Posts Tagged ‘Visiting Upstate SC’

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC, Adds New Quilt Block

August 30, 2017

The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC, continues to grow as a destination for travelers interested in quilts, barns, outdoor art and the history of the Upstate.

Heidi Wolko, a renowned quilter whose creations have been exhibited at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky told us that this work was “one of 31 pieces from three different art quilt groups. They were all part of the Everchanging River that Bonnie Ouellette, our “Thread Heads Mother”, had dreamt up. Needless to say, all of us felt extremely honored about the invitation from the museum to exhibit after the “River” had traveled around the U.S. for about three years. Following the exhibit at the museum, the “River” made one more long trip – to Taiwan – until the individual pieces were returned to their creators.”

Her quilt, “Illusion”, is the two hundredth two addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail sponsored this quilt for the Anderson Arts Center and it will join the other painted art quilt already on display at the Art Center Building located at 110 W. Federal Street, Anderson, South Carolina. The inspiration fabric quilt was shown along with another of Ms. Wolko’s quilts at the Double Illusions show sponsored by the Anderson Arts Center in 2015. Attendees at the show cast their votes for the quilt they thought should be added to the Arts Center building. The Illusion quilt had been displayed in Wolko’s Fair Play, SC home but after its selection for the UHQT, Ms. Wolko donated the quilt for an auction to benefit the Arts Center.

Wolko is a self-taught quilter who designed and made this quilt in 2008. The quilt was inspired by the book Blockbender Quilts written by Margaret J. Miller. This book encouraged Wolko to experiment with color. Wolko is a fiber artist whose use of texture, color and design has made a name for herself in the quilting community. She is the recipient of several quilting awards and continues to share her ideas and encouragement with other quilters. “One thing is for sure – I certainly LOVE color.” Images of some of her creations can be found by Googling Heidi Wolko.

For further info call 864/723-6603 or visit (www.uhqt.org).

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Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate SC Installs Quilt Block #200 and #201

June 12, 2017

The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate SC celebrated its 200th quilt square, To the Mountains, at the Greater Pickens Chamber of Commerce at 222 W. Main St. in Pickens, SC. For eight years, the Quilt Trail has grown, block by block, into a meaningful part of Upstate South Carolina’s landscape for locals who want to preserve the history and traditions of the area. While the Quilt Trail is built, perpetuated, and maintained by locals with a passion for their history, it is also a unique experience for visitors to the area. The Trail appeals to those who enjoy art, nature, history, crafting, story-telling, and even just taking a car ride through the countryside.

As the UHQT has grown over the years, it has forged a path through the lives of so many in its surrounding communities. The members of the Trail are comprised of people who have had the tradition of quilting passed down to them, those whose created the tradition for themselves, and those who are not quilters but still help make the trail possible in various ways. There are now two teams of over 20 volunteers in Anderson and Oconee Counties and soon Pickens County who contribute over 7,000 hours per year giving presentations, painting quilt squares with members of the community, and finding ways to improve and promote this priceless resource. This art form has woven its way into the hearts of this community and beyond.

The original quilt, To the Mountains, a small landscape piece, was created by Joy duBois of Seneca. Joy met a quilter by the name of Gail Sexton, at the Upcountry Quilters Guild which meets at the Pickens Presbyterian Church in Pickens. Joy subsequently took a class that Gail was teaching in a new landscaping technique at the former local quilt shop, Heirlooms and Comforts. She enjoyed the class and the teacher so much that she went on meeting Gail for weekly sessions where they quilted together. Joy has many quilts in her “stash,” both landscape and appliqued borders that Gail designed and Joy has hand quilted.

When it came time to choose the quilt to adorn the Greater Chamber of Commerce building for the 200th block installment, this landscape quilt of mountains, rivers and a foreground of flowers and a tree was chosen from a group beautiful little landscape quilts by Kimberly Smagala, a life-long friend of Joy’s as well as the newest Chamber Executive Director.

