Archive for the ‘Upstate SC Visual Arts’ Category

A New Way To Greenwood, SC, To See Some Art

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Back in the day, when I had to spend a week delivering Carolina Arts all over North and South Carolina, I would spend 12 – 16 hours a day driving in big circles around the two states. One route in South Carolina took me up I-26 to Columbia, then to Newberry, then Clinton, then to Spartanburg, over to Greenville, up to Seneca, back down to Clemson, then over to Pendleton, across I-85 into Anderson, on to Belton, then a long stretch to Greenwood, then down to Edgefield, down further to Aiken, then to Denmark, finally to St. George over to I-26 and back home to Bonneau on the shores of Lake Moultrie where the headquarters of Shoestring Publishing is. On a real ambitious day I would include Abbeville, McCormick and Barnwell. I remember even going to Union a couple of times. That was when I was acting like I was a missionary for the arts. Eventually I just took the paper to places where we got support from, which meant almost the entire left side of SC was being left out. They didn’t support our efforts – why should they see the paper? Now that we’re an electronic publication – anyone anywhere can download a copy – no delivery by me. And we cover anywhere in the Carolinas, as long as they send us info before our deadline. We just never heard form folks on that left side of the state.

In 2016, out of the blue we started getting some support from Greenwood and then Anderson. So when I decided I wanted to make a trip to Greenwood I had to look on a map to see how to get there directly from Bonneau. Of course it was get on I-26, it’s always I-26 it seems. Head through Columbia, up to Newberry and then take Hwy. 34 over to Greenwood. I don’t think I have ever been on Hwy. 34 in SC before, which was amazing as I feel like I’ve been on every road at one time or another. I noticed I’d be going through Ninety Six (a Revolutionary War town) which might be interesting.

I’ve never understood why SC is so into the Civil War when it is the Revolutionary War it should be proud of – it was won mostly in South Carolina.

Hwy. 34 is just a two lane highway and it is an up and down road. Most of the traffic was logging trucks. I never did see where they were coming from or where they were going to, but both drives in and out of Greenwood was one logging truck after another.

I left Bonneau just before 7am (it was 61 degrees) and got to Greenwood about 10:30am (it was about 68 degrees). It was like a Fall day in October. Remember, this was the 8th of June – June.

First stop was the Arts Center of Greenwood, at the Federal Building, 120 Main Street, in downtown Greenwood to check out the “11th Annual South Carolina Festival of Flowers Juried Art Show”. The weekend of June 2-4 was the SC Festival of Flowers’ 50th Anniversary, which I had hoped to attend, but too many other things got in the way. Also on view at the Arts Center was the “South Carolina Festival of Flowers Juried Youth Art Show,” featuring works by regional youth artists (K-12).

I’ve tried over several years to get the folks at the Arts Center of Greenwood to send us press releases about their exhibits with no success. They have a nice exhibit space and put on some interesting exhibits – why they are not interested in publicizing them is a mystery to me, but I got a few insights on my visit yesterday.

When I walked into the Arts Center and began viewing the exhibit, I was soon greeted by someone who was manning a front desk. I asked if there was a handout sheet giving info about the exhibit. She replied no. A short time later I asked if she could tell me who the juror was. She could not. By the time I had a third question about the exhibit, she offered to takes some notes and get me some answers when a staff member arrived. No one on staff was on site that morning? This is why you produce an information sheet for volunteers to hand out.

As I looked around the exhibit, I recognized some names, but there were many that I did not and it was soon clear that this was mostly a regional show of artists from the left side of the state. I’m not sure if that was a restriction of the exhibit, but I didn’t see many artists from other parts of the state. We have never received a call for entries about this exhibit, so my guess is not many artists knew about it.

By the time I got home I had an e-mail from Catherine S. Gaither, Facilities Director at the Arts Center of Greenwood. Her short note offered that they had 182 entries, 64 of those were accepted and the judge for the exhibit was Erin Glaze Nathanson.

So I was wrong – the woman who couldn’t help me with much info about the exhibit was Ms. Gaither, who is on staff at the Arts Center. So the staff doesn’t talk to each other much about what goes on in the Arts Center. But she did get me the info I wanted and that was better than most communications I’ve had in the past trying to get them to send me info about their exhibits.

617Greenwood-Arts-Center0.1Centered view of the Countybank Gallery

617Greenwood-AC-gallery-view-right4887View of the right side of the Countybank Gallery

617Greenwood-AC-Hallway-viewView of the Gallery Hall/Greenwood Capital

Erin Glaze Nathanson is from Charleston, she used to work at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, another exhibit facility that doesn’t see much value in promoting their exhibits. They do a much better job at it now.

I later requested info on the winners of the competition and once I received this I figured that it was a state-wide opportunity, as their were award winners from Rock Hill and Charleston. I’ll include that info at the end of this post.

Well there could have been more artists from around the state who were part of the 182 entries, but didn’t get selected to be in the exhibit.

I’ll give the Arts Center credit for not having a judge from the region – Charleston is a long way from the left side of the state. But it might have been better to have a judge from outside the state for a state-wide competition.

So what about the exhibit?

Not knowing what was entered and seeing the 64 works selected to be on view, one third of the entries, there were some very good works on view and I didn’t walk away thinking out of all the works on display – how did the judge give awards to these works and not others. I think it would have been a hard job for any judge. The quality of the works were all at a high level, which isn’t always true of a juried show. I’ve included some images of works that caught my eye and the show in general, showing the exhibit space. Keep in mind some works that I liked may have been impossible to get a good image of so they are not included.

617Greenwood-AC-Elizabeth-Snipes-Rochester“Grounded” by Elizabeth Snipes-Rochester of Greenwood

617Grenwood-AC-Carey-Morton“Myth” by Carey Morton of Pendleton

617Greenwood-AC-Katelyn-Chapman“A Good Plenty” by Katelyn Chapman of Athens, GA – I guess the show was open to artists in Georgia too or they could be a student at one of the state colleges or universities.

“Vessel No. 357″ by Lee Sipe of Columbia

617Greenwood-AC-Elaine-Quave“Hominid Asclepias Sp3″ by Elaine Quave of Greenville

We included info from the SC Festival of Flowers that the show would be up through June 27, but I found that on the Art Center’s website they say it will be up through the end of the month June 30, 2017. I’d call to make sure if you plan a visit. And, I recommend that you do make a visit to Greenwood to see this show and other things still on view during the month of June.

I’m not sure why the folks at the Arts Center are not interested in sending us info about their exhibits, why they are not interested in helping Greenwood attract more visitors, but the local tourism folks are. I do know it’s discouraging for SC’s B and C size cities to do much PR beyond their own backyard as the media in SC only sees three cities in SC – Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville. All other areas can only be mentioned when something bad happens there. I hope at some point they change their mind, but I didn’t see any info about any other exhibits planned for the Summer.

617Greenwood-AC-Kendell-Lusk“Pause” by Kendall Lusk of Belton – this was a small work 7″ x 5″ but it was as strong as the biggest work in the exhibit

617Greenwood-AC-Al-Byers“Untitled” by Al Beyer of Aiken

617Greenwood-AC-Kymberly-Day“The Girls Who Hang with Cattle” by Kymberly Day of Pendleton – this was the Best of Show winner

617Greenwood-AC-Deighton-Abrams“Self-Created Bliss/Everything True” by Deighton Abrams of Seneca

617Greenwood-AC-Doug-McAbee“Fred” by Doug McAbee of Laurens

Hours for the Arts Center are: Mon.-Fri., 10am-5pm and Sat., 9:30am-1:30pm. You can contact them by calling 864/388-7800 or visit (, but you won’t really find much info there.

617Greenwood-AC-youth-gallery-viewView of the Calhoun Mays Reception Hall

Now while at the Arts Center I also took a look at the “South Carolina Festival of Flowers Juried Youth Art Show,” on display, but it will come down before I can get this posted. I’m always amazed at youth art shows as there are always a few works that don’t look like they were done by a student. There were a couple of works that reminded me of work by Jim Arendt, the winner of the first top prize at ArtFields – paintings made with different colored strips of denim. But my favorite works were a series of ink drawings. I took a few images but the works were all covered with shrink wrap, which is very reflective and that made it impossible to get good photos of them. There is another part of the story of these ink drawings later.

617Greenwood-youth-denim-Rachel-Holder“Blue Skies” by Rachel Holder, 8th grade, Brewer ACTS School – painting with denim

617Greenwood-youth-ink-Faith-McMann“Elated Elephants” Faith McMann, 10th grade, Clinton High School

617Greenwood-youth-pig-Samantha-Phillips“Pigskin” by Samantha Phillips, 8th grade, Brewer ACTS Magnet School – I thing a woodcut

My next stop was at Main & Maxwell, 210 Main Street, at the intersection of Main Street and Maxwell Avenue in Greenwood – just a few buildings down from the Arts Center on the same side of Main Street.

