Archive for December, 2011

On the First Day of Winter My Christmas Fruitcake Arrived in the Mail – Oh the Joy!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

So, it’s 6:30am and I wake up. Linda has already gone to her 911 dispatch job and there’s no covers on me and it’s a little cool. It only got down in the 50′s overnight so it was a little warm for covers. It’s the first day of Winter, Dec. 21, 2011, and the Amazon weather gal on The Weather Channel – Stephanie Abrams says it’s going to be around 77 degrees in our area today and 80 tomorrow. That’s Winter?

This weather reminds me of my first year in Charleston or more exact, North Charleston, SC. It was 75 degrees on Christmas and on New Years day I went to Folly Beach and got a sunburn. I called my parents back in Michigan and it was 20 below with blowing snow. That was my first Winter in the South in 1974. The next year at the same time we had some of the coldest, damp weather I’ve experienced. That’s Winter in the South. It’s all relative. When you have months of 95 degrees + in the Summer, 30 degrees can seem very cold. And, it’s always the humidity that makes the difference.

So when I first went on Facebook to check things out, I posted a picture of an 8 inch snowfall we had a couple years back and asked Mama Nature – what’s up? Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving it, if not just for the fact that the heater isn’t running all day and I don’t need air conditioning.

About noon, it’s time to make the mail run and if there are some checks in the mail – a run into town to the bank. I also wanted to make a run to the trash site to take some garbage and some papers and plastic to recycle. When I opened our drawer at the local post office there’s one of those slips to let you know you have a package inside. My first thought is – what did Linda or our son Andrew order online now, and then I think it’s almost Christmas – who sent us something in the mail.

When I exchange the slip for a box with the Postmaster I see that it’s from Whynot Pottery in Seagrove, NC. My mind is racing between the notion that it’s a piece of potter or fruitcake that Meredith Heywood made. Either one would be great, but I’ve been jonesin’ for fruitcake lately.

I can’t explain why all of a sudden in the last two years that when Christmas time has come around I’ve had fruitcake on my mind. It had been almost 20 years since I’ve had real good fruitcake. For awhile everyone was making fun of fruitcake – so much so that people stopped giving them as gifts or if they still did – kept it on the down low. Too bad, a good fruitcake is heaven in your mouth and in your teeth for days.

The kind of fruitcakes I grew up on were heavy on the candied fruit and highlighted with a little booze. Linda’s mother made an 80 proof fruitcake that fermented for six months. There was a two slice limit on those cakes and no driving after three. We had a friend back in our photography days who’s wife made a killer fruitcake, but when the shipyard in North Charleston closed they moved away.

So with that box in hand I jumped in the car and drove home. Once I pulled into the yard I realized that I forgot to go to the trash site. So I put the box in the house and went back to finish my duties. When I finally got home I went straight to the box and opened it and there was a little pottery Christmas ornament and a shiny gold box. The box said it was from Southern Supreme – Old Fashioned Nutty Fruitcake. This was the company Meredith and a few other potters from Seagrove had told me about the first time I mentioned my desire for fruitcake a few weeks ago on Facebook.

The box said it was 8 oz. but it felt like 2 or 3 pounds. This was going to be good fruitcake – far from the mistake I made in thinking I might get something acceptable at Wal-Mart. What was I thinking? It was the fruitcake fever that made me do it.

In a note in the box Meredith said that this was probably more nuts than fruit and the box says that this was “More Nuts than Fruit….Fruitcake”. Opening the box it looked real good too as you can see from the picture. Also in the note Meredith said her husband Mark called this a single serving, which was kind of funny.


Around here, when it comes to slicing pie or cake or dishing out ice cream, Linda always ask if someone wants a “Starland” size portion or a normal portion. I guess my family has a habit of making big portions when it comes to desert. Our family was big so you took a big portion knowing there might not be any left over for seconds.

It took a lot of will power and a public posting on Facebook announcing that I had received a fruitcake in the mail to keep me from opening that packaging and putting a little bit of heaven in my mouth before Linda got home. A lot of will power.

Linda finally got home around 8pm and we had dinner and then I brought out the box. We took a picture first and then had at it.