For Kim and Joy, it all began 30 years ago. “My family moved from Texas when I was 5 years old and my baby quilt had shouldered a lot of love and use. My mother started working in a real estate with Jere, Joy’s husband. That is when we first met she mended and refurbished my quilt several times for me as I grew up. Joy has made myself, my mother, and my children many quilts throughout the years, including baby quilts. She and her husband are like family. ”

“The chamber office is the first stop for many visitors who visit our city. It is our hope to highlight more quilts throughout the Main Street corridor and around town as a part of a walking/bike tour. Quilting is part of our rich heritage and we are surrounded by so many talented quilters locally, especially those from the Upcountry Quilters’ Guild. We look forward to not only seeing more renderings of these beautiful quilts throughout downtown Pickens, but also creating a destination spot similar to what Landrum and Westminster, SC have accomplished.”

“A quilt warms the body and the soul, having this remarkable painted quilt panel by these talented artists portraying the beautiful craftsmanship that Joy put into this piece is amazing,” stated Smagala. This quilt panel was funded through the Pickens County ATAX Commission to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.

201st UHQT Quilt The Cross

The Cross quilt is the 201st quilt added to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. It is displayed on the Westminster Baptist Church, 212 East Windsor in Westminster, SC. The painted quilt block was sponsored by members of the Westminster Baptist Church. The Cross quilt block was designed by Janet Houts and taught during a quilting retreat at Kanuga Episcopal Camp in Hendersonville, NC attended by Paige Price and Denise McCormick.

Paige and Denise knew it would be perfect for their church and fellow quilters, Deanna DeFoor and Beckie DeFoor. Together they joined efforts and worked to piece and quilt a wall hanging, measuring 30 inches by 42 inches, as a gift to the members of the congregation. It was first displayed in the church on Easter Sunday, 2015. Several member of the church helped to paint the quilt block and it was presented to the congregation on Easter Sunday 2017. Being on the quilt trail allows everyone who passes by to enjoy the beauty of the fabric and painted quilts.

The cross is a Christian symbol that represents Jesus’s victory over sin and death. We are reminded about God and His plan of redemption through the symbolic significance of colors in the Bible. The two main colors of Westminster Baptist Church quilt are blue and gold. Blue is the color of the sky and a reminder of the heavenly realm. It also signifies the Healing Power of God. Gold represents God’s love because His love is more precious and more valuable than all the gold in the world. Love is the gold of God.

Westminster Baptist Church has been in the heart of town for more than 130 years. In the 1870’s, the town of Westminster, named after the original church located in a log building situated on the site of the Westminster First Baptist Church, grew up along the railroad and soon developed into a bustling business area. As the population shifted more toward the commercial area, some members of the church decided to build a church nearer the center of town. In 1884, they established a church ‘in the heart of town’. Now, more than 130 years later, the motto “In the heart of town, with a heart for the people” is still a principle held by its members. Located on E. Windsor Street, the church strives “to reach and develop devoted followers of Jesus Christ who love Him, grow in Him, and serve others in His name.”

For further info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail visit (www.uhqt.org).

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate SC Adds Quilt Block #199

May 31, 2017

Driving down Sandy Springs Road in North West Anderson County, SC, through rolling farm land you will find Bruce and Toni Smith’s home. They have sponsored the 199th quilt location on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC.

The Lone Star quilt block can be viewed on their barn at 1101 Sandy Springs Road. We asked the Smith’s how they selected this quilt for their barn. They said, “We were in the little Amish town of Bird in Hand, Pennsylvania, and went into a store that had quilts for sale. It was here that we were amazed with all the quilts to choose from but Toni couldn’t decide on one that she was really taken with. A young Amish girl suggested that we go out into the country side and find a lady that made quilts at her home and that she really did beautiful work. We did find her the next day and made a very satisfying purchase of this quilt at her home.” Mrs. Smith stated that she has always loved quilts and wanted a quilt for their home. She continues to use the Lone Star quilt to adorn their home and now their barn.

The Smith’s live on a farm that has been in Bruce’s’ family since 1949. His family moved to this farm the year he was born and still possess the wagon his father used to move the family to their new home. They have primarily been cattle farmers and continue to run a few head of cattle. They love the rolling hills and open spaces and have a lovely bed of roses.