Main & Maxwell art gallery is celebrating its one year anniversary during June. The gallery, which is a converted bank building, specializes in local South Carolina artists, offers handcrafted art, pottery, jewelry, fiber and gifts for all occasions. It’s the kind of gallery where there is wall to wall art and is almost filled from floor to ceiling. You could spend hours in there looking and I’m sure if you came back a few hours later you would notice something you swear you didn’t see before. My eyes were bouncing from one place to another. All the work in the gallery was work from artists I’ve never seen before with a few exceptions.

617Main&Maxwell-Sandy-SingletaryPottery works by Sandy Singletary

617Main&Maxwell-Jim-BrinsonPainting by Jim Brinson

The owner of Main & Maxwell is Laura Bachinski, who is a ceramic artist herself, so the gallery carries a lot of pottery – mostly by other artists. There is some works by her there, but you know how that goes when an artist opens a gallery – their own work tends to take a backseat to everyone else’s work. But I heard they are soon to open a basement space and a kiln is in the gallery’s future. So Bachinski might have more occasion to make work at work, but…we’ll see. This basement will also add on room for classes and maybe even studio space.

617Main&Maxwell-Laura-BachinskiWorks by Laura Bachinski

There seems to be more jewelry on hand than I’ve seen in most art galleries. I’m glad Linda couldn’t make the trip – we’d still be there looking. But at the same time the place seemed full of paintings and other fine art craft items of all sorts and mediums – all really good stuff too. I know what you’re thinking – what else is he going to say about an advertiser? Well, I didn’t have to go. I could have gone in, looked around and left, but I didn’t – I wanted to know who all these talented artists were and where had they been in my thirty years of doing an arts publication.


617Main&Maxwell-Elizabeth-Nason2Jewelry by Elizabeth Nason

One of my discoveries was a batch of ink drawings that looked a lot like those works I enjoyed in the youth art show at the Arts Center. These note cards and framed drawings were by Art by Phyllis Anne which had to be connected to the works at the youth show. I asked if they knew if she was the teacher of student work in the show and Bachinski said she was a teacher.

617Main&Maxwell-Phyllis-AnneWork by Phyllis Anne

617Greenwood-youth-ink-Faith-McMannWork by her student Faith McMann

You see another thing missing at the Arts Center was that they did not include the teacher’s name of the student’s work in the show, Most youth art shows do that to give credit to the teacher. I mean these kids didn’t just one day start making art like that on their own. They gave me the artist’s business card at the gallery and I later e-mailed her and found out she did teach those students.

Unlike the Arts Center, Main & Maxwell is doing everything they can to get people to come to Greenwood and see the works by regional arts and in many cases take them home with them.

Here’s some views of the gallery:





Main & Maxwell is open Mon.-Sat., 10am-6pm. For further information call 864/223-6229 or visit (

Time was running out on me and I had one more mission for this day and that was to get some images I could use in the future to promote Greenwood. Here’s a few.


617Festival-of-Flowers-flowers2Of course you can’t have a Festival of Flowers without flowers

And here’s a few of the Signature Topiaries placed around the downtown area




And, one more thing – if you can’t make it there this month to see these exhibits, Main & maxwell is always going to be open and on July 6-8, 2017, Uptown Greenwood will be presenting the Festival of Discovery – BBQ & Blues, including a BBQ competition, live Blues music on a main stage, an arts & crafts fair, and Kids Zone. For further info visit (

Here’s the results of the Juried Arts Show at the Arts Center of Greenwood:

Honorable Mention – “Myth” by Carey Morton (Pendleton, SC)

Honorable Mention – “Image of a Nude” by Jack Rookard (Central, SC)

Honorable Mention – “After A While, You Learn” by Lindsey Bargar (Rock Hill, SC)

Merit Award ($100) – “Pause” by Kendell Lusk (Belton, SC)

Merit Award ($100) – “Diminishing Connections 3” by Mary Cooke (Inman, SC)

Merit Award ($100) – “Tender Love & Care” by Haley Floyd (Central, SC)

Best of 3-D ($400) – “Hominid Asclepias Sp3” by Elaine Quave (Greenville, SC)

Arts Center Merit Award (1) ($100) – “A Good Plenty” by Katelyn Chapman (Athens, GA)

Arts Center Merit Award (2) ($100) – “Evelyn” by Chuck Keppler (Charleston, SC)

3rd Place ($300) – “Coil Form 2” by Spencer Bautista (Greenwood, SC)

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Folks Have Been Busy Installing New Quilt Blocks Throughout Upstate SC

Monday, July 7th, 2014


The “Summer Winds” quilt block is located at the Pendleton Branch Library of the Anderson County Library System, 650 South Mechanic, Pendleton, SC. “Summer Winds” is a quilt block sponsored by Greeta G. Peden who has made the cloth quilt pattern numerous times as gifts for family and friends. She keeps using this creative block because of the different ways it is perceived. Some see fish, some see flowers, while others just notice the geometry involved. She loves it because she sees something different every time she makes it. Barbara Brackman’s “Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns” attributes the block to Nancy Page, a syndicated column written by Florence LaGanke for mail order patterns that ran in numerous periodicals c.a. 1925 to 1940.


Peden currently resides in Pendleton, SC, and has a truly unique relationship with the Pendleton Public Library itself. She has been meeting on Mondays and Thursdays with her Sit and Sew Group of fellow quilters for several years there. Peden learned to sew on a machine in her home economics class taught by Sister Antonio Marie in the 1950s. She didn’t begin quilting until age 67 and is a self-proclaimed “late” bloomer.

Pendleton’s first library was founded in 1811 as the Pendleton Circulating Library. Its building and collection were incorporated into the Pendleton Male Academy in 1825. The Academy was located on Queen Street, where the Anderson County School District Four offices are today.

In 1860, a Guard House was erected on Pendleton’s Village Green on the site of the former jail house. In 1911, a one-story annex was added. In 1916, Miss Sallie Trescott established a public library on the ground level. Upstairs housed the town’s police department. Trescott served as librarian until her death in 1944. Her personal book collection was transferred to the Clemson College Library.

The small library continued to serve Pendleton and residents in Pickens, Oconee and Anderson counties, with Helen George serving as librarian for over 22 years. In 1978, the Anderson County Library System built a 1,500 square foot library on Micasa Drive. This had remained the branch library’s site until construction of the new 12,000 sq. ft. building at 650 South Mechanic Street.

The new library is able to house 75,000 volumes and other materials. There’s expanded space for up to 30 computers, tutoring areas, and a 75-seat meeting room. The building was designed by the Greenville architectural firm of Craig, Gaulden and Davis, which designed the Anderson County Library System’s Main Library. Estimated cost of construction was $3 million.

The property on which the new Pendleton Branch Library stands was the site of a private residence as early as the 1830’s. In 1860, John Baylis Earle Sloan and his wife, Mollie Seaborne Sloan, established a home that became known as Tanglewood. The columns and ruins seen today are all that remain of the site, which was first destroyed by fire in 1908. It was a Piedmont plantation-style house, resting on tall piers and having large rooms.

The family re-built the home as a classical colonial revival mansion in 1910, reusing the columns in the new portico. Tanglewood stayed in the Sloan family for many years, until it was sold in the 1950’s to EB (Buckley) Hancock, who hoped it or the property could be used for a town library. The building again burned to the ground in 1970, though, leaving only the columns and chimneys and the property was eventually sold to John and Suzanne Morse.

In 2004, funds were allocated by Anderson County Council for the construction of a new Pendleton branch library of the Anderson County Library System. The Tanglewood property was purchased after negotiations with the Morses.

Groundbreaking for the library took place on Dec. 17, 2004. The grand opening was held January 14, 2007.

Westminster, SC, Adds to Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

The old family home of Kenneth and Lynda King on Toccoa Highway is the display site for a “Butterfly” quilt block made originally by his mother, Marie Hardy King (1926 – 2010), the daughter of Tom and Myrtie Hardy. Marie was married to Vinton King and they had three children – Dorothy K. Dyar, Kenneth V. King, and David L. King; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. In addition to taking care of a family, King worked at TGY until she retired.


Growing up in Oconee County, it was King’s mother and grandmother who taught her how to quilt. She also loved to work in her garden, raising her favorite flowers, roses, and enjoyed putting up all the produce that she grew, feeding her family wonderful meals.

King created the “Butterfly” quilt pattern, making one for each of her children and grandchildren. She also helped her granddaughter make a “Dutch Doll” quilt. She was a member of Hopewell United Methodist Church.

Tamassee-Salem Middle High School Adds Third Quilt Panel to Quilt Trail

Tamassee-Salem Middle High School has added a third quilt panel to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt, called “Grandmother’s Choice”, was chosen by the faculty and staff to honor one of their students, Alayna Cobb as well as staff member James Poland for their bravery and perseverance in the midst of medical struggles. Cobb was diagnosed with cancer in November 2012, and Poland who had completed treatments for cancer was a real inspiration to her and to the students at Tamassee-Salem Middle High School (TSMHS).


