Archive for the ‘Quilts in the Carolinas’ Category

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.

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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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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 (

Springtime is Time to Hit the Quilt Trails in North and South Carolina

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

During cooler times we were receiving info about developments in SC’s Quilt Trails. Info on the expansion of the trails in SC comes in spurts, so we tend to wait until we have a few in the hopper before we release this info to readers. Now that the weather has changed, it’s time to hit the road and see some of these quilt blocks. And to help you do that there have been two publication published – one a map of the “Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail” and “Quilting A Legacy: The First 100 Quilt Blocks of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail” is a guide offering a photo and description of each quilt on the trail. I’m not sure where you can get these publications, but I imagine SC Tourism Information Centers and offices of the SC Heritage Trails would be a good bet. You can also get a lot of info from (


Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate SC, Announces 2013 Quilter of the Year – Verla Warther

The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate SC, announces the selection of Verla Warther as the 2013 Oconee County Quilter of the Year. This award recognizes a local quilter who provides leadership and community service through their quilting.

Warther grew up and went to school in San Jose, CA. She became a teacher of children with special needs and met her husband, William, there through a computer dating service. This was long before the Internet!

They spent 31 years in California, raised a son and then moved to Silverton, OR, a small farming community. She taught math for 27 years there. In 1998, upon retiring from teaching, they moved to Tamassee, SC. Between Verla and William, they have four children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren living in Ohio and Oregon. Warther is overjoyed that several of the women in the family are becoming quilters.

Warther was always a seamstress, having learned from her mother, making 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 local quilt shop in Central, SC, for advice on how to clean, assemble 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 in Seneca, SC, and that’s where she learned her quilting techniques. Her interest in the history of quilting has led her to doing presentations in local schools and at Guild meetings. She’s served on the Guild’s Comfort Quilt Committee and their Program Committee, as well as taught classes for the Guild at their annual Retreat.

Warther’s twin sister, Laura, is also an accomplished quilter. “In 2005, we took a self-guided tour of New Zealand with our husbands. Laura and I visited many quilt shops and found it to be a wonderful way of getting to know the people of the country – a fellow quilter is never a stranger.  Laura comes every fall and joins me in attending the Retreat offered by the State Guild.  It gives us quality quilting time together.”

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,” says Warther.

Warther has made many contributions to Oconee County through her volunteer efforts with Keep Oconee Beautiful School Program; Tamassee DAR School special programs; Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild making charity quilts for donation through the Guild programs  and the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail production team and school program. She is always willing to help in way she can.

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Expands

Anderson County Farmers Market Quilt

The Anderson County Master Gardeners have sponsored a table runner quilt block to be displayed on the Anderson County Farmer’s Market located on the corner of Tribble and Murray Streets in Anderson, SC.


The 3 block quilt was chosen by several members of the Master Gardeners who are quilters. The table runner quilt was made by Robin Kaja of Anderson in 2012.  She made the specialty quilt in honor of the long time commitment of the Master Gardeners to the Farmers Market. It consists of one Cornucopia square centered between two Corn and Beans blocks. This cornucopia celebrates the harvest in Anderson County which is the reason the Farmer’s Market was conceived. The pattern dates back to the 1930s and is credited to Dolores Hinson. Her version didn’t include the seams in the background. There is a similar block called Nosegay that includes the seams with the “handle” pointing to the corner.  The version in the table runner is possibly based on both designs in order to get the desired orientation in the runner. The Corn and Beans block is credited to Nancy Cabot who had the pen name Loretta Leither Rising used for her “Chicago Tribune” column in the 1930s. Her patterns were printed in the “Progressive Farmer” and were widely distributed according to Barbara Brackman’s “An Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns”.

Robin learned to sew in the 1960s from her mother, who learned from her father and uncles who were all tailors.  A self taught quilter, Robin’s first quilt was handmade when her daughter was born in 1982.  She currently resides in Anderson.

The Anderson County Farmer’s Market Hours:

Thursdays & Saturdays through May:
8 am – 1 pm

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays June 2 – November 22:
8 am – noon

Tamassee-Salem High School has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

Tamassee-Salem High School (TSHS) has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail with two quilt blocks. The Tamassee-Salem High School Class of 1981 and former classmates sponsor the first block, the fan pattern quilt is “In memory of our dear principal, Sam Bass, Jr., principal from 1976 – 1989.” Helen Jones who worked with Bass at the school made the original fan quilt. He had asked her to make a quilt in honor of his maternal grandfather, Ben Armstrong, on his 100th birthday. He wanted a quilt made from pieces of clothing from all of Mr. Armstrong’s descendants. So, the quilt was made in 1989.