Kimberly Wulfert, PhD, Quilt historian states in her article “The Lone Star Quilt Design Through Time” 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…”. This old multi-pieced star block is known by many names. The Mathematical Star was an early name used in England and along the Eastern US seaboard, especially near Baltimore.

The Star of Bethlehem is a well-known name for it all around the country and is still used today. Other names for the same pattern are the Star of the East, Morning Star, which is what Native American’s call it, and Lone star, which is the name given to this pattern by Texan quilters because they are called the lone star state…The Amish liked the large central Star pattern, as did the southern states, across the US. The Central States made their fair share, but it seems more were made closer to the last quarter of the 19th century and in to the 20th century’s first two quarters.” Source: New Pathways Into Quilt History.

For further info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail visit (www.uhqt.org).

Upstate (SC) Heritage Quilt Trail Presents 193rd Quilt Block “Ode to Dave”

March 18, 2017

David and Diane Schonauer have added another quilt block to their 1892 Victorian house located at 707 West Market Street in the Westside Historic District in the city of Anderson, SC. The name of this pattern is Railroad Crossing.

Diane took several quilting classes in an adult continuing education program when I lived in Illinois. Each class offered a new pattern, making full size quilt tops. Since she did not have a lot of fabric at the time, nor the need for so many large quilt tops, she miniaturized each pattern the teacher gave them. The quilt is no exception in that the strips only measure ½” by 1 1/2”, and the overall quilt is 17 inches square. It was the first quilt Diane made “on point”. The backing fabric depicts old fashioned locomotives.

She named the quilt “Ode to Dave” in honor of her husband, David Schonauer. “We both worked for Electro-Motive Division of General Motors Corporation, where we helped produce diesel electric locomotives. Dave spent his 31 year working career there, holding a variety of management level positions, including running the Aftermarket Business Unit and overseeing the installation of the SAP computer system.”

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

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC, Installs Its 190th Quilt Block

January 7, 2017

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The second quilt to be placed in downtown Six Mile, SC, on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC, was mounted on Hot Foot Studios located at 104 Main Street. The owner of the studio, Sharon Finley, chose the North Star quilt, gifted to her by the Senior Ladies of Mountain View Baptist Church as a wedding gift in 1981.

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A teacher at Six Mile Elementary School, Sharon is also an avid supporter of the Appalachian culture which is realized through her art of folk dance. She started out teaching students at the elementary school in an afterschool program, and the interest from the community grew from there. The current studio was established in 2007 and her dancers have earned championship wins in four clogging sanctions. In 2015, she opened a studio in Asheville, NC, where her group has performed at Shindig on the Green as well as in Nashville, Tennessee and Branson, Missouri. Although she teaches contemporary footwork, her dancers always start with traditional clogging steps.

Sharon comes from a rich dance heritage, as she says “on both sides of the house.” Her maternal grandmother loved square dance and it was said she could wear out a good pair of shoes on a Saturday night! On her father’s side of the family, her grandfather was known for his “buckdancing” skills. He entertained the troops during his time in the service during WWI, and earned the nickname, “the little dancer,” as he was admired for his novel and curious talents of southern mountain culture. This tradition continues as both of Sharon’s children, Lauren and Cullen attended Mars Hill University and have traveled internationally with the college dance team.

The North Star pattern that graces the Six Mile Hot Foot Studio is an old, and very well-known pattern that dates back to pre-Civil War times. First seen at an Abolitionist Fair in Boston in the mid-1800s, it was used throughout the south as a sign to the slaves that it was time to prepare for escape and to follow the North Star, or the “Drinking Gourd,” on their way north to Canada.

The lady quilters that created this block, Annie Martin, June Winchester, Mae Alexander, Della Cochran and Inez Collins, used bright colors in their rendition of the pattern that they gifted to Sharon and her husband. These ladies would make a quilt for new brides in the church. They looked forward to each of these social gatherings. As Sharon says, “You’ve never heard such laughing and carrying on when they met at the home of Mrs. Junie Winchester!” Although all the talented ladies have passed on, their memory stays as warm in Sharon’s heart as the colors of her quilt.