Alayna Cobb (c) with her parents

It was Cobb’s grandmother, Ruth Porter of Salem, SC, who with her sister Joyce Poore, made quilts for their six siblings as Christmas gifts. Porter quilted off and on for many years but she purchased this original quilt from the Tamassee DAR Thrift Store and then gave it to Cobb’s family. Since they don’t know the official name of the quilt pattern, they chose the name “Grandmother’s Choice”. As A Cobb told us, “I have always been a sentimental person. However, since my cancer diagnosis, I hold even little things sentimental. Before I completed my chemo treatments, I had some photos taken of me with my brother and cousins with Nana’s quilt. This quilt is very special to me.”

Marianne Jackson, the art teacher at TSMHS, used her Artist in Residence funds to sponsor this addition to the trail. As she told us, “Alayna was in the 7th grade when this quilt was chosen to be on the trail. She took the lead in choosing colors and working with her fellow students to replicate the design perfectly. She missed the first half of the 2013-14 school year due to her treatments, but when she returned, it was as if she’d never missed a day. She was one of the most hardworking and dedicated art students, putting her heart and soul into her work – something not all students do.

Cobb has been through a trauma most children could never dream of, but art helped her get through. She told me that if her wish for the Make A Wish Foundation was chosen, it would be to have an art studio built in her yard with all the fixings, materials and tools she would need to create, design and make art however she wished. “I have loved having Alayna as my student this year and look forward to having her in my classes in the years to come. It has been an honor to be a part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail and to watch my 7th and 8th graders participate to create a beautiful piece of history.”

This pattern is known as a patchwork, joining four squares of material to form a larger square. In its simplest form, the block is constructed for four plain squares of fabric. The four patch lends itself easily to endless variation because each of the squares may also be made up of numerous smaller pieces pieced together. “Grandmother Choice” is a fine example of a pattern variation.

Mountain Rest Baptist Church Adds to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

Mountain Rest Baptist Church is the site of a new addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The Church activities building, located at 9915 Highlands Highway, Mountain Rest, SC, will soon bear a quilt block called “Bible Blocks”. The original quilt was made by Myrtle Childers of Heath Springs, Lancaster County, SC, for Pastor Randy Koon and his wife, Suzanne, in 1994. She was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church which he pastored at that time.


Childers was a self-taught quilter. She was 73, a widow with two sons and a retired nurse when she made the quilt as a love gift for the Koons. The pattern was chosen from “Biblical Blocks: Inspired Designs for Quilters” by Rosemary Makhan, because each element in the quilt has a Bible theme. Childers was nearly blind and had to sew the quilt using a large magnifying glass. The quilt was entirely hand stitched in squares on large embroidery hoops and pieced together over a period of three months. She traveled to a cloth store in Charlotte, NC, to find cloth that matched the picture in the pattern book she used to make the quilt.

Reverend Koon told us, “It is one of our most prized possessions and is kept on an antique sleigh bed in our guestroom which was also a gift from Mrs. Childers.” He has pastored four churches in North Carolina and South Carolina and became the pastor of Mountain Rest Baptist Church in September of 2002. He has two children – a son, Daniel, who is a pastor in Murfreesboro, TN, and a daughter, Elizabeth Sturkie, who is a pastor’s wife in Donalds, SC. The Koons have six grandchildren.

The quilt block is being sponsored by the SASSY Ladies Mission organization of Mountain Rest Baptist Church.  The church had its early beginnings as the Double Springs Union Church and meetings were held in an old school building. Ten acres of land were given in the cause of religion for the consideration of $3. Although the land was given in 1858, it was not recorded until 1868. Originally, the church was a union of Methodists and Baptists with itinerant preachers conducting the services, alternating the material used for Sunday school between the two denominational publishing houses. In 1942, the membership nearly doubled from 16 members to 30 members with 12 baptisms and two additions by letter.

The Deacons, with support from the membership, realized the need for a separate place of worship that they might assemble in complete freedom according to the dictates of their conscience. The Baptists appointed a committee to build a separate place of worship, and a building plot was donated on the same highway a short distance away on Chattooga Ridge Road in August 1947. Most of the materials and work to build the church were donated by the members. The church was completed and dedicated on May 27, 1951. It was renamed the Mountain Rest Baptist Church in 1975 in order to tie the church more closely to the community it serves.

The Church relocated to its present site on Highlands Highway in1982, and completed their activities building in 2010. The old Union Church continues to operate as Double Springs Methodist Church.

For more information and pictures, click on ( or e-mail to (

The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate SC Has Been Very Busy With Expanding the Trail

Monday, November 4th, 2013


We’ve been a little busy with many Carolina Arts related venues – paper, blogs, Facebook and Twitter, that we haven’t been able to keep up with the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail’s expansion. So here are some backed up articles about new quilt blocks that have been added to the Quilt Trail.


Fort Hill, the home of John C. Calhoun and then Thomas Greene Clemson, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The block is mounted in the garden as one walks to the house from the visitor’s parking lot. The original quilt was found in the master bedroom at Ft. Hill. The decoration is hand appliquéd printed chintz in a floral design, and was made by Martha Cornelia Calhoun, daughter of John C. Calhoun and his wife Floride.

Cornelia was born in 1824, the seventh child and youngest daughter born to the southern statesman. She was one of only two Calhoun daughters, with her older sister Anna Maria, to survive to adulthood. Unlike Anna Maria, however, Cornelia was in frail health for most of her life, having been born with several disabilities, including a hearing problem and an injured spine.

Cornelia was the Calhoun sibling who remained the closest to home. She spent most of her life as the constant companion of her mother and had a close relationship with her father. She was one of the only Calhoun children allowed into her father’s office in the garden behind the Fort Hill. He took a special interest in Cornelia, sparing no expense in making sure she was well cared for. A garden was planted on level ground behind Fort Hill for Cornelia’s use. She did not travel away from her parents to attend school, but was taught at home and needlework was an important part of every young lady’s education.

In addition to needlework, Cornelia was an avid reader, often reading correspondence that her father received from Washington. She often accompanied her parents when they traveled between Washington, DC, and South Carolina, and kept up a lively correspondence with her older sister who had accompanied her diplomat husband to Belgium.

When her father died in 1850, she received part of the title to Fort Hill. When her mother sold Fort Hill to Andrew Pickens Calhoun, the oldest son, Cornelia moved out of Fort Hill to live at Mi Casa, a mansion in Pendleton, SC, purchased by Mrs. Calhoun. She lived there for the rest of her life. Martha Cornelia Clemson died at Briar Thicket, her younger brother William’s home in Abbeville, SC, in 1857 at the age of 33 following a short illness. She is buried in the Episcopal Church in Pendleton, next to her mother. A memorial to Cornelia is also located in her garden at Fort Hill.

Fort Hill is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to noon and 1 to 4:30pm, and Sundays from 2 to 4:30pm. The facility is closed during University holidays and open additional hours by appointment. For further info call 864/656-2475 or e-mail to (


The Arts Center located at 212 Butler Street in Clemson, SC, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt, called African Village, was originally designed and made by Anna Crittendon Willis of Clemson. An only child born in Tennessee in 1925, Willis moved with her parents to Seneca, SC, at the age of two. She lived there until 15 years ago when she relocated to Clemson. Her tidy fenced yard and cottage give a visitor no clue as to the remarkable art that is created inside.

Now 87, Willis spends most of every day with scissors or needle in hand, surrounded by a spectacular array of colorful finished or in-progress quilt tops. Her tiny form moves from stack to workspace with the energy and enthusiasm of a teenager – despite hip and knee replacements in recent years – and the sparkle in her eye, when it comes to quilting, hasn’t diminished since her mother taught her to cut out her first square at the age of four or five.

Willis’ lifelong love of quilting began at home near downtown Seneca, watching her mother and a friend quilt together on a suspended frame that was raised at night to the ceiling and lowered the next day. The old quilts, she remembers, were two and a half yards square, made to fit a single bed. “Never could tuck them in right!,” Willis says with a laugh.

Willis’ mother, widowed early when her father died at 37, was a powerful figure in her life. A resourceful woman who worked as a cook and nutritional worker at Oconee Memorial Hospital until she retired, she taught Anna to use what she had. While she worked, the young Anna took care of the family cow and chickens.

Willis’ delightful free-hand cutouts of chickens and other animals in the series of quilts she calls African Village are inspired by that early first-hand experience. Other more sophisticated designs were influenced by her later travels to Chicago and Key West and other points in the US.

“People would give Mama scraps,” Willis said, “and we made quilts from hog and chicken feed sacks – the big white ones that held 50 pounds of hog ‘shorts,’ we’d wash the letters out in cold water. The pretty printed ones, we’d make clothes with and use the scraps for quilts.”