A quilter all her life, Jones designed the fan pattern using the fabrics from clothing donated by members of the Armstrong-Bass families for each of the ribs of the fans. She learned to sew and quilt from her mother and remembers that the quilt frame hung from the ceiling in her parents’ bedroom. She and her husband, Jerry Jones, were raised in South Florida, and moved to Walhalla from Palm Beach County, FL. They visited the area on vacations and liked it here – the mountains and cooler weather. Today, she makes custom quilts to sell to the public.

Sam Bass was born and grew up in Columbia, SC. He attended the University of South Carolina where he met his wife, Mary. As she told us, “We were young and in love. Sam quit school to support us, then later went back to college and graduated from Mars Hill in North Carolina. In 1976, we moved to Salem, SC, where he served as principal of Tamassee-Salem Middle School for 13 years.”

These former students are dedicating this artwork to Bass, in appreciation of his service, not only to the students and school, but also to the community of Salem.

There are many variations of Fan patterns which seem to have emerged in the last 19th century, when they were popular in crazy quilts and outline embroidery.

The 1981 Class of Tamassee-Salem High School is sponsoring second addition to the school. This quilt block is in honor of their former English teacher, Ron Rash, well-known local writer.

The original quilt, called Crossroads, was made by Rash’s mother, Sue Holder Rash of Boiling Springs, NC. Born in Blowing Rock, NC, Rash attended Gardiner Webb College.  She and her husband, James, had three children. He was an art teacher in Chester, SC, and died in 1980. She made this quilt for her son, Ron and his wife Ann. She began making utilitarian quilts in the 1950s and by 2000, had made more than 100 quilts.  She uses a long armed quilter.

The Crossroads pattern is believed to be part of a series of “Underground Railroad” blocks, designed to assist escaping slaves, unable to read, to their freedom. Crossroads was the seventh block in the series. Once escapees made it through the Appalachian Mountains, they were to travel to the “crossroads” meaning a city where they would find protection and refuge.

Rash taught for two years at TSHS and recalls that it was a wonderful experience. He now teaches at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, and has published 15 books, including “Serena” which will be released as a movie in 2013.

Westminster, SC, Expands Quilt Trail

The home of Melanie and Scott Burton on Theo Martin Road in Westminster, SC, has been added to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The quilt pattern is Dutch Doll and was originally made by her grandmother, Ruth Azilee Shirley Black. Black was born in the Earles Grove Community of Oconee County in 1913 and died in 1993. She was married to Henry Fletcher Black, a dairy farmer, and they had two children, Henrietta Black Harbert and Joe Henry Black. According to Burton, “Ma-Ma Black had six grandchildren and made each of her granddaughters a Dutch Doll quilt and each of her grandsons a Fisher Boy quilt.”


Ruth Black was a member of the JOY Club at Earles Grove Baptist Church. These ladies often gathered together to quilt. Burton remembers going to Ma-Ma Black’s house and spending a week during the summer and often on weekends. “She always let me play in her trunk of scrap material. She would give me a needle and thread and let me sew to my heart’s content.”

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail Donates Quilt Block to Oconee County

The Building Blocks quilt block has been donated to Oconee County by the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, working collaboratively with the County to preserve our heritage through the stories of the quilts and their makers. This quilt block is displayed inside the County Administration Building at 415 S. Pine Street, Walhalla, SC.

The Barn Quilt Trail Project began in Adams County, Ohio in 2001. Today, there are over 4,000 quilt blocks in 47 states. In the spring of 2009 Oconee County became the first county in South Carolina to embrace the Quilt Trail concept. The founding group of volunteers 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 Oconee County. The Quilt Trial quickly expanded to encompass Anderson and Pickens Counties and is known today as the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The local Oconee County group has helped several counties throughout the state develop trails for their areas.


The Building Block pattern first appeared in the “Chicago Tribune” January 15, 1938, with the name of Nancy Cabot.  According to Jinney Beyer, Author of “The Quilters Album of Patchwork Patterns”, the one-patch design is an arrangement of multiple patches of identical shape with varied colors. Ellen Henderson of Landrum, SC, made the fabric Building Block for this painted quilt block. Six members from the Landrum Quilters Guild have each contributed a block that is serving as the foundation to create the Foothills Quilt Trail for the City of Landrum, SC. The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail has served as their mentor for this endeavor.

The Oconee County Government Annex was originally Pine Street Elementary School from the early 1950’s until 1996. The County acquired the building in 1996 and began centralizing many of its offices to this location in 1997. Currently about 60 alumni of Pine Street Elementary are working in this building. The County Council Chamber once served as the school auditorium.

Quilt Trail Expands in Tamassee, SC

The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail continues to grow with the addition of a new quilt block in Tamassee, SC. The quilt can be found on the home of Jeanie and Dave Christopher on Jumping Branch Road on Lake Cherokee. She is the quilter and even created the pattern from the flags used by the lake association. They are in the shape of triangle flags.