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

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Expands in Seneca, SC

November 11, 2016

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A new quilt block (#188) has been installed on the shores of Lake Hartwell, on the wood-working shop of Jere duBois at 880 Cartee Road, south of Seneca, SC. The original quilter is the accomplished Joy duBois, whose workshop lies in the walkout basement of their beautiful retirement home. Her quilts decorate every room of the spacious home and are a sight to see and enjoy.

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Joy duBois relates that her husband has always hankered after a Mariner’s Compass, but for years she told him, “No, that’s too hard.” Not after she took a class at Heirlooms and Comforts with her friend, Judy Lardiere. They did their first paper piecing and each of them made a beautiful Mariner’s Compass quilt. Joy gave hers to Jere for his birthday.

duBois is now hooked on piecing, and applique, and color selection, and 1930s reproduction fabrics! Sounds like a quilter. Visiting her workspace is a delight to the eyes, with many quilts in various stages of production.

Moving south from St. Charles, IL, forty-seven years ago, Joy and Jere opened a convenience store on Old Clemson Highway in what is now a fraternity house. They lived upstairs, while Joy ran the business and Jere worked as a real estate broker for Coldwell-Banker, where he continues to be employed. After moving to South Carolina, Joy decided to make a quilt for her daughter from old dresses she wore as a child. She planned to gift the quilt to her for her high school graduation, but shares that it was actually completed for her graduation from university. She did discover the Heirlooms and Comforts Quilt Shop during that time, and took many classes there throughout the years.

duBois has been an inspiration to the Trail. You can see reproductions of her beautiful quilting at Six Mile Park. She and Sue Hackett produced #171, Quilted Tulips and soon to be added Gardener’s Delight. Joy has worked with many quilters in the area. A technique she and Gail Sexton learned together will be added soon at the City of Pickens Chamber of Commerce, and who knows where next? We have plans!

For more information on the history of the Mariner’s Compass pattern, refer to quilt #67 on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail web site at (www.uhqt.org).

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate. SC, Expands by Two

October 28, 2016

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The 186th quilt panel was recently added to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail at the home of Billy and Thelma Burton, 899 Rocky Fork Road Westminster, SC. The Cathedral Window quilt was the final quilt Thelma’s mother, Henry Louie Green Powell, worked on before her death and remains unfinished. Thelma recalls from her childhood Sarah Hunt and her mother putting a quilt on the backs of old straight chairs, laying the frames across them. She says, “They would work for days. The old shell design was the one she liked to use. Using chalk, she would make the shell pattern.” This was where Thelma learned to quilt, making two quilts herself before she was married to Billy L. Burton fifty years ago.

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Thelma Burton with her mother’s quilt beside the painted quilt panel.

A Cathedral Window quilt is not strictly a traditional quilt. It doesn’t have the usual sandwich of three layers of fabric and batting, but is composed of folded squares of fabric, whip-stitched together into the “frames.” The “panes” are traditionally made from muslin or cheesecloth squares to create a translucent effect as they are appliqued over the joins, inside those graceful curves that must be what Thelma saw as shells when she was a child.

Blogger at (annquiltsblog.com) describes the process as “being similar to the folded paper fortune tellers my friends and I made ad infinitum when we 8 or 9 years old. Does anyone remember recess on sunny afternoons, choosing numbers and colors, then getting a funny fortune?”

Great cathedral windows have been an inspiration to countless people for centuries. It’s always a gift to have some of the emotions, memories and ideas of great art, such as a glowing church window in our daily lives.

The 187th addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Westminster, SC, was installed on the barn door of the property owned by Joe & Sharon Byers on 418 Cornelia Avenue. Joe and Sharon come from quilting-rich backgrounds, respectively relocating from Pennsylvania and Michigan to the upstate of SC. The square was painted by their two daughters, Heather and Hadassa, along with young neighborhood friends of long standing, Savannah, Whitney and Jordan Wingert. The young people took time off from their summer activities to come to the studio in Walhalla and complete the block under the guidance of the production team. Joe, a carpenter and independent contractor, designed and built a beautiful wooden frame for the block, to give it a bit more presence on his barn.