Willis’ quilts are a marvelous mixture of classic patterns and her own creative designs. In the African Village quilt made in Clemson in 2009 and selected to hang on the outer wall of the Arts Center in Clemson, SC, free-drawn figures, animals and structures mix with a classic patterned guinea hen in fanciful foliage. Many of her quilts also feature her exquisite embroidery skills.

Willis is as extraordinary as her work, a woman who loves her craft and meets each day with fresh ideas and great expectations.

If you ask to see Willis’ awards, she will pull out a yellowed envelope filled with blue and red ribbons from the Anderson County Fair as well as myriad others collected from other shows over the decades.

The Arts Center is a community non-profit arts center, providing arts education and making fine art exciting and accessible to the community. It is housed in the Calhoun Bridge Center, formerly the Morrison Annex. It is one of three non-profits located there, including the Clemson Child Development Center and the Clemson Area African-American Museum.  Hours are Mon.-Thur., 10am-5pm, and Fri., 10am-2pm.


A Double Wedding Ring quilt block was added to the home of Joe and Carolyn Murrow on Gap Hill Road in Six Mile, SC. The original quilt was made by Joe’s maternal grandmother, Janie Elizabeth Gunn Smith. He remembers her making many quilts in the 1930’s and 40’s, always from scraps left over from family sewing. As a little boy, Joe was always excited to see a bit of his pajama material or Mamma’s dress in a new quilt.

Smith was born in 1878 on her family’s naval stores plantation, which produced the materials needed for building and maintaining sailing ships – resin, tar and pitch – all from pine trees. She would have learned to quilt from her mother at an early age. She and Wade H. Smith were married in April 1900, and had six children, five of whom lived to adulthood. She lived all her life on the land where she was born and she died in 1971. This addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail is in fond memory of Grandmother Janie and in honor of Joe’s 80th birthday.

The Double Wedding Ring was one of the most beloved patterns of the early 20th Century. It appears to have developed as a simplified version of Pickle Dish, a late 19th Century pattern.  Its popularity exploded during the time of the Great Depression. During the 1930’s and 40’s, the most common style used wedges pieced into an arc, then joined together with a plain square or Four Patch block at the intersections. Several newspapers and magazines published patterns and articles and kits were sold with the fabrics already pre-cut. Local fairs expanded its popularity by sponsoring the Double Wedding Ring quilt as a special juried category.



Lucy and Dale Harwards’ Hay Day Farm located at 130 Hay Day Farm Drive in Pickens, SC, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. A quilt block designed by the Reverend and Mrs. Harward and executed by her, is called Harwards’ Hay Day Farm. It depicts their life together and their many vocations and interests.

The center square of the quilt is a variation on the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern and represents the many flowers and other products from Dale’s garden. The border is a variation on the Rail Road pattern, and includes appliques of a church representing Dale’s work as a minister in the United Methodist Church. The school house represents Lucy’s work as a teacher and the bears circling the school house represent the bears that have cleaned out their hives nine times during April and May of this year. The bees and skeps in the corners and middle square represent the bees the Hawards keep for pollinating their gardens and for honey production. A skep is a bee hive.

Lucy Eleanor Boozer Harward is a self-taught quilter, but has attended many classes and workshops over the past 40 years. She made the quilt between February and April of this year, working diligently on it in her living room and sewing room; in her car; in her daughter’s living room; in her mother’s hospital room and even while volunteering at Cannon Hospital in Pickens. It has been a labor of love.  Her plan is to give the original cloth quilt to her daughter, Lucinda “Cindy” Diane Harward Rainey. The quilt block was hung on the Harward’s barn.


The Tulips quilt block is located at Honea Path Town Hall and Watkins Community Center in Honea Path, SC. This building also houses the Honea Path Arts Center and the Honea Path Museum.

The original quilt is owned by the Mayor of Honea Path, Earl Lollis Meyers, and was quilted by his Mother, Mary Lollis Meyers and ladies from the Chiquola Baptist Church, Honea Path. About once a week in the 1930′s, the ladies from the church would come to the Meyers home and work on the quilt. Mrs. Meyers mother, Edna Elizabeth Ashley, taught her to quilt. A variety of Tulip quilt patterns became very popular in the early 1930’s. This group incorporated their own variation into this pattern. The Town of Honea Path is the sponsor for the quilt and it was painted by members of the Honea Path Arts Center.

Around 1878, a two story frame school building was erected almost on the site of the present Watkins Community Building. From 1884 to 1894, Professor J.B. Watkins was head of the school. Under his leadership, the school acquired quite a reputation. Students came from Piedmont, Pelzer, Anderson, Princeton, Laurens and Clinton and boarded in some of the homes in order to attend this school.

In 1904 a brick building was erected on the site of the Old Frame Building. It was enlarged in 1911 and became known as The Honea Path Graded School. This was one of the first graded schools in the area. In the late 1930′s the present Watkins Elementary School Building replaced the building built in 1904. It was built with WPA Labor. Classes began around 1941.

In 2002, the local school district gave the building to the Town of Honea Path. It has been totally remodeled and now houses the Town Offices, the Honea Path Art Center, the Honea Path Museum, the Community Room, and one wing houses the Tri-County Technical College, Billy Odell Learning Center. It is known as The Watkins Community Center.

Grandmother’s Flower Garden sponsored by the City of Anderson, SC, was placed on the Wren Building at 111 East Whitner Street in downtown Anderson. The quilt block is located in the pavilion adjacent to the Carolina Wren Park. The Wren Building was the former Belk building. Built circa 1890 it is one of the oldest building in downtown Anderson. The building was purchased in the 1920’s by Belk and dramatically renovated. The building was located on Orr Street whose street name was later changed to Whitner Street.

Grandmother’s Flower Garden is a familiar name for rosettes of hexagon patchwork.  The design first appeared as “hexagon” or “honeycomb” Patchwork in the January 1935 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”.

The owner of the cloth quilt, Arlene Young, is the niece of the quilt maker, Verna Mayfield. Young was raised by her Aunt Verna and Uncle after the death of her parents. The quilt was made in 1977 and has great significance to her as one of the fondest memories of her Grandmother (Verna’s mother) because of her love of flowers.

Her Aunt Verna was a self-taught quilter, who taught herself how to sew, quilt, knit and crochet. Many of her creations have been passed down to many family members.   The cloth quilt remains with Arlene Young in Townville, SC.


Lila Doyle at the Oconee Medical Center has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. A pattern called a 9 Patch was installed on the Long Term Care Rehab Facility’s exterior and can be viewed from both Highways 123 and 28 in Seneca, SC. Lila Doyle has a long history in the community since it was established in 1971 as a nursing care facility renovated from the original hospital. It was named for Lila Stribling Doyle, wife of Dr. William Doyle who donated the land to be used to serve the needy in the area.

The art of quilting has been woven in the fabric of the residents at Lila Doyle. Many residents proudly display their quilts in their rooms, on their beds, as wall hangings and on display. There is one resident currently living at Lila Doyle who is hand sewing a quilt in her room. She is 99 years old and going strong! The residents and staff are thrilled to join the quilt trail and keep the memories alive.

The original quilt, used as a model for the quilt trail, was made in 2005 by a former resident, Louise Elliott, who lived at Lila Doyle from 2009 until her death in 2013. This was the last quilt project that Mrs. Elliott created before her admission to Lila Doyle. The quilt was donated to the facility as part of a new renovation project in the long term care unit. It hangs proudly above the double faced field stone fireplace. 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.

Mrs. Elliott moved here with her family in 1973 from Cleveland, OH. Her grandmother taught her to quilt and made each of the siblings a special quilt upon their marriage. Mrs. Elliott made small quilts ‘for the enjoyment of others,’ rather than bed sized quilts. Her daughter, Carolyn Elliott Boyer continues to enjoy this family treasure. It was Mrs. Elliott’s love of quilting that led her to take classes in quilting.


The home of Verla and William Warther in Tamassee, SC, has been added to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, with a block called Bouillabaisse. It was originally made by Mrs. Warther and is based on a pattern thought to have been designed by South Carolina quilter, Pam Johnson. Mrs. Warther is the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail 2013 Oconee County Quilter of the Year recipient. She was honored for her leadership and community service through her quilting. Her many contributions include volunteer efforts with Keep Oconee Beautiful School Program; Tamassee DAR School programs; Leadership positions in the Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild; as well as an active participant in charity quilt efforts and the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail School program.

Warther’s iteration of the Bouillabaisse pattern was started in a class at the 2010 Quilters of South Carolina Fall ‘Peaceable Retreat,’ taught by master quilter Marge Edie. Warther hand quilted and finished it in August 2011. She used fabrics that were Civil War Reproductions, about half of which were given to her by her daughter, Sharon DiSanto of Dover, OH. One piece of the fabric was given to her by her twin sister, Laura Miller of San Jose’, CA, also a quilter. The two have established a tradition of using a piece of fabric from the other in each of their ‘Special’ quilts. Warther’s painted Bouillabaisse includes this piece of fabric from her sister.