Linda was reading the back label which said that it was a 100 calories per serving, not bad if you overlooked the fact that this 8oz. cake has 11 servings. That’s 1,100 calories total. Fairly soon Linda remarks that she can’t believe I’m still eating it – almost half-way through. I reply – I can’t seem to stop, but I do. And, before long I felt like I had a brick or two in my stomach. It was sooooo good, but oh my! I think I’ll try and save the other half for Christmas day. At least that’s the plan.

Southern Supreme Fruitcakes are homemade by the Scott family in Bear Creek, NC, which is on NC Hwy. 902 which runs between Seagrove and Pittsboro, NC. They have a website at ( where you can make an order. Their photo number is 336/581-3141.

This fruitcake is not Yankee fruitcake, but it’s damn Yankee good. And, you’all know what a damn Yankee is – one that comes South and stays. I know something about that.

I can’t say enough about how appreciative I am to Mark and Meredith Heywood for thinking of me and Linda and my recent craving for fruitcake during the holidays. They’re a couple of the great friends we have made in Seagrove – the center of pottery in North Carolina. They didn’t do this to generate this kind of response, but no good deed and fruitcake in the mail goes unrewarded.


Mark and Meredith Heywood operate Whynot Pottery, located at 1013 Fork Creek Mill Road in Seagrove. You can check out their pottery on their website at (; follow Meredith on her blog at (; and you can check out the items they have for sale on Etsy at ( But the best thing is to make a trip to Seagrove and visit their pottery, but call first to make sure they are there this time of year. Of course they are also on Facebook at Whynot Pottery.


Mark and Meredith are going to celebrate their 30th anniversary of operating Whynot Pottery in October of 2012. Marking our own 25th anniversary this year, we know what that means – a lot of blood, sweat and tears down the road and good times too.

Today is also Meredith’s birthday. Happy birthday my friend. We’re a better world with folks like you.

P.S. I want you to know that I’m still holding you to the promise of pineapple upsidedown cake. I know – give you a few days warning before I visit. You can count on that.

Tracking the Numbers for the First Ten Days of the Dec. 2011 Issue of Carolina Arts

Monday, December 12th, 2011


Well, it seems we are still riding the top of a pretty good wave this month. The total downloads of the Dec. 2011 issue of Carolina Arts for the first ten days in December is 78,221 – that’s about 7,000 more than last month at this time. I continue to be amazed.

Although it has been a year since the last time I had to hit the road to deliver papers around the Carolinas, I think I could still do it, but I think I’d be in the hospital or still on the road if I had to deliver 78,000 papers. That’s like delivering seven months worth of papers in ten days compared to the old days. Of course this new paper would also be at least three time bigger. Oh my achin’ back!

I can only assume we will be setting new records this month, although it is possible it could be all down hill from now on as most of the monthly downloads come in those first ten days – with a few exceptions. I would expect that by the Friday before Christmas all activity on our website will come to a standstill. And, between Christmas and the New Year – not much will go on either.

As far as the other numbers go, the (other) is in second place with a total of 20,087 – also a little more than in Nov. at this time. In third place is our August 2011 issue with 1,829 and in fourth is – you got it – our March 2011 issue with 1,781. But when I looked at the numbers for Dec. 11th – they had traded places. That March issue is a wonder.

The standings really drop after that. In fifth place was our July 2011 issue with 211 downloads. Following behind was January 2011 with 143; June 2011 with 98; and February 2011 with 27. All other months were below the 200 item number on our stats counter.

Just remember, family and friends come first during the holidays, and we hope you have good ones, but once the excitement is all over – it’s OK to get back to your internet searches.

And, Santa if you’re reading this – all I want for Christmas is more advertisers, more downloads, more “likes” on Facebook, and more customers for the arts. That’s all I want. But, if you like, you can throw in Peace on Earth, good health and happiness for all, and a Democratic landslide in the next election. And, one final thing, let the Carolina Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints on New Years Day – big time. That’s absolutely all I’m asking for this year. Wait, if you could see it to bring gas prices back down to 99 cents a gallon that would be good too. That’s it. I can wait till next year for you to take care of all my debt if you’re in a hurry to get to someone else.

P.S. Santa, Linda and I are trying to cut back on all the goodies this year so there won’t be any cookies this year and without cookies I’m not sure if the milk will be worth leaving out. Besides last year you forgot to clean up the crumbs and there were ants in the morning. We’re not complaining, it’s just if you leave crumbs out – how can you blame the ants. They’ve got to eat too I guess. And, FYI, you do remember Bonneau Beach has a pooper scooper law in place, that was a heck of a surprise you left on the roof last year. I’m just saying.

