reads, “The original structure of this building dates back to circa 1879 when this property was conveyed to Joseph T. King from H.J. Reeder. Cecil and Frances B. Sandifer purchased this home in the year 1954 from Olive King Pitts rearing seven children in the funeral home. Historical preservation is evident by four original gables, metal roof, eight workable fireplaces and hand hewn ceilings and walls. The sacredness and preservation of these premises becomes a constant reminder of our commitment serving with dignity and compassionate care.”

Mr. Sandifer has made huge contributions to the Upstate in more ways than one. He was decorated for valor while serving in the Fourth Division of the U.S. Army infantry during WWII and earned a Purple Heart, three Battle Stars and a Bronze Star. He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives, as Mayor of Westminster and as a commissioner on the Employment Security Commission, now the Department of Employment and Workforce. Mr. Sandifer was awarded the Order of the Palmetto for his significant statewide contributions, and a portion of U.S. Highway 123 was named after him for his many good deeds and services in local civic organizations.

175  Thai Memories of Saffron and Silk, Westminster, SC


Moon’s Drugs, located at 132 Main Street in Westminster, and owned by Jerry and Kathy Smith, has added the 175th quilt on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt, called Thai Memories of Saffron and Silk was designed by Barbara Shapel of Washougal, Washington and pieced and quilted by Jane Oliver of Hayesville, NC.

Moon’s occupies several buildings on Main Street, all of them historic. The buildings that house Moon’s Home Medical and Gifts were built in the 1800’s. The middle building, which is home to Moon’s Drug Store, opened as a drug store in 1901 and has remained there ever since.

Kathy Smith told us that one of her favorite quilts on display at the 2014 Festival of Quilts in Seneca was the Thai Memories of Saffron and Silk made by Jane Oliver.

“Obviously, I don’t own this quilt, but I want to use the pattern as our quilt block at Moon’s.”

Jane Oliver is a fiber artist living in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. She has enjoyed every minute of a life-long passion for fabrics, fibers, needles, and thread. Her evolution through this medium has taken many forms. The one fiber path she intended never to follow was quilting — until it grabbed her heart in the 1980’s and never let go. Today most of Jane’s creative work involves art quilts. Her inspiration is often drawn from nature — the mountains outside her windows, the ocean, and the coastal salt marshes. Her work has won awards in several guild shows. Various pieces are in private collections.

Jane has studied to develop her quilting skills by taking courses from the John C. Campbell Folk School in Western NC to studying with nationally/internationally recognized instructors in Sisters, Oregon. It was in Sisters that she met and began study with Barbara Shapel, quilt artist and mentor. From this study emerged Thai Memories in Saffron and Silk. This piece is composed primarily of silk fabrics brought back from a trip to Thailand where Jane was deeply impressed with the rich colors and textures of the Thai fibers and with the pervasive sights of the saffron robes worn by the Buddhist monks.

Jane wishes her formal education were in art. It is not. Instead she holds degrees from the University of Georgia, one a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, the other a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology. Her favorite job was as owner of a needlework retail shop where she taught classes in various techniques. However, she also held jobs in business development for a historic preservation/landscape architecture firm, in a college library, and as a hospital medical librarian. Today Jane pursues the creative world of fiber and delights in watching her grandchildren grow up.

Barbara Shapel is an award-winning quilt artist, teacher, lecturer and author. Her quilts have appeared in many publications and are included in private collections nationally and internationally. Today she is known for creating two-sided quilts where the back is a reflection of the front and offers the viewer a different perspective of the same piece. She also works to integrate the quilting line and make it an important part of the overall design of the piece.

In 2005, Barbara retired from Clark College, located in Vancouver, Washington, where she taught computer software application classes for almost 20 years. She now focuses full-time on creating fiber art and teaching others the joy of quilt making. She lives with her family in Washougal, Washington.