As Jeanie Christopher told us, “This quilt was inspired by our living here at Lake Cherokee for 10 years. It celebrates our first 10 years enjoying the lake with friends and family. Every year when we pay our lake association dues we are given a colorful flag to put on our boat. This flag signifies that we are members of the association and therefore, have the privilege of using the lake. So, I selected colors for the quilt that were the same as the flag colors over the 10 years.”

“We are Clemson fans and retired here after raising our three children in Athens, GA (Bulldawg territory!). I grew up in Anderson, SC, so our move here was like ‘comin’ back home’ or at least back to my beloved state of South Carolina! I have always loved quilts and helped my Grandmother, Julia Morris, make quilts when I was a little girl. There has always been something special about making a quilt to comfort me or someone else and I treasure those memories of working with my maternal grandmother in Anderson. In the early 80s I took a quilting course while living in Seneca, SC, and made some quilts for my daughter’s doll beds. But, having 3 children kept me too busy to sew except for smocking and other crafty type projects, painting t-shirts or whatever.”

For more information and pictures, click on (

Arts Council of York County adds Barn Quilts to Ag + Art Tour Farms

The public is invited to attend a workshop hosted by the Arts Council on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at 2pm at the Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main Street in Rock Hill, SC. The workshop will illustrate the process for painting four new, permanent, wooden quilt blocks to adorn barns and other outbuildings at participating Ag + Art Tour farms. The Ag + Art Tour is a self-guided tour that has been designed to generate interest in local farms, fresh foods, and “Made in York County” traditional arts. This year’s tour will be held over the weekend of June 8 & 9, 2013. Participants will assist in painting four new quilt blocks in the following patterns: Cluster of Stars, the Star of Virginia, a variation of the Broken Plate pattern, a variation of the Paper Daisy pattern, and a variation of the Prairie and Blazing Star patterns.

In May of 2011, Arts Council staff traveled to Pickens County to attend a similar workshop on how to build barn quilts.  The idea was to mark all of the York County farms participating in the Ag + Art Tour with a permanent barn quilt, rather than temporary vinyl ones . It was also an attempt to learn the craft and add a new layer of tourism to York County by becoming members of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Tour (UHQT). UHQT is a grassroots public art project consisting of more than 100 quilt panels, winding through Anderson, Oconee, Pickens and York Counties. The quilt blocks can be found mounted on barns, businesses, homes and public buildings, inviting visitors to stop and listen to their stories. So far, the Arts Council has created two new 48″ x 48″ wooden quilt blocks for permanent display. One is located at the Center for the Arts, 121 E. Main St., Rock Hill, featuring a variation on the Cathedral quilt square. The other is located at Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill in York, SC, featuring the Hovering Hawks pattern.  Quilt designs are painted on ¾” MDO board that is finished on both sides and then sealed with a marine-grade sealant.

With the installation of the blocks, both sites have been added to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Each year, the Arts Council plans to create 4-5 new quilt blocks for permanent display at Ag + Art Tour farm sites. As the quilts blocks are installed, each new venue will be added to the UHQT, adding to the appeal of agritourism in York County and across South Carolina. Grant funding has been received from York Electric Cooperative and Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC to help fund the project.

The Ag + Art Tour, developed in 2011 by partners, Clemson Extension of York County, the Arts Council of York County, the Olde English District Tourism Commission, the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Culture & Heritage Museums, is partially funded by City and County Hospitality Tax  and Clemson University.

For more information on the Ag + Art Tour, please visit (

Other Quilt Trails in South Carolina:

Foothills Quilt Trail info (

McCormick Quilt Trail info (

Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina

With over 200 quilt blocks, we have the highest concentration anywhere in the USA! Come to Yancey County to get started on your great quilt adventure! We are just 45 minutes North of Asheville, NC – exit 9 off I-26, or exit onto Hwy 80 off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Six contiguous counties host quilt blocks, with the highest concentration in Yancey and Mitchell Counties. While in Yancey County, visit Mt. Mitchell, highest peak East of the Mississippi. Mitchell County is home to Roan Mountain (the rhododendrons are in full bloom in June – gateway through Bakersville, NC) and Avery County offers Grandfather Mountain with its mile-high swinging bridge. Of course we have waterfalls, supreme hiking, great trout fishing, canoeing, golf, horseback riding, and great shopping.

Nine different driving trails take you to view vividly painted quilt squares installed on barns and buildings of participating communities. Even if it is raining you can still enjoy a day of adventure finding the quilt blocks. Stop by the Quilt Trails Gift Shop in the OOAK Gallery on the Loop in Micaville, NC, to purchase a driving map and one or more of the nine tour guides that tell the stories behind the blocks.

For info about other WNC Quilt Trails check these links:

Ashe County Quilt Train info (

Haywood County Quilt Trail info (

Macon County Quilt Trail info (

McDowell County Quilt Trail info (

Wautauga County Quilt Trail info (

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 (

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in SC is Always Expanding

Thursday, April 12th, 2012


The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail is always expanding and we’ll always try to keep you up on these developments as best we can. Sometimes we just receive a photo and a little info while other times we receive a photo or two and some details about the quilt, its sponsor and the location where it can be found. For the latest and most updated info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, visit (

Here’s what we’ve heard lately.