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The original design was created by the Arts Council of York County, (www.yorkcountyarts.org) and serves as their logo. They also have a painted panel which is displayed on their Arts Center as part of the York County Quilt Trail in Rock Hill, SC. The style and design of this quilt is a variation of the Cathedral Window quilt block.

The fabric quilt was commissioned by Cindy Blair to meet the requirement of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail that there be an actual, hand-made quilt block. It was sewn by Mary Dee Rudy of Seneca, a prolific quilter and member of the Walhalla Production Team. It was donated by Cindy Blair to the UHQT and will be showcased at the production team’s studio.

For further information visit their website at (www.uhqt.org).

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

September 30, 2016

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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 (www.uhqt.org).

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Adds Another Quilt Block to Trail

September 8, 2016

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#185 Carpenters Wheel

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Westminster, SC’s latest addition to the trail is directly across the street from the Defoor’s old homestead, at the former home of the Benjamin Wingert family at 110 Cornelia Avenue. Although Ben now resides in Six Mile, SC, he has completely refurbished the small vintage house where his children were raised as youngsters. After a fire that started in the wood stove on a cold January day in 2014, then spread throughout the structure causing extensive damage, Ben has worked to reclaim as much of the original materials as possible. He then did a complete re-design of the floor plan and repurposed much of the old wood, metal and tin to create a uniquely beautiful new, old house.

The original structure dates from the early 1920s as the first owners are thought to be a family by the name of Pickle, hence the name chosen for his new Airbnb venture is “The Pickle House.” This house will hopefully accommodate tourists in the upstate area who come to experience the hiking trails, waterfalls and whitewater river destinations on a short-term rental basis.

The choice of the Carpenter’s Square as Ben’s quilt block is very appropriate, as Ben has worked in the building trades for many years. One of his first work experiences in carpentry was at “Swing of Things” in Westminster, constructing gazebos. He then moved on to work for local contractor Lee Bolding, where he learned the carpentry trade from a master builder. After Lee closed his business, Ben went on to work independently in the upstate, creating many beautiful structures, interiors and furnishings.

The Carpenter’s Square or Wheel block design has a long history in the south. It is said to be one of the fifteen “escape” patterns used in the Underground Railroad during the slavery years of the south. The carpenter was Jesus and the wheel symbolized to the slaves, most of whom were illiterate, their reliance on religion. The wheel was made up of small triangular shapes, and by carefully placing the darker ones with the point aiming in a specific direction, this would guide the slaves in the proper direction to safety.

After Ben chose the design for his house, he consulted with a friend in Bloomington, Indiana, Cathy O’Bryan who is a prolific quilter. As most quilters, Cathy is a generous soul who opened up her “stash” of fabrics and allowed him to pick whatever struck a chord with him. The mix of colors are Ben’s favorites; greens, browns, oranges, even a wood grain fabric is included.

Ben and his partner, Cindy then asked a friend that volunteers in the UHQT studio if she would consider stitching a block so that the requirement of the trail to have an actual quilt attached to each square would be fulfilled. Mary Dee Rudy was graciously ready to help out. Mary Dee has been a quilter for thirty years and a painter of quilt squares since the inception of the trail. She shares, “My first quilting experience was through lessons taught by a neighbor. We were a group of six and completed a crib sampler quilt in six weeks, all hand pieced and quilted. I was hooked!” She has made numerous quilts for her own children, including one she made for her son that he took to military school, college and still uses to this day.

Mary Dee’s first submission to a quilt competition was the 2010 Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild show where she won first place in the category for people who had never entered before. This was a king-sized quilt, called Cherry Rose, that was hand appliqued and hand quilted. In 2012, she took third place in the applique category for her yo-yo quilt. Mary Dee lives outside Seneca with a quilt block on the garage. Inside her log cabin are many fabric quilts, both completed and in progress.

For further info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail call 864/723- 6603, e-mail to (info@uhqt.org) or visit (www.uhqt.org).

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

August 29, 2016

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183 Blue Heron

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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 (www.toniwhitney.com), “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

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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 (www.lunnfabrics.com) 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 (info@uhqt.org) or visit (www.uhqt.org).