In 2003, Barbara kept having recurring dreams about ocean waves. After she created “Currents,” a local quilt shop owner suggested making a pattern based on the quilt. It became the first quilt pattern in her line of patterns that now includes over a dozen different designs. “Currents” continues to be her most popular pattern and she has taught hundreds of classes based on this design. It is always fun to see how students interpret the pattern to make it their own. Jane Oliver’s version is an outstanding example of taking a master pattern and adding her own vision to create a beautiful, unique quilt.

For further info visit (

SC’s Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Adds Quilt Blocks in Pickens, SC, and Westminster, SC

January 7, 2016


The Historic Old Pickens Foundation has sponsored the 170th quilt panel to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt block is called “Courthouse Steps” and is done using the log cabin quilt design. The painted panel was mounted on the informational kiosk close to the church. The church is located on the site of the town of Pickens, SC’s Courthouse and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This old church no longer serves a congregation, but the church and surrounding cemeteries are preserved and maintained by the board of directors of the Foundation. It is constructed of soft handmade brick formed on the banks of the Keowee River and then hauled up by wagons to construct the church.


The name of the original quilter is unknown. However, the design of the quilt represents the history of the town which was established in 1828. It seems to mirror the wildflowers, blue sky, lakes, rivers and streams of the Upstate. There is even a suggestion of a cross, recalling the Christian heritage of the Old Pickens Presbyterian Church.

After the Civil War, Pickens District was split into two counties. Pickens County and Oconee County became the new counties and the new county seats were in Walhalla and New Pickens. Homes and other buildings were moved by wagon and then re-built in the new towns The Historic Old Pickens Foundation welcomes visitors on Sunday afternoons during the summer, tour groups by arrangement and also presents events several times each year in the ongoing effort to promote the history of the old town and maintain both the church and surrounding cemeteries.

The town of Pickens Courthouse is no more – it was disbursed. The location of Historic Old Pickens is in Oconee County and is near the employee entrance to Duke Energy on the same side of SC highway 183 going toward Pickens.

History of Log Cabin quilt pattern by Karen Griska excerpt from Log Cabin Library Block.

“The Log Cabin quilt pattern is one of the most beloved and recognized of quilt designs. However, it may be both older and newer than you might think. While it’s natural to assume that this traditional block originated in the United States during the pioneer days, the origins of the block seem to go back much further in time and location. Similar designs have been found on ancient Egyptian mummies and in an English quilt predating 1830.”

“Log Cabin quilts first made a wide-spread appearance in the United States in the 1860s during the time of the Civil War. The block name may very well have had a connection to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. The Log Cabin quilt became wildly popular and was identified with the pioneer spirit and values of America.”

“Early Log Cabin blocks were hand-pieced using strips of fabrics around a central square. In traditional Log Cabin blocks, one half is made of dark fabrics and the other half light. A red center symbolized the hearth of home, and a yellow center represented a welcoming light in the window. Anecdotal evidence, based on oral folklore, suggests that during the Civil War, a Log Cabin quilt with a black center hanging on a clothesline was meant to signal a stop for the Underground Railroad.”

“In the latter part of the nineteenth century many Log Cabin quilts were made by the foundation method with a muslin base. Wools, velvets, satins, and other nontraditional fabrics were used. Log Cabins of this period often had strips that were folded and laid down, creating a three-dimensional effect. For this reason, many late-nineteenth-century Log Cabins do not have batting, but are backed and tied like Crazy Quilts.”

“Variations of settings appeared with names reflecting the themes of the times. The White House Steps, Court House Steps, eight-sided Pineapple, Barn Raising, and Sunshine and Shadows are just some of the hundreds of name and pattern variations.”

The home of Sue and Douglas Hackett in Westminster, SC, is now boasting an addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The original quilt pattern, called “Quilted Tulip”, was pieced by Joy duBois, a well-known local quilter, and hand quilted by Mrs. Hackett.


Sue tells us, “Joy and I did a lot of quilting together 12 – 15 years ago. She would pick out a pattern from a magazine or quilting catalog and we would do two of them – one for her and one for me. She would use fabric from her stash. Joy has been quilting for years and was teaching me at the same time. We made many, many wall hangings and a few full sized quilts. What fun we have had!”