A new quilt square or quilt block, (#71) Box Square, can be found at Comfort Keepers, 402 E. Greenville Street in Anderson, SC (GPS N34° 30.7061′, W082° 38.8874′). The block is sponsored by Melisa Morris Gleen and features the design by quilter Cassie Colfelter Morris.


The late Cassie Colfelter-Morris made the original cloth quilt, Box Square. Mrs. Morris was the grandmother of Melisa Morris Glenn and the quilt was made in 1981 to honor her graduation from high school. Cassie learned to quilt from her mother and grandmother.

Lucky Acre Farms has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail with the addition of a quilt called (#74) Grandmother’s Quilt mounted on the barn of Gloria and Joe Williams, owners of the farm. Located at 1024 Milford Road in Townville, SC, the Williams’ raise alpacas primarily, but the farm is also home to pygmy goats, a peacock couple, dogs, cats, donkeys, a horse and two hives of honey bees.


According to Mrs. Williams, “This is a quilt that I made for my mother. After she died, it came back to me. My grandmother had taught me to quilt, crochet and sew. My grandparents raised me on a small farm in Upstate New York. We had very little money, grew most of our food and used everything we could from the farm. At that time, animal feed came in calico feed sacks which we used for making clothing and quilts.”

Grandmother’s Quilt is a pleasant two-block star design and is listed in Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns as one found in book #116 of the Old Chelsea Station Needlework Series, a syndicated service available since the 1930s to the present. It may well have been a pattern printed elsewhere featuring the two-block combination. It works because they both have the same drafting category (a four patch).

The Williams’ bought 28 acres in 1994 on what was described as an “old homestead” in the local paper.  They went to the Townville post office for directions and before they knew it, they were the proud owners of Lucky Acres Farm. They lived in their camper for two years, as Joe demolished the old house on the property and built a log cabin. In 2001, they joined the AOBA (Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association), began to create pastures suitable for alpacas, built a small barn, and installed fencing. In 2003, they purchased their first alpacas, 3 pregnant girls, 1 herd sire and 1 gelding.

Today, Lucky Acre Farms is open to the public four weekends – the first weekends in May and December as part of the Heritage Corridor Farmer’s Association tour; the first weekend in June as part of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and the last weekend in September as part of the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association Open Farm Days. The gift shop at Lucky Acres offers a wide selection of articles made from alpaca fiber – scarves, sweaters and blankets knitted or crocheted by Gloria, as well as bears, dolls and other toys. Check their website for more information at (

“We have to carry on the tradition of small family farming. It is our belief that anything we can teach our young people about the traditional ways is of highest importance.  In hard times we can rely on the farmer to sustain us, growing our own food and making our clothing.  If the knowledge of how to be self-reliant were lost, it would be a great disrespect of our ancestry.”

The City of Easley has two new quilts as part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The home of Robert and Betty Chrismer, located at 1034 Anderson Highway, is the site of a replica of a Tulip quilt originally made by his grandmother, Mary Rider Spalding in 1885. The daughter of William and Mary Ann Rider, she was born in 1858 in Littlestown, PA. She married James D. Spalding, a farmer and businessman in 1885. Mrs. Spalding died in 1894 at the age of 36, leaving behind her husband of 9 years and four young children.

Mrs. Chrismer’s father, Roy Reeves of Reeves’ Builders, built the Chrismer home in 1962. Mrs. Chrismer’s grandfather, Charles Jefferson Hendricks, originally acquired the land in 1906. Mr. Hendricks was a cotton farmer and lived on this land until his death in 1956. Three Chrismer children were reared here. The Tulip quilt is mounted on a woodworking shop built by Mr. Chrismer and his sons in 1981. He is a retired engineer and furniture maker in his spare time.


This particular quilt block may be referred to as a (#78) “tulip quilt”. In the mid-19th century, quiltmakers created countless variations of appliquéd floral designs, typically favoring a color scheme of red and green. The inspiration quilt combines two popular elements – a modified fleur de lis in the center with four outstretched tulips – in a familiar format. The majority of these early quilt patterns did not have distinct names; the maker of this quilt probably called it her “Tulip quilt.”

The Chrismer’s daughter, Elizabeth Hitchcock, lives with her husband, Ken, across the road in the original family home built by Mr. Hendricks. The farm was recently named a ‘South Carolina Century Farm’ and was home to four consecutive generations of the Hendricks family.


Their quilt block is an (#77) Oak Leaf pattern mounted on an old smokehouse built by Charles Hendricks that was used throughout the 20th century to cure meat. The smokehouse is now a garden shed used by Ken and Elizabeth to store garden tools and equipment. Elizabeth is a Master Gardener and enjoys landscaping as a hobby.