Mrs. Warther grew up in San Jose, CA. She lived there for 31 years and taught children with special needs. She and her husband moved to Silverton, OR, a small farming community where she taught math for 27 years. In 1998, upon retiring from teaching, they moved to Tamassee, SC. Between Verla and William, they have five children, nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren living in Ohio and Oregon.

Warther was always a seamstress, and made everything from children’s clothing to Civil War uniforms and dresses, even toys. When her mother-in-law died in 2002, she inherited many hand pieced quilt blocks that had been made by Mary Elizabeth Muelhoffer, her husband’s great-grandmother. She visited Heirlooms and Comfort, a once local quilt shop in Central, SC, for advice on how to clean, assemble and then eventually create 3 different quilts from the pieces. She was hooked! A quilting neighbor invited her to join the Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild here in Seneca and that’s where she learned her quilting techniques.

When asked what kinds of quilts she likes to make, Warther told us, “I’m a traditionalist. I prefer doing piecing and appliqué by hand – it’s where I find peace, a form of therapy. I do have an appreciation for those who have made quilting a fiber art form, but that’s not where my talent lies. One must enjoy the type of quilting they get involved in. Someday, I would like to become as accomplished a quilter as my fellow guild members, especially people like Marge Edie and Dixie Haywood.”

“Quilting can lead you up many paths. Through an announcement at a Guild meeting, I heard about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. I decided to check it out and now I’m an active member of the production team. I help with the drawing and painting of quilt patterns on specially prepared boards, which are then mounted on both public and private buildings. It’s a nice art form for our community, a reason to bring tourists as well as other quilters to the area.”

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Latest Additions to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC – Aug. 2013

Monday, August 19th, 2013


The ever expanding Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC continues to grow. Here’s some info about the latest additions.

Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away!

It is a tuffet, or footstool, that has inspired a recent addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Anna and Jamie Smith installed a quilt block called Momo’s Tuffet in the garden at their home on Long Creek Highway in Westminster, SC.  The original quilt was made by Anna’s mother, Carolyn Harris of Fair Play, SC, as a tuffet, or foot stool, in honor of her daughter’s birthday. Her father made the frame.


Carolyn Harris has “been seriously quilting for twelve years, but sewing since my maternal grandmother taught me to use her treadle machine. My mother continued the encouragement through 4-H sewing projects. My love of stitching, fabrics, and mental designing has created a desire to make color and value be the voice in my quilts while continually striving to excel in workmanship. Taking classes from nationally and internationally known teachers, teaching and judging quilt shows are part of the joy of being a quilter.”

Hanover House, located in the South Carolina Botanic Gardens on the campus of Clemson University, has also joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. It was built in 1716 for French Huguenot Paul de St. Julien in Berkeley County, SC. St. Julien honored his French heritage in the mortar of one chimney where he inscribed, “Peu a Peu,” from the French proverb, “Little by little the bird builds its nest.” The house remained in the St. Julien and Ravenel families for nearly 150 years.


The Historic American Buildings Survey of the Santee-Cooper basin noted that Hanover was of national significance. Threatened with flooding by Lake Moultrie in 1942, it was relocated and preserved at Clemson University and the South Carolina Botanic Gardens in 1994. The Spartanburg Committee of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America furnished Hanover with 18th and 19th century period artifacts. It has been restored as a monument to early French Huguenot colonial structure. It interprets the lifestyle of Lowcountry South Carolina and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The double sided quilt block has been mounted in front of the home near the driveway entrance and reflects its history and furnishings. The original pieces of hand work are displayed in the home. The first is an Antique Appliqué Square in a floral wreath pattern 14 ¾” x 14 5/8” sewn by Harriet Porcher Smith. She was born in March 1844, at Mexico Plantation, Berkeley, South Carolina and died on July 22, 1855, in Pineville, St. Stevens Parish, South Carolina at 11 years of age. She was the daughter of Robert Press Smith and Mary Mazyck Gaillard both descendants of Huguenot families in Berkeley County and related to the St. Julien and Ravenel families of the Hanover House.  Harriet was descended from the youngest sister of Paul se St. Julien, Jeanne Marie de St. Julien (1707 – 1764) who was Harriet’s great-great-great grandmother on her mother’s family tree.


The second block, called “Peu a Peu,” is the motto for the Hanover House at Clemson University. Begun in 1714 for Paul de St. Julien the house took two years to complete. The residence was originally designed as a brick structure but the basement and huge chimneys used all the bricks on hand and the house was finished in cypress. Thus, Paul had the inscription carved in the belt course of one chimney in French the phrase which translates to “Little by Little”. PEU À PEU for the French proverb Peu à peu l’oiseau fait son nid, which is “Little by little, the bird builds his nest.”

Hours of operation are Saturday 10am to noon and 1 to 4:30pm, Sunday 2 to 4:30pm, closed University holidays, additional hours by appointment. An admission donation of $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $2 for children is suggested. School and tour groups by reservation only. Call 864/656-4789 to schedule a group tour.

For more information and pictures, visit (

New Additions to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013


The Board of the Belton Area Museum Association chose for their Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail project, the Carolina Lily quilt, because it is among the oldest in the local area and is owned by Board Member, LuAnne Foster.


The list of names for this pattern is long, dating back to the 19th century. Barbara Brackman’s reference book shows many, but none with this corner stem cluster. They are sometimes called Peonies, but Carolina Lily is the preferred name in this area. This particular lightweight summer coverlet is unusual not only for the corner cluster, but also for the detailed red and green vine border. It also is much larger than the average quilt made during that time period.

The quilt was started in 1851 and finished in 1854. It was made by Elizabeth B. Worsham to prove her worthiness to become the second wife of John H. Worsham of Jackson County, GA. His children’s initials and handprints are located in each corner and throughout the squares on the quilt. Elizabeth was born between 1819 and 1821 and died in April 1887, leaving this family heirloom to their daughter, Parthenia Worsham Shirley. The quilt was passed down from mother to daughter for three generations.

The painted quilt block is displayed at the Ruth Drake Museum located in the Old Southern Railway Depot, 100 N. Main Street, Belton, SC, at the North entrance. It is sponsored by the Belton Area Museum Association. The Old Southern Railway Depot was built in 1853 and served 68 trains and trolleys that serviced a line from Columbia and Greenville.

The town of Belton was incorporated in 1855 and the town limits encompasses an area within one half mile radius from the depot. The building itself was restored in 1978, 1983 and then again in 2006. It now houses a private company, the Ruth Drake Museum, and what is considered one of the best sports museums in the southeast, the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.

#101 Carolina Lilly
Quilter: Elizabeth B. Worsham
Sponsor: Belton Area Museum Association
Location: Ruth Drake Museum, 100 North Main Street, Belton, SC
GPS N34° 31.3789′, W082° 29.6449′

The real estate office of Lorraine Harding has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Called Holiday Splendor, the original quilt design was made by Mary Lynn Konyu of Washington State. Her husband used his engineering skills to design the pattern and then it was published in 1996 in “Quilted for Christmas.” June Kuter of Keowee Key made the original cloth quilt block.


“I sewed a lot and quilted when I lived in Syracuse, NY, but I really got into quilting after moving to Salem, SC, where I joined a weekly quilt group. It’s such a social activity! I picked up quilting tips and ability from the classes and from new friends. You might say I became obsessed by quilting and I love all quilters. I pieced and quilted this Holiday Splendor in 2010, using the sewing machine with a little bit of hand quilting thrown in.”

The Lorraine Harding Real Estate building, located at 10898 Clemson Boulevard in Seneca, SC, has a story of its own. Bruce Rochester of Rochester Real Estate originally used the building in the 1960’s to sell lots in Royal Acres located just off of Davis Creek Road. It later became a bakery and then was home to ‘Mother Mary’s’ Palm Reader. In 1971, Ebb Field of Rochester Real Estate used it and it was here that Lorraine Harding had her first job interview after moving to Clemson, SC, from Hacketstown, NJ. In the 70’s, it became a beauty shop called ‘Guys and Dolls’ operated by Linda Rogers, one of the first shops to offer the ‘Shag’ hair cut made famous by Farrah Fawcett.  It was standing room only and women came from near and far for that haircut.

Mrs. Harding purchased the building in 1976 and leased it to ‘Florida Bill’s’ CB Repair until 1995, when she renovated and opened Lorraine Harding Real Estate. She has operated from there for the last 18 years.

#116 Holiday Splendor
Quilter: June Kuter, Designer: Mary Lynn Konyu
Sponsor: Lorraine Harding Real Estate
Location: 10898 Clemson Blvd., Seneca, SC
GPS N34° 41.7186′, W082° 52.713′

For more information about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail visit (

Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg in Spartanburg, SC, Features Works by Doug McAbee

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Editor’s Note: I knew back in mid-December that many an exhibit would be falling victim of the Holiday scramble – meaning a lot of folks weren’t going to get all their work done before they left for a holiday break. I’m not going to give a second chance to all that come in as the first of the year speeds by, but this one is an exception. There may be other exceptions – who knows.