December 17, 2011, is Another Active Pottery Day in Seagrove, NC

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

On Dec. 17, 2011, the Seagrove, NC area – the center of NC pottery – will be very active with special holiday kiln openings and open house events. We have some info on a few of these events, but remember – it’s just before Christmas – any of the Seagrove area potteries would be happy to see you at their door with the intention of draining your bank account trying to finish your holiday shopping list. Remember these key words – buy American – buy handmade – buy local – buy art – buy for yourself. Be your own job creator.

We’ll provide all the street addresses involved so you can let Google pull up a map you can print out or stop at the NC Pottery Center and pick up one of the handy maps of the Seagroce area potteries. And, just to be polite, check out the exhibits on view at the Pottery Center.

We’ll start on the fringe with Donna Craven Pottery which will be hosting a Holiday Open House from 8:30am-5pm. The pottery is located at 2616 Old Cox Road in Asheboro, NC – more like between Asheboro and Seagrove.

Join them as they celebrate the holiday season with new pots from the upcoming firing, refreshments and more!

For further details call 336/629-8173 or e-mail to (

Bulldog Pottery will be hosting their Holiday Kiln Opening from 9am-5pm. The pottery is located at 3306 Alt. 220, going south from Seagrove. Look for the big blue water tower.


Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke will have new moka glaze pottery ready. Come see the latest and hottest Bulldog pots of 2011, fresh from the kiln.

Ask them why they are not named – Max the Wonder Bulldog Pottery.

For further details call 336/302-3469, e-mail to ( or visit (

Chris Luther Pottery will be having a Kiln Opening from 10am-5pm. The pottery is located at 4823 Busbee Road, just outside of Seagrove.

The pottery will introduce new glazes and shapes for 2012.

For further details call 336/301-3254, e-mail to ( or visit (

Ben Owen Pottery will be presenting its Holiday Chinese Red Kiln Opening with a preview and refreshments from 9-9:50am and the opening from 10am-5pm. The pottery is located at 2199 S. Hwy. 705, (the Pottery Highway) South of Seagrove.


There will be an abundance of Chinese Red and other glazes will be available as well. They hope to see you there!

For further details call 336/879-2262, e-mail to ( or visit (

Seagrove Stoneware Inn & Pottery will be hosting its Annual Kiln Opening & Gallery Sale (no hours were given, but lets say 10am-5pm). The pottery is located at 136 West Main Street in “downtown” Seagrove.

Join them for their annual kiln opening and gallery sale featuring new work, one of a kind pieces, and special discounts in the gallery. The sale is both Saturday and Sunday.

For further details call 336/873-8283, e-mail to ( or visit (

Dean and Martin Pottery will be having its Holiday Kiln Opening from 9am to 5pm. The pottery is located at 7739 Nathan Lane, outside of Seagrove.

Come out to their shop for a visit and see their new work.

For further details call 336-879-0683, e-mail to ( or visit (

We’ve also heard that Johnston & Gentithes Art Pottery will also be having a holiday event on Dec. 17th, but we have no details. They are located at 249 East Main Street in “downtown” Seagrove. Let’s say it would be safe to give them hours of 10am-5pm.

For details call 336/873-9176 or visit (

Work from JLK Jewelry

Of course while you’re in the Seagrove area you could also check out other potteries who happen to be supporters of Carolina Arts including: Eck McCanless Pottery, at 6077 Old US Hwy. 220, Seagrove; From The Ground Up Pottery, at 172 Crestwood Road, Robbins; JLK Jewelry at Jugtown, at 330 Jugtown Road, Seagrove; Whynot Pottery, at 1013 Fork Creek Mill Road, Seagrove; and Wyndham & Brooke Haven Pottery Gallery, at 209 East Main Street in “downtown” Seagrove.

Hey, you could even stop by Phil Morgan Pottery, at 966 Hwy. 705, (the Pottery Highway) just outside of “downtown” Seagrove. Ask him if he’s ready to give Christmas back? Just joking – I hear he’s a pretty good potter.

To find out information about other potteries in the Seagrove area, visit ( or ( And, once you get your hands on a map, you’ll see you can map out a more convenient route from pottery to pottery than the order mentioned here.