Sue is a devoted and faithful volunteer with the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. She is a talented artist as well as a quilter and has helped develop new techniques for reproducing quilt fabrics and patterns on the blocks that are mounted on public and private buildings.

For further information about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, call 864/723-6603, visit ( or e-mail to (

Walhalla High School Joins the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate SC

December 19, 2015


A Bridge to a New Beginning was created by Walhalla High School students to represent their new High School.  This was an interdisciplinary effort from several classes in the spring of 2014, Mrs. Cathy Plowden’s Geometry classes, Mrs. Suzanne Glenn’s art classes and Mrs. Harriett Templin’s Family and Consumer Sciences classes. Both the fabric wall hanging and painted quilt panel are displayed on the interior of the school. The school is happy for them to be viewed by the public, check in at reception desk for directions.


Mrs. Plowden told us, “The process for creating the design involved all 71 of my geometry students. They each created their own design and these designs were displayed in the hallway for the remainder of the year. Mrs. Glenn’s Advanced Placement art students chose the design they liked the best. They actually chose two that were combined for the final design. Along with their design, my students submitted an explanation of the geometry required in developing the design and how this design represented Walhalla High School. Once the design was chosen, the material selected was chosen by Mrs. Glenn and Mrs. Templin. Then, Mrs. Templin’s classes sewed the cloth quilt while Mrs. Glenn’s classes painted the design”.

The design is a series of overlapping beveled kite shapes formed into a star with the school seal in the center. The design includes the school colors and earth tones representing the surrounding mountains of the Upstate.

For more information and pictures, click on (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Recognizes Oldest Quilt

December 11, 2015


“The Starke 1834 Baby Quilt” is thought to be the oldest recognized on the trail. Sally Oliver (Mrs. Felix) Gravino of Mountain Rest, SC, has sponsored this quilt that was originally made by her Great-great-great grandmother Margaret Evans Larkin Rochelle Starke of the Camden area for her daughter Charlotte Jane Starke (Nelson), born in 1834. Charlotte Jane later transposed her names to Jane Charlotte.


This crib quilt is appliqued with chains of roses cut out from printed floral chintz fabric, a technique called “broderie perse.” These large floral prints were among the popular consumer goods imported from England in the early 1800s. In South Carolina, quilt makers continued to favor floral chintzes for their quilts for another 50 to 70 years. The original colors have faded, particularly in the border fabric.  The blue leaves around the roses were originally green. Early fabric printers used a two-step process for printing green, first applying blue, then overprinting with yellow. The background fabric is unbleached sheeting which has aged to a soft ecru color. The cotton batting used in the quilt likely came from the Starke plantation.  The quilt was handmade, using 12 stitches to the inch. Great-great-great-grandmother Starke demonstrated a familiarity with geometry, in drafting and stitching the “egg and dart” motifs quilted into one of the borders.

Sally told us, “Jane Charlotte used the quilt as a baby, then her daughter Margaret Maria Nelson (Bauskett) used it in 1866; then her daughter Jane Starke Bauskett (Trantham) used it in 1891; then her daughter (my mother) Priscilla Ann Trantham (Oliver) used it in 1924; then I used it in 1950 (Sara Louise Oliver [Gravino]); and then my daughter Sara Ellen Gravino (Velissarios) used it in 1975.

The quilt is in amazing condition considering its age and how much it has been used over the years. This quilt has functioned as a family heirloom through six generations (so far) of our South Carolina family.”

Sally is a faithful and devoted volunteer with the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Though not a quilter, she is an artist and has helped establish new techniques to recreate the fabrics and patterns seen in the trail quilt blocks. Her quilt block is located next to 302 Chattooga Lake Road, Mountain Rest, viewable from the road or the cul de sac. The original cloth quilt has been donated to the Camden Archives along with other Starke family letters and artifacts.

For more information, click on (

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

December 11, 2015


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.

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 (