Spartanburg, SC, native and artist Doug McAbee is exhibiting his work in the exhibit, The One About Pop, on view at the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg Gallery in the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg. It opened Saturday, Dec. 29, and will run through Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. This free exhibit is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm and on Sunday, 1-5pm.



An assistant professor of art at Lander University in Greenwood, SC, McAbee, 40, is displaying a collection of 21 works, both two-dimensional drawings and steel sculptures, that were created in the wake of his father’s recent death. “He rode trees, hunted hawks and told amazing stories,” McAbee said about his father. “He also unknowingly helped his youngest son become a contemporary artist. There have been bits and pieces of him in my artwork for years but this body of work brings him into sharper focus–that’s if the vague nature of my work can be described as focused.”

McAbee’s father passed away in 2012 leaving McAbee with metalworking skills and years of great imagery. The imagery, stories and thoughts were stirred into the drawings and sculptures that make up this exhibit. “The exhibit is almost as colorful and fun as the man who inspired it,” McAbee said.



Most of the hangings are large drawings: Sharpie permanent markers on birch wood panels. Most of the tabletop sculptures are abstract shapes covered in shiny bright colors. All of the works incorporate recurring and opposing images, such as whales, fins, guns, tools, and saws, that morph and interact in surreal settings.

There will be a gallery reception from 5 to 9pm on Thursday, Jan. 17, which is the City’s ArtWalk. McAbee will give an artist talk at 7:30pm.

For more information, please call 864/764-9568 or visit (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in South Carolina Adds Interactive Quilt and 100th Quilt to the Trail

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012


Cynthia Leggett brings us news of the latest additions to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in South Carolina starting with the Log Cabin Quilt, the first interactive quilt block in South Carolina.


The End of the Road Studios in Walhalla, SC, now sports the latest addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.  The original Log Cabin Quilt was a joint effort by Judy Dubose and her daughter-in-law, Robin Anne Cooper Dubose.  Robin chose the fabric and cut the pieces, while Judy sewed them together.

Robin is a native of Clemson, SC, but her marriage to Stan Dubose, Judy’s son, brought her to Walhalla where she and Stan created the End of the Road Studios where they both practice their art. Stan is an accomplished potter while also teaching art at Oakway Elementary to Pre-K through 5th grade students. He’s dedicated his life to creating and promoting art in the Upstate of South Carolina. Robin is a professional artist who creates cut canvas collages.  Her one of a kind process allows her to create art that has strong textural presence with clean, crisp lines. Her unique vision and positive outlook on life bring whimsy, humor and interest to all her pieces.

Judy grew up in Flat Shoals, near Tamassee. She began quilting at an early age, sitting on her mother’s lap at the sewing machine, learning to stitch together 2 inch blocks of chicken feed sacking, four at a time. This became her first quilt. Since that time, she has made about 20 quilts.  The Log Cabin pattern is one that both her mother and grandmother made and she’s pleased to be able to pass on the pattern to her children.

The quilt display itself at End of the Road Studios is a departure from the typical quilts on the trail which winds through Oconee, Anderson and Pickens Counties in Upstate SC. This quilt is made up of 16 one foot squares with magnets on the back. Visitors to the studios will be able to move the squares around on a metal wall to create whatever strikes their fancy in quilt designs.

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Celebrates Adding the 100th Quilt on Trail


Crazy Quilt, Double Wedding Ring, Rocky Mountain Road, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, Carolina Mystery, Churn Dasher, President’s Wreath…the list goes on and on. The Upstate is seeing a riot of quilts on display as part of the Silver Jubilee of the Lake and Mountains Quilters Guild (LMQG) biennial quilt show and the celebration of the area’s 100th quilt block on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail (UHQT).

The City of Westminster was the recipient of the 100th quilt block on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt pattern Friendship Garden, was mounted on the Municipal Building located on Highway 123 in Oconee County, SC.  Essie Jane Spencer Smith of the Madison (Old Liberty Baptist Church) Community of Oconee County, made the original quilt. It was completed sometime before August 1945, as a wedding present to her son, Spencer and his wife, Lelline Smith. Donna J. Smith Campbell, Essie Smith’s granddaughter, sponsored this addition to the trail.


Over 100 friends of the Trail were on hand to celebrate this milestone. SC Senator Thomas Alexander presented to Martha File, Chair of the UHQT a certificate in honor and recognition of her leadership, dedication and hard work in establishing the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Oconee, Anderson and Pickens Counties. Mayor Rick McCormick presented her with a City of Westminster Proclamation, declaring September 7, 2012, as Martha File Day as a tribute to a leader who honors quilts, quilters, and the heritage they represent.

It all began in Adams County, Ohio, in 2001, with Donna Sue Groves, a Field Representative with the Ohio Arts Council. She decorated her family’s barn with a quilt square pattern from one of her mother’s quilts. The quilt trail concept was born. Today, over 4,000 quilt blocks in 47 states can be found throughout the United States.

In the spring of 2009, Oconee County became the first in South Carolina to embrace the Quilt Trail concept. The founding group thought that extending the Quilt Trail to homes, historic buildings, public buildings, destination venues and businesses would be a good way to preserve the area’s heritage and promote the Upstate. They decided to concentrate on Oconee County. With encouragement from the Mountain and Lakes Convention and Visitors Bureau and Oconee Parks, Recreation and Tourism, they pursued development of the Trail, forming the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail. They held a community meeting and began to build alliances with local groups and agencies. A $1,000 private donation was given to sponsor a workshop and buy supplies for one quilt.

As File told us, “To help us plan the workshop, our research led us to Don and Sara Hart of Kentucky, who had experience conducting workshops for local quilt trails in Kentucky. They led a workshop for us in October 2009 in Seneca, SC. Greg and Janice Nimmons volunteered their barn for the workshop and, slowly, things began to drop into place. We soon found a permanent workspace at the Conservatory of Fine Arts in Walhalla, SC, which became our production studio. We then became an affiliate program under the Conservatory. From there, the Trail began to grow quickly and spread into Anderson and Pickens Counties. With the expanded geographic range of our Trail we changed our name to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail would not be where it is today without all the community support it has received. It is a collaborative effort by many organizations, businesses and individuals in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties. Some of our quilts have been painted by students in the schools, by community groups, by families, as well as by our volunteers. All quilt blocks are based on actual quilts. As we proudly display our 100th quilt block, help us celebrate. Visit all the quilt blocks and sites along the way. To view the Quilt Trail, visit our website at ( for an interactive map to create a self-guided tour or contact us for personalized suggestions.”

For more information and pictures, visit (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Prepares to Add 100th Quilt to the Trail with Celebrations and Exhibits

Friday, August 24th, 2012


The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail (UHQT) and the Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild (LMQG) are collaborating in celebrating quilts and quilting throughout Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties, in Upstate, SC, through Sept. 31, culminating in the biennial LMQG Quilt Show, Sept. 21 – 22, 2012.

The month-long festivities will kick off on Aug. 25, 2012, with a lecture entitled, “American Quilt Trail” by Suzi Parron, author of “Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement” at 1pm at the Pickens Museum at 307 Johnson Street in Pickens, SC. Parron will also sign books at the event. For info call 864/898-5963.

On Aug. 26, a reception will be held from 4-6pm, for an exhibition of quilts at the Lunney House Museum, 211 West South First Street in Seneca, SC.  Several of the historic fabric quilts represented on the quilt trail will be displayed.  The show will continue through the end of September.

On Sept. 7, at 9:30am – The 100th quilt block on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail will be unveiled in Westminster, SC, at the Muncipal Building, 100 E. Windsor, followed by bus and walking tours.

For further information about this celebration and the planned exhibits visit (

But, for now we have more updates on the ever expanding Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC.

Martha File and Cynthia Leggett bring us news and images of the newest additions to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC.


Block 89 – at the Oconee Community Theatre in Seneca, SC

The Oconee Community Theatre has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Called “Presidents Wreath”, this addition to the quilt trail is made possible through a grant from the Mountain Lakes Region of the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor. The pattern dates back to mid to late 18th century.

The appliquéd blocks of this quilt were originally found in a dresser drawer belonging to Mrs. Lois Emmert of Mason City, IA, after her death. The family chose to let Doyce and Trish Emmert, Lois’s son and daughter-in-law, take them back to South Carolina for Trish’s mother, Jenny Grobusky, a well-known local quilter and teacher, to finish putting the quilt together.

Grobusky told us, “When Trish showed me the blocks, my hands just shook – literally! I knew the blocks were old because of the fabric, colors and pattern. But I had never seen such tiny hand stitches. We are not sure who made these blocks, but one can only imagine how long it took to sew such beautiful blocks – there were 13 of them.”