The quilt runner was designed and crafted in 2011 by Virginia (Jennie) Grobusky of Walhalla, SC, and is used on a desk handmade by Elizabeth’s father, Robert Chrismer. The oak leaf pattern was chosen to symbolize family heritage.


The Oak Leaf pattern, in many variations, was popular throughout the second half of the 19th century. Some early examples featured four small red and green acorns tucked among the four leaves. Early Oak Leaf quilts typically contrasted red and green; later examples made use of other color combinations.

The offices of Gloria and David Arnold, located at 10612 Clemson Blvd., Seneca, SC, joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. As they explained, “We decided that we wanted to be a part of the quilt trail and thought this would be a great opportunity to showcase the quilting skills of our friend and former neighbor Lori Kuba by having one of her quilt blocks mounted on our office building. The pattern we chose is from a wall hanging she gave us after we moved into our home.”


The quilt, titled (#73) Blue Horizon, was originally designed and created by Mrs. Kuba, who took up quilting after she and her husband moved to this area in 1991. She said she’d been reading about quilt groups in the area and decided to give it a try. She attended several meetings finally joining the Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild here in Seneca. One of her favorite things has been helping to establish the Guild’s “Day Bees,” or free classes held on the third Tuesday of each month.

Mrs. Kuba makes all kinds of quilts, but prefers to do hand appliqué and hand quilting to machine work. Blue Horizon came as a result of a class she took on Bargello quilting from Marge Edie, a well-known local quilter and author. Bargello takes its name from the Bargello Palace in Florence, Italy, where there is a collection of tapestries employing this technique. Bargello, or flame point, gives the impression of flames of color moving up or down. It can be done with paint, in needlepoint, or in quilting. The construction technique of bargello quilting is different as well, in that strips of fabric are laid down onto the backing and batting rather than making a top and then attaching it to the backing.

Mrs. Kuba’s advice to beginners is simple. “Find your own way. This area of the Upstate is home to some of the most marvelous quilters – people who enter shows and win awards. It’s good to expose yourself to such talent.”

Gloria, David and Corey Arnold are the owners of The Arnold Corporation (, building custom homes and emphasizing the need for a successful relationship between homeowner and contractor. Their work is accomplished with a Lump Sum Contract and a specific completion time.


Chattooga Belle Farm has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Two quilts have been mounted at this mountain resort vineyard, owned by Edward and Kitty Land. The first features geometric patchwork patterns that play with our perceptions. The predominant round ‘flowers’ in its design emerge at the intersection of eight triangles, each of which has contrasting petals on the two acute corners.  This pattern is called (#75) Hearts and Gizzards, a 19th century name for a 19th century pattern. The Ladies Art Company published under this name in the 1890s. Coats and Clark published it in a pattern booklet in the 1940s as Hearts and Flowers. Other 20th century companies published it under other names such as Snowball, Windmill, Lover’s Knot, and Pierrot’s Pom Pom.


The second quilt (#76) Hearts and Stars is a modern design that combined simple elements in a novel manner to create an unusual and effective design. Each block features, alternately, a heart or a chubby star. The blocks are set together with “sashing” pieced of squares and triangles. Careful placement of the light, dark, and medium shades of the fabrics creates the image of interlocking stars.

The original quilter is Jean LaFreniere, Mrs. Land’s mother. She quilted these quilts for her granddaughter, Taylor, when she was born in 2000. Mrs. LaFreniere began quilting when she was 45 years old. As the mother of four girls ranging in age from 12 to 27 years old, she picked up quilting as a hobby for the first time in her life. Over the next nine years, she made a full-sized quilt, completely stitched by hand for each of her daughters. With the assistance of a sewing machine, she continued to make quilts for her grandchildren and more for her daughters. She quilted for 25 years, and loved it immensely.

Chattooga Belle Farm is located at 454 Damascus Church Road, in Long Creek, SC. For information on the farm, call 864/647-9768, or go to (

When Anderson County built its Main Library in downtown Anderson, SC, at 300 North McDuffie Street, one of the architectural decisions was to place a compass-rose mosaic in the middle of the floor in the main lobby. The compass theme was then used in a variety of forms on signs and shelving throughout the building. It is said to illustrate the library system, with the 8 points representing the branch libraries and reaching out from the center circle, or Main Library. Since its simplicity is a memorable image for people to associate with the library, the compass was eventually chosen as the library system’s logo.


The Main Library has been host to the Anderson Prickly Fingers Quilt Guild’s meetings for many years. To honor that long-standing relationship and to celebrate National Library week, the Guild and one of its members, Diane Schonauer and husband David, decided to co-sponsor a quilt block for the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Diane fashioned her mini quilt after the (#79) Compass Rose mosaic. Her quilt was made in 2011 as an appliqué that is top-stitched using monofilament thread. The complexity of this pattern appealed to skilled quilt makers of the mid-1800s. The radiating design has appeared in many variations under such names as Compass Rose, Chips and Whetstones, Sunburst and The Sunflower. These patterns require the maker to measure, cut, and sew accurately, so that the points are sharp and all the pieces lie flat without bunching or rippling.