Good shopping!

America’s College Museums Handbook and Directory, Second Edition – My 2 Cents Worth

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

The other day I got kind of a wrong number call, or more exact a call thinking that we were someone else – which came from someone who found something on the Carolina Arts website. It happens all the time. Someone does a Google search and finds an article about whom or what they were searching, and they call the number at the bottom of the page – not the number at the end of the article.

On this day it was a woman from Grey House Publishing looking for someone at one of the university or college art galleries in the Carolinas. I can’t remember which one, but it was someone we cover in the paper. Our conversation soon led to the fact that her publishing company had produced the second edition of the America’s College Museums Handbook & Directory. I told her I just included some info about art books in our December 2011 issue of Carolina Arts. Before I know it she’s getting my mailing address to send me a 30 day trial of a book which costs $185. I assured her I did not want to buy the book, but would take a look at it and maybe give my two cents on it in one of my blogs. So, here we are.


Here’s the description of the book found on the website of Grey House Publishing:

America’s College Museums Handbook & Directory, Second Edition

Published August 2011
Grey House Publishing
Dr. Victor J. Danilov
Softcover: 600 pages
ISBN: 1-59237-674-6/978-1-59237-674-2
Price: $185.00

The only resource of its kind, this work presents a comprehensive picture of over 1,700 museums and galleries in American colleges and universities.

This updated second edition includes data on 400 new facilities, more photos, new museum director contact information and four new indices to offer complete coverage of these important cultural facilities. It is an essential in-house reference tool for all campus museums and galleries and will be an important resource for academic and public libraries as well.

Students and their visitors may be surprised at the wealth and variety of culture readily available on their own campuses, and this guide makes the investigatory task easy.

Detailed introductory chapters offer an overview of the field, dealing with such aspects as history, mission, types, governance, staffing, collections, research, funding, exhibits, public programming, attendance, marketing and much more.

The Updated Directory of Organizations, with data on over 400 new facilities with more photos and new contact information for the museums’ directors, present detailed information on museums and collections of art, botanical gardens, costumes, geology, historical houses & sites, marine sciences, medical & health, musical instruments, natural history, photography, planetaria, religion, science & technology, sculptures, zoology and much more.

Four Indices: University & Museum Index, Museum & University Index, Geographic Index and Key Personnel Index

Founding & Opening Date Appendix

Selected Bibliography and Cumulative Index complete the text

Available in print and ebook formats

America’s College Museums provides a comprehensive overview of the funding, development, exhibitions, governance and future trends of college museums, along with highly informative profiles of these important facilities. This new edition will be a welcome source for all academic and public libraries.


Inside the book I found this info about the author.

Dr. Victor J. Danilov is a leading figure in the museum world. He was the director and/or president of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago for 15 years, and the founder and director of the Museum Management Program at the University of Colorado from 1988 to 2003. He is the author of 27 books, including 17 in the museum field, from museum career and planning guides to overviews of science, historic site, living history, ethnic, hall of fame, sports, corporate, and hands-on museums. He holds degrees from Pennsylvania State University, Northwestern University, and University of Colorado, and has been an officer in national and international museum organizations.

Here’s my 2 cents.

This is a big book, but I’ve got some that are just as big, filled with hundreds and hundreds of pages about some computer software program and I can’t find a few pages that tell me how to make that program do what I want. So, the size of a book doesn’t impress me and those big computer books were a lot cheaper.

My first impression is that this is a book every library in a city of 70,000 or more people should have in their reference department, as well as any library at a college or university that teaches art. I’m not sure why any individual would want this book at that price. That’s what libraries are for – they carry books we don’t need on an everyday basis.

Of course my interest was in what info they provided about art museums and art galleries at our Carolina colleges and universities. That’s my beat.

The info about facilities in the Carolinas filled about 10-12 pages in this book. And, I found the listings to be mostly complete, but also missed the mark in some big ways.

One example was that there were no listings for Charlotte, NC. They included the art gallery at Davidson College in Davidson, but none of the UNC-Charlotte art galleries. Nor do they include the facilities at Queens University and the community colleges in Charlotte. Charlotte is a big city to leave out completely.

It made me wonder if the info was collected by sending out a survey form and some people didn’t fill them out or return them in time?  But since this is the second edition I wonder how they knew who to send it to if you were not in the first edition.