“A little research showed that the blocks dated to the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s and the pattern was very close to the Presidents Wreath. But they were stained with age and I was afraid to wash them myself. One day on a ‘fabric hop,’ I saw a little package of VINTAGE TEXTILE SOAK and purchased it. After some trial and error, I was able to wash all the squares, then sew and quilt them using the Presidents Wreath pattern from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Today, this beautiful quilt hangs in a prominent place in my daughter and son-in-law’s home in Salem.”

The Presidential Wreath pattern originated in New Jersey and subsequently made its way to New York. Examples can be found in the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and in many books on quilting.

Oconee Community Theatre (OCT) is located in the former Utica Elementary School, built by the Utica Mill in 1927. The school occupied the building until it was
purchased, renovated and upgraded by the theatre in 1989 with air conditioning, theater lighting and a stage suitable for live theater. OCT’s 1989 – 90 season opened to great fanfare with “Annie Get Your Gun”. It continues today as a viable and important cultural benefit to the greater Oconee County community and is on the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor, built with private funds and in constant public use ever since.


Block 90 – at Jo Brown Senior Activity Center in Anderson, SC

The “Trip Around The World Sunflower” quilt is on display at the Jo Brown Senior Activity Center located at 101 S. Fant Street, Anderson, SC, in the Historic McCants Middle School. The block is sponsored by the County of Anderson. Sunflowers are a significant part of the senior story starting with Jo Brown, the first director of the Anderson County Senior Citizens Program, who loved sunflowers and seniors. Later, Director Brandon Grace developed the sunflower as the first and only logo of the program.

In January 2007, Jo’s only daughter, Kelly Jo Barnwell, was hired as Director of the Center to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She remarked that it is ironic that Brandon never once asked for her family’s input on the logo. He never suspected how Jo loved sunflowers!

In 2008, on Kelly Jo’s birthday, she received a gift from her longtime girlfriend, Lisa Chaney, then living in Millington, TN. It was a “Trip Around the World Sunflower” quilt that Lisa made in honor of Kelly Jo’s mother, Jo Brown. Lisa Chaney learned to sew as a young girl, and later while her husband was deployed to Afghanistan, took a class to learn to make quilts.

The “Trip Around the World Sunflower” block will mark the 90th quilt for the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail and like the sunflower, it just makes you smile!


Block 91 – at Anderson Special Olympics in Anderson, SC

The Mariner’s Compass is located at Anderson Special Olympics, 101 S. Fant Street, Anderson, SC. The quilt is sponsored by the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail and donated by Kathy Caine. The quilter is unknown.
Quilter: Unknown

The Mariner’s Compass has been a classic pattern for almost 200 years. From the time American women began making quilts; stars have found their way into quilting patterns. Star shapes are natural ones for quilters because the corners of patchwork often form stars with varying points. With slight modifications a star pattern can take on a new look and a new name.

This quilt block was made for the 2011 Pendleton Spring Jubilee. The colors were chosen to represent the vitality of springtime. Kathy Caine, the recipient of the block, requested it be donated to the City of Anderson Special Olympics Program, because of all the ‘stars’ in that program. The block is located on the historic McCants Middle School that now houses many community programs.


Block 92 – Harris Farm of Fair Play, SC

The Harris Farm of Fair Play, SC, has recently joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Owned by John and Carolyn Harris, the quilt, titled “My Blue Ridge”, was originally designed and created by Carolyn. “My quilt pattern is an original ‘mental conjuration’ that developed during a class in which I had all the wrong fabrics for a landscape design. Thus ‘My Blue Ridge’ was born!”

Carolyn is a native of Anderson and John is a native of Oconee County. He is the seventh generation grandson of Andrew Pickens. They are both graduates of Clemson University and Carolyn’s great grandfather was W.D. Garrison of Denver Downs. The Harris Farm is known for its cattle, both Angus and a few others from only the finest families.  They also have a fine swine operation and John is President of the South Carolina Pork Board. Carolyn was with the Cooperative Extension Service at Clemson. So the Harris’s have deep roots in the Upstate of South Carolina

“I’ve been seriously quilting for twelve years, but sewing since my maternal grandmother taught me to use her treadle machine. My mother continued the encouragement through 4-H sewing projects. My love of stitching, fabrics, and mental designing has created a desire to make color and value be the voice in my quilts while continually striving to excel in workmanship. Taking classes from nationally and internationally known teachers, teaching and judging quilt shows are part of the joy of being a quilter.”

“I am currently planning a quilt group for my church and a Cousins Quilting Day each month for 2012 for four new quilters – this is exciting to me!”

“My Blue Ridge will be mounted on our barn here at Harris Farms to commemorate my parents and to honor the labor and love of this land we have been blessed to call Home for all our married years.”


Block 94 – at the Offices of Drs. Ross and Fredrickson in Seneca, SC

A quilt block known as a “Hawaiian Patch” has been mounted on the dental offices of Drs. Kendon Ross and Malia Fredrickson at 10229-A Clemson Boulevard in Seneca, SC.

Dr. Fredrickson is a native of Hawaii where tradition requires that a mother give her daughter a quilt on the birth of her first child. When Dr. Fredrickson’s son, Jeffrey, was born in 2004, her mother, Patricia Ann Slater, made this quilt with the help of Amish friends in Randolph, NY. The pattern includes Hawaiian flowers, pineapples and teddy bears.

As she tells it, “This is the only quilt my mother ever made. Though there is no symbolism attached to the flowers or pineapples, it is purely Hawaiian. Our Amish friends in Randolph were thrilled to be able to help her design it, piece it and put it together. I wish the story was more exotic but the quilt is very beautiful and very special to me and my family and she did an outstanding job.”


Block 96 – at Oconee County Chamber of Commerce in Seneca, SC

The Oconee County Chamber of Commerce building, located at 105A Ram Cat Alley in Seneca, SC, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The Seneca Literary and Civic Club is sponsoring the quilt as a gift to help promote the Chamber and Ram Cat Alley. Martha Duke, a local resident, made the original quilt from a pattern called “Bouillabaisse” and donated it to the victims of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami.

“I call it ‘Tsunami Relief’ since it is made of many different fabric scraps, representing a hope that the tsunami victims can build something comforting, strong and beautiful from the scraps of their lives.”

“I learned to quilt 40 years ago. Because of career demands, however, I had to suspend this for about 30 years.  As these demands wound down, I joined a guild and discovered that quilting had become a creative art form using material as the pallet. I found it to be creatively exciting and challenging. Not wanting to collect a bunch of quilts, though, and wanting to do something for society, most of the quilts that I make today are for charity.”

For further information about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail or to see the quilt blocks on the trail visit (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in South Carolina Doesn’t Stop for Summer Heat

Friday, July 6th, 2012


Cynthia Leggett with the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail brings us more news of additions to the Quilt Trail in South Carolina.


The Depot, home of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Denise McCormick originally made the Railroad Crossing quilt and is an active member of the Westminster community.

This quilt block is an example of some half-dozen patterns called Railroad Crossing. As railroads expanded during the late-19th and early-20th centuries, rural roads were relocated and realigned, and residents learned to “look both ways” before driving their wagons across the intersections of roads and tracks. A new railroad line altered the landscape, local travel patterns, and attitudes toward technology and commerce.

Westminster’s Depot has a long history. It was opened in 1911 with two waiting rooms and a ticket office. Double tracking was added in 1918 along with a freight area. Albert Zimmerman, the town’s first Mayor, was the first ticket and freight agent at the original depot and James Arthur King was station manager.

The train depot was acquired by the city in the 1970’s after passenger service was discontinued. It has served in many capacities – library, health department, civic center and now home to the Chamber of Commerce. Extensive renovation occurred in 1976 for the bicentennial. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places after being lovingly restored according to National Register guidelines in 2009.

If Depot walls could share stories, they would be of Presidents, soldiers and their brides, and ordinary people who passed through town on the rail line just outside the door.  It has been home to many social, political and cultural events over the years, and is available for rent to the public for meetings, weddings, receptions, reunions, and other social events.


The Clemson Montessori School (CMS), located at 204 Pendleton Road in Clemson, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail (UHQT). The Trail’s mission is to “honor and preserve quilting traditions while promoting tourism through the public display of quilts and painted quilt blocks.” CMS has a strong tradition of sewing arts, so participating in this project was not only a wonderful learning experience for the students but a chance to share the 36 year history of the school.

In 1978, CMS’s Gail Paul wrote one of the first sewing curriculums for preschool children, incorporating Montessori’s ideas and philosophy into needle arts. Today, sewing has become a part of many Montessori schools across the country. Since the late 70’s, CMS has included sewing as part of its curriculum, culminating in quilt making and embroidery with the elementary students.