Diane learned to sew from her sister Linda. Their mother had a Singer sewing machine and they used it first to make doll clothes, then eventually clothing. She was exposed to quilting at a young age with her mother’s Cathedral Windows, Yo-yos, and Log Cabin blocks. She had always admired them—as a young adult, she took a quilting class at Katie’s Calico Corner, a local fabric shop. Twenty years later, her local high school offered evening classes on quilting—she signed up for the class and has not stopped since.

The quilt block is mounted on the west side of the Anderson County Main Library that faces McDuffie Street.
For more information about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, click on (

The Latest News From the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate SC

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011


The good folks behind the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail has been very busy adding new quilt squares to buildings in the Upstate of South Carolina.

Here’s the info.

#65 The Cotton Boll Quilt


The history of the textile industry in Walhalla, SC, is the subject of the latest addition to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Mrs. Mary Lou Cushman of Walhalla has sponsored a quilt block called The Cotton Boll Quilt to honor her parents, Rachel Turner McGuffin and John Q. McGuffin, both of whom worked in the Walhalla textile mills. It is mounted on her home at 301 Jaynes Street in the Mill Village. The pattern was originally quilted by Dixie Haywood, noted teacher, quilter and writer of books about quilting. “This is a traditional Carolina block made in the late 19th century. It’s usually made on a white background with Flying Geese sashing, but I changed that part of the design with a yellow background to evoke a hot summer field. That’s why I call my version, ‘Hot Cotton!’”

During the late 1800s and throughout the 20th century, the textile industry played a significant role in shaping the lives of Walhalla residents and the culture of Upstate South Carolina. Walhalla had two main textile mills in operation. Both mills were located along Walhalla’s Blue Ridge Railroad line, one on the edge of town near West Union along Earle Street and the other in the heart of town on South John Street. These mills went by numerous names as company ownership changed frequently. The mill on the edge of town, which has since been torn down, was known primarily as the Kenneth Mill. The mill in the heart of town is known best as Chicopee Mill or Avondale Mill. It is no longer in operation and is currently for sale. Mill companies were very paternalistic and built company towns for employees to live in around the manufacturing facility. These “mill hills” had dozens of houses all built in the typical “salt box” style, company stores, post offices, and even schools. The mill hills were very closely knit communities and many formed baseball teams that played against each other recreationally. Work in the factories was reliable and many farming families from the surrounding mountain communities moved to Walhalla for work in the mills. Toward the end of the 20th century textile manufacturing slowed in Walhalla and the Upstate as work began being outsourced until all textile production stopped by the late 1990s.

One of Mrs. Cushman’s strongest memories is of living in the Mill Village, where her mother’s friends would gather in their home to work on a quilt. Her mother’s quilt frame, which normally hung suspended from the ceiling, was lowered to lap level. While the women gathered around the frame, little Mary Lou would hide out under the frame in her own secret, dark hide-away listening to all the Village gossip. Always in the background were the sounds of the textile mill. When her father came home, the cotton mill smell would be clinging to him.

The house where Mary Lou lives and where the quilt block is displayed is 100 years old and original to the Mill Village. She chose the cotton boll pattern to honor her parents, the other textile workers and the history of the textile industry in Oconee County. Walhalla was a thriving, bustling town, due to the textile mill and the men and women who worked tirelessly to produce quality American goods. In turn, the textile industry allowed many to care for their families and to improve the quality of life for all. It is her hope that when people see the cotton boll quilt block, they will be reminded of what was an important and vital part of the history of South Carolina.

Dixie Haywood has been quilting professionally since the early 1970′s, but made a quilt for her first child in 1955 – a “totally impractical small satin whole cloth with pink on one side and blue on the other.  It became a ‘cozy’ for all three children and accompanied my daughter to college. It’s now in her family archives.”

Haywood says she is self-taught, having worked with fabric most of her life. Her mother had many talents – painting, needlework, lace making, while Dixie stuck with sewing and knitting. She loves quilting for the excitement of design, the satisfaction of mundane construction and the meditative quality of hand quilting. She’s written eight books, six with Jane Hall of Raleigh, NC, all of which explore and expand the technique of foundation piecing. “I’m in no-man’s (woman’s??) land between the traditional quilter and the art quilter, but I do innovative versions of tradition. I get a lot of comments about my use of color, and that’s the hardest part of it. Right now I’m rethinking a color group that just isn’t working – an old story….”

Haywood claims the ‘Blunder Technique’ powered her quilting career – “I just did what I was interested in and let the chips fall where they may.”