Starting in January 2011, the elementary students got involved in the quilt project by touring the UHQT wooden quilts hung on public buildings and homes in Oconee County, listening to stories about quilt history from quilter Verla Warther, and experimenting with the geometry of quilts and pattern development. With the help of Judy Luke, Fran Kaiser, and Ellie Elzerman at CMS, students selected a quilt pattern called Friendship. This is one of many names applied to this pattern. It was a popular choice for signature album quilts from the height of their popularity in the mid-19th century up to the present.  Typically, plain white fabric is used in the center, so that inscriptions are easier to read.

Once the pattern was selected, the students visited Heirlooms and Comforts Quilt Shop in Central to choose their fabric. They then spent many hours making individual squares for the final quilt to be hung in the main elementary building located at 207 Pendleton Road. Cindy Blair, Jane Boling and Verla Warther, all volunteers with the UHQT, helped students transfer the quilt squares from fabric to paint on the wooden quilt. Their kaleidoscope of color will be an opportunity to tell stories about CMS, and honor its buildings, people, and history.

For more information, pictures and a map of the driving trail, go to (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in South Carolina Expands Again

Thursday, June 14th, 2012


Cynthia Leggett of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in South Carolina brings us news about the latest expansion of the Quilt Trail.


Heirlooms & Comforts has updated the face of their home on 104 Madden Bridge Rd. in Central, SC. The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail has crafted a replica of one section of a Double Wedding Ring Quilt made by Sara Newton, about 25 years ago. Sara Newton’s mother, or Mema as she was called, loved the great art of quilting and never had idle hands. She loved putting the quilt puzzles together and passing them along to a friend who then quilted them by hand.

As her daughter Sara told us, “She loved to give those quilts to me, my brother Bob and our children as well as to special friends on special occasions. One Christmas not long after my father’s death Mom went to her quilt closet and pulled out nine quilts to give as gifts to each separate household of her family because she could not “afford” shopping for each household that year. One day she and I counted the number of Double Wedding Ring quilts that she had made and given to family and friends – we could remember 30. Each of her grandchildren received one as a wedding gift. The one that we replicated on the front of H&C is a “rare” one because she also hand quilted it herself. It therefore has special significance for us. Additionally, it is the quilt we used as a funeral pall to honor her art and skill when she died in 2006.”

The Double Wedding Ring is one of the most beloved patterns of the early 20th Century. It appears to have developed as a simplified version of Pickle Dish, a late 19th Century pattern. Because of its name, this pattern is often selected for quilts associated with marriage. The curved seams make this a pattern for experienced quilters.

“This gives us a chance to honor our heritage of quilt making by displaying a replica of a section of her quilt. We are indeed a family blessed for having had the loving, caring, teaching, uplifting guidance of one who understood the value of keeping hands and mind occupied in a worthwhile activity, never letting idle mind and idle hands put you in a mire of doldrums.”


The Central Roller Mill in Central, SC, has also joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. A pattern called a Double Nine Patch has been mounted on the old mill because it is reminiscent of the Purina sign that was used on the mill for many years. Sara Newton, mother-in-law of Bobby Ballentine, and the original quilter, liked to make this pattern.

William Danforth founded the Ralston Purina Company.  According to the Nestlé Purina website, (, “William Danforth worked in his father’s store in Charleston, MO. Every Saturday he watched the Brown brood come to town, all clad in red and white checks. It was convenient for Mrs. Brown to make the entire family’s clothes from the same bolt of checkerboard cloth, and when it came time to go home…well, you couldn’t miss a Brown kid.”

“In 1902, Danforth was looking for a distinctive dress for his products, and remembered Mrs. Brown. His reasoning was sound, for the red and white checkerboard identified his products just as boldly as it had the Brown family. The Checkerboard trademark has since been used with a consistency unique in American business. Even Company headquarters in St. Louis is known as Checkerboard Square.”

The mill property was purchased in 1899 for $43, and the original structure was built around 1903. The mill manufactured the famous Issaqueena Flour, Meal and a full line of Poultry, Dairy and Hog Feeds. The Indian princess logo printed on the feed sack ensured quality.

In its heyday the mill produced 100 barrels of flour, 5000 lbs of corn meal, and 15 tons of mixed feed per day and had a storage capacity of 80,000 bushels of grain. The corn mill and feed mill remained in operation until the late 70′s or early 80′s but the flourmill ceased operation when local schools stopped making their own bread, causing the mill to lose such a significant amount of business they were forced to close.

A food salvage business, then an antique store operated until around 2004. No occupants have used the building since 2006. The Issaqueena Mills, LLC from Pendleton Oil Company, purchased the mill in 2008. Plans today include restoring the one story structure for use as a conference and meeting center; to restore some of the corn meal equipment in order to produce a limited amount of stone ground grits and corn meal; and to create a first class destination venue that will preserve the historic designation of the building, attract area residents and tourists to visit, shop and enjoy.


Stacie and James Powell of Walhalla, SC, are sponsors of this latest addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, and the pattern is called James River Blues, an antique reproduction quilt designed by Paula Barnes, well known specialist and author of books on quilt reproductions. This quilt pattern has a history with the Powell family.

Stacie and James have a daughter named Marlowe James Powell. She was named after Stacie’s favorite poet, Christopher Marlowe, after her father and his mother’s family.  Stacie felt the pattern name, James River Blues, was rather serendipitous. The James family was originally from Ireland and settled in the Mountain Rest, SC, area sometime in the 1800’s. The name of the quilt is also the name of a song by one of her husband’s favorite bluegrass bands, The Old Crow Medicine Show. He plays the guitar, banjo and mandolin and his grandmother and her family are all bluegrass gospel singers and musicians. He’s also an avid kayaker, especially of the whitewaters in the area. It seemed to her that a quilt pattern with a name encompassing his hobbies would somehow be fitting.

They also have a passion for the historic, having restored six old homes in the Walhalla area over the past seven years. They are presently living in the old St. Luke Methodist parsonage that used to be located next to the church before it was vandalized and burned in 2010. The house was moved to the corner of Main and S. John Street and the James’s bought it and moved in. Though they have loved every house they ever lived in, this old parsonage feels perfect and is a great place to raise their family. They are both natives of Oconee County and have families with deep roots here. Their grandmother’s were quilters and many of their family members worked in the textile mills in the area. It is here at the parsonage that the quilt will be hung.

The original quilter of James River Blues is James’ grandmother, Grace James Whitaker. She began quilting in 1952 in Mountain Rest when her mother-in-law, Clemer James, taught her how to quilt and included her in projects creating quilts of necessity for their home. Clemer and Grace quilted for many years and Grace’s husband, Cliff, constructed a quilting rack that hung in their living room for many years. Grace became a master quilter creating extraordinary quilts for her children, friends and neighbors. Her most memorable quilt is called the Double Wedding Ring, which was completed in the early 1990’s with her daughter, Joyce Powell. Grace passed down the art of quilting to her daughter who has made many quilts as gifts for her children. James River Blues was chosen to honor the James family and to express their love for the River.


The Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative, located at the intersection of Highway 123 and Route 11, between Westminister and Seneca, SC, has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Three quilts from the family of Carolyn and John Harris of Fair Play, SC, have been mounted on the knoll in front of BREC facing onto 123. The three patterns include a Caesar’s Crown, a Flower Pot or Flower Basket; and a Cactus Blossom.


According to Brackman, an important guide to quilt patterns, the Caesar’s Crown has been a popular pieced pattern in South Carolina since the 1840’s. This one was found in a closet in the home of John Harris’s grandmother, Eula (and Mark) Harris, and looks to be mid-19th century from the way the reds and greens have faded.

The Flower Pot or Flower Basket was one of the simplest versions of the basket pattern. This particular quilt was Carolyn Harris’s first quilt project and she obviously carefully cut and arranged the printed fabric so the “flower” diamonds create a secondary design.

The original quilter of the Cactus Blossom is unknown, but it is an early twentieth century, rounded-off interpretation of the more angular pieced tulip pattern. Carolyn has many fond childhood memories of weekends at her grandparents’ home, the Old Newton home place, where she slept on the upstairs sleeping porch. This particular quilt was used to cover the well pump on that same porch in the winter to keep it from freezing. Today, her sister Jane and husband Don Acevedo live on this century farm.

Carolyn is a native of Anderson, SC, and John is a native of Oconee County. He is the seventh generation grandson of Andrew Pickens. They are both graduates of Clemson University and Carolyn’s great grandfather was W.D. Garrison of Denver Downs. The Harris Farm is known for its cattle, both Angus and a few others from only the finest families. They also have a fine swine operation and John is President of the South Carolina Pork Board. Carolyn was with the Cooperative Extension Service at Clemson.  So the Harris’s have deep roots in the Upstate of South Carolina.

From its very beginning in 1940, Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative viewed itself as a community builder. By taking electric service into geographic areas where it had never been available before, the cooperative helped open the door to any number of positive developments. Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative provides service and community support in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties.

For further information about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail visit (