#63 Fenced in Dahlia Quilt


The Fair Play Presbyterian Church joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in October 2011 with the addition of a “Fenced in Dahlia” quilt block made by church member Ola Coombs, sponsored by the Mountain Lakes Region of the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor. Designs composed of a single flower with multiple petals are some of the most recognizable quilt patterns of the 20th century. Quiltmakers find numerous ways to combine colors and printed fabrics in ways that enhance the patchwork, including adding a patchwork “fence” as a border for this Dahlia pattern.

According to Mrs. Coombs, “My sewing life began over 75 years ago.  I made my first quilt at the age of seven. Fabric, scissors, needles, thimbles and thread have always been a part of my life. My mother would invite friends who quilted like she did – she was known for her tiny stitches and high quality quilts. Flour sacks and sugar sacks were used to make bed linens and covers in our home. Mother would find 3 cents and use it to buy a package of dye to make the sacks a little more colorful. Red and blue dye cost 5 cents, so we had to settle for an ugly brown or green. I still have one of those early quilts and I treasure it.”

“My love for fabric, patterns and quilts has always been a part of me,” adds Coombs. “Natural colors remind me of God’s embroidered beauty, and the Dahlia is probably my favorite flower. The rich, velvety blend of color in the petals of the dahlia reminds me of today’s Batik fabric.  My planning ideas went on a nature trip, and I designed the Fenced in Dahlia block for a queen-sized quilt.

Fair Play Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 108th year. Early in its history, a huge storm blew the church off its foundation. Within a very short time, members were out with horses and mules, lifting the building back on its feet and it’s been serving the community of Fair Play ever since. The Church is small but very involved in the community. There have been, and continue to be, many community outreach programs. Ola Coombs, Music Director, created an annual Christmas program for the Church and community which has drawn hundreds of visitors from every part of Oconee and Anderson counties while providing an evening that is entertaining but also uplifting and spiritual. This little Church continues to have a huge impact on the lives of people in the area. This block will have a temporary home at the entrance of the new nature trail and its permanent location will be on the activity shelter once completed. The church is located at 201 Fair Play Church Road in Fair Play, SC.

#63 Par 3 Quilt


The Blue Ridge Golf Center in Walhalla recently became a part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail with the addition of a quilt block. Designed and sponsored by Jenny Grobusky, the quilt she calls “Par 3” is in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph T. Grobusky who bought the land on Hwy. 28 in 1922. Mr. Grobusky was a farmer and carpenter by trade and served in the Spanish-American War in Cuba in 1898. The property was first used for farming wheat and cotton. Mrs. Grobusky used her skills as a seamstress to create many quilts to warm her large family. As Jennie tells it, “I don’t think that the Joseph Grobuskys knew anything but hard work on the farm, children and their religion. I only knew Mrs. Grobusky, who was a wonderful mother-in-law. She loved her children and grandchildren.”

Robert Grobusky, a grandson, who now owns the land, grew Christmas trees for many years before transforming the entire farm into a 10-hole par-3 golf course. Except for renovating a couple of rooms to accommodate the present day pro shop, the house remains much the same as it has been for the past 80 years. There are still pieces of furniture in the pro shop that were made by Joseph Grobusky. The original barn was torn down to make way for a driving range. The barn where the quilt block is mounted houses machinery for the golf course. The original quilt comes from a wall hanging created and quilted by Jennie Grobusky and hangs in the Pro Shop.

Blue Ridge Golf Center has been a source of enjoyment to golfers in Oconee County and the surrounding areas. It is also home to Blue Ridge Junior Golf, a learning program for the county’s 5th grade students.

Jenny Grobusky is well known in the Upstate for her needlework skills. She was a teacher of sewing, quilting and helping others learn these skills and was the first recipient of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail’s Quilter of the Year award in 2009.

#66 Storm at Sea Quilt


Old St. John’s Meeting House in Walhalla has received a quilt block and is now a part of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. The church began serving parishioners of the Episcopal Church in 1889, having been constructed in the Rural Gothic architectural style by ‘master builder’ John Kaufmann. The founder and first president of the American Institute of Architects, Richard Upjohn, introduced Gothic Revival to the United States. His book, “Rural Architecture” (1852) provided patterns for countless buildings throughout the country.  Deconsecrated in 1957, Jack Kelley moved the church at his own expense from Short Street to North Pine Street in 1982. The building was moved once again to 301 N. Catherine Street, near the Walhalla City Park, Kaufmann Square, in March 2009.

Sponsored through a grant given to Upstate Heritage Quit Trail, by The Mountain Lakes Region of the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor and the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor, the quilt pattern is called Storm at Sea and was originally quilted by Alberta Ramey Bowers (1926 – 2007), a native of Oconee County, for her oldest son, James. She made many quilts over the years as fundraisers for the Walhalla Civic Auditorium and the Meeting House. She had made quilts for each of her children and grandchildren, and became interested in the fate of the little church after it was vandalized at its previous location. Her husband and two sons placed hard mesh wire over the windows to prevent further damage. Her first quilt for the church was called Ties That Bind since it was made from a collection of men’s neckties. Mrs. Bowers was a trained nurse, the mother of three and a skilled seamstress. Quilting became her passion on her return to Walhalla.

#67 Mariner’s Compass Quilt


The Iva Quilting Ladies Group has added their second quilt to the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Called a Mariners Compass, it is located on the Peoples Bank located on the corner of Green Street and Highway 81 in Iva, SC. It too is on the SC Heritage Corridor and is a pattern that was used by many of the older ladies in the quilting club of years gone by. They met faithfully each week to quilt in the old Iva High School Cafeteria. Shawn McGee, CFO of the Peoples Bank, told us that one of those ladies was a member of his church as well as his Sunday school teacher. Another was his family’s “nanny” babysitter/housekeeper. “This is an excellent memorial to them, in appreciation for their faithful work.” Students of Sara Jordan, art teacher at Starr-Iva Middle School, assisted in the painting of this quilt block.

The complexity of the Mariners Compass pattern, appealed to skilled quiltmakers of the mid-1800′s. The radiating designs appeared in many variations under such names as Compass Rose, Chips and Whetstones, Sunburst and Sunflower. These patterns require the quilter to measure, cut and sew accurately, so that the points are sharp and all the pieces lie flat without bunching or rippling. Many girls studied geometry in school, learning the use of the drafting compass, an ancient tool for measuring and reproducing arcs. Compass patterns typically contain an even number of points, usually 12, 16 or 32, but some women showed off their skill by carefully crafting blocks with 11 or 13 points.

#68 Yellow Ribbon Quilt


Patriots’ Hall: Oconee Veterans Museum in Walhalla has joined the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Sponsored by the Patriots’ Hall Association, the quilt pattern is a ‘Save Our Troops Ribbon” and called Yellow Ribbon. Marilyn Delay of Edwardsville, IL, originally quilted this pattern.

The origin of the yellow ribbon most likely came from our Puritan heritage.  The English Puritan Army wore yellow sashes onto the battlefield.  Yellow is the official color of the Armor Branch of the United States Army, was usually worn by the Cavalry, and was associated with the yellow neckerchief attributed to various artists in Hollywood films.  The symbol was first used as a popular military marching song in 1917 – “Round Her Neck She Wears a Yeller Ribbon”. These lyrics were somewhat altered in 1949 to “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon”.

Currently, we see yellow ribbons around trees signifying the residents of a home are waiting for the return of a loved one. This idea originated from the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree”. During the Iran hostage crisis, the yellow ribbon was used as a symbol of support for the hostages held at the United States Embassy in Tehran. It symbolized the resolve of the American people to win the hostages’ safe release. There was renewed popularity of the yellow ribbon in the United States during the Gulf War in the 1990s, along with the slogan, “Support Our Troops.” It appeared again during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The yellow ribbon most prominently appears in magnetic form displayed on the outside of automobiles or as a small pin worn on the lapel.

Delay doesn’t remember a time she did not have a scrap of material in her hands. Her mother, grandmother and paternal aunts sewed, quilted, knitted, and crocheted. “There were quilt frames, sewing machines and needles of all kinds around the house. I finished my first quilt on my own shortly before my daughter was born 40 years ago. We still have the quilt and all three granddaughters and one grandson have used it.”

Delay’s philosophy about quilts? “I really feel quilts should be used daily.  Even Gracie, our dog, has her own quilts. Many times, the granddaughters will choose which quilt to use for their overnight stays. I love pinwheels and stars, and I love to work with the fabrics from the 1930′s.”

Delay earned a first place ribbon at the Madison County, IL, Fair and does piecing and long arm quilting for Quilts Beyond Borders and a local group that provides quilts to children in protective services and foster homes.  She’s an active member of the local Tie, Needles and Threads group, and she and her disabled veteran husband have been active in veterans’ affairs for years.

Made of camouflage and canvas, with flannel for batting, the Patriots’ Hall quilt is called Charlie’s Quilt in honor of Charles Brickett, former President of the Board of directors of the Patriots’ Hall Association and current member. Mrs. Delay worked with his wife, Joyce Brickett, Secretary of the Board, in deciding on the simple design.

Patriots’ Hall: Oconee Veterans Museum is located in the ‘Old Rock Building’ behind the Oconee County Court House on Short Street in Walhalla. The building was built in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and is constructed from rock found at nearby historic Stumphouse Tunnel. Historically significant military displays are arranged in chronological order beginning with the Revolutionary War. The museum stands to honor all veterans and offers an opportunity for visitors to see firsthand what they have contributed and often sacrificed for our country, our freedom and our world.

For more information call 864/723-6603 or visit ( You can see all of the quilts blocks on the Quilt Trail on the website.