They also didn’t include the Catherine J. Smith Gallery or the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at  Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. It’s hard for me to think they wouldn’t be included in the Art Gallery category. And, neither facility is brand new.

The directory also seemed to have a problem when it came the UNC- and USC- facilities, leaving out art galleries at UNC-Asheville, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Wilmington, USC-Aiken, USC-Sumter, and UNC-Upstate to name a few.

In South Carolina, they did not include info about the art galleries at Coastal Carolina, Francis Marion University, Furman University, and SC State University.

And like I mentioned in leaving out Charlotte facilities, this directory did not take into account art galleries at community colleges – at least in the Carolinas.

I’ve been in SC a long time now, but I checked out the college and university I attended in Michigan and their facilities were included. The book has a lot of listings so I can only assume they don’t know much about the Carolinas.

Size of the facility did not seem to matter. So they were not leaving out smaller galleries, as they did include the galleries at Coker College in Hartsville, SC, and Davidson University, which are not very big gallery spaces.

The book does have info on 668 college and university art galleries and more about art museums throughout the US, so if I was an artist looking for an academic art space to exhibit my work, this directory could be very helpful. It includes e-mail and phone contacts for these facilities.

As far as those facilities not included in the Carolinas – I have a hard time getting some of these same folks to send me info so I’m not surprised some are left out. And I’ve been doing this in the Carolinas for 15 years.

These days UPS or other freight carriers can take your art anywhere, so there is no reason you couldn’t show your work at the Sheppard Fine Art Gallery at the University of Nevada, Reno in Reno, NV, or the Hammons Gallery at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR, as long as you know who to contact first. This book has a lot of that info sorted in several categories and in several different ways.

What should you do? You might want to check and see if your local library already has this book or encourage them to get a copy.

Grey House Publishing is located in Amenia, NY. You can contact them by calling 800/562-2139, e-mail to ( or visit (

Tracking the Numbers of the November 2011 Issue of Carolina Arts

Monday, December 5th, 2011


Our October 2011 issue of Carolina Arts was a super issue – a record setter as far as number of pages and number of downloads, but the November 2011 issue set some records too, although it was a smaller paper.

The total for downloads of the November issue was 79,742, just a day short of 80,000. If November had 31 days instead of just 30 we may have made it. Of course some days we got 1,500 downloads and some days less than 100. You can never tell what’s going to happen. The bulk of the downloads come in the first week of the month. November was also the first month that the total downloads beat out the total of the “other” category which only amounted to 57,275.

This was pretty good considering November has a major holiday and the distraction of Black Friday and Cyber Monday also took place. But, it was lucky for us that they took place near the end of the month – not the beginning.

The Carolina Arts website also set a record high of 95,096 individual sessions or visits to the website. We’re now up to an average of over 3,100 visits a day. The total hits was about our average number of hits each month at 562,070. We had a high of 723,940 hits in March 2011. And, once again the March 2011 issue attracted 12,246 downloads during the month of November – which is truly a mystery and is nearing the 100,000 download total mark since it was first launched on Mar. 1, 2011. That’s an issue that keeps on ticking. Something about that issue really attracts viewers or the same people keep forgetting what they saw the first time and go back for a second and third look. I can’t figure it out.

The rest of the download numbers for November are as follows:

The June 2011 issue came in 4th place with 1,790 downloads, while the May 2011 issue attracted 1,345, and the January 2011 issue got 863. All respectable numbers considering the info contained in those papers was long past. And they are a considerable drop from the totals that the March issue is seeing.

Next came July 2011 with 432 downloads; August 2011 with 363; and February 2011 with 170. Amazingly, the October issue received 119 downloads. The pattern so far is that the issue from the month before the current one drops out of sight. For some reason people are more interested in very old news compared to things that were going on just a month ago. That pattern is a real brain twister too.

The April 2011 and September 2011 issues were no where in sight on the list of the first 300 categories. That means less than 50 downloads would have taken place – if any. The list has 10,001 items on it and it takes a very slow day to force me to look at much of it, and my days haven’t been that slow lately.

So there is lots of good activity going on – downloads, web searches and people checking out the blogs. New readers are coming on board every month, comments are super positive, but… it all doesn’t mean a hill of beans if our supporters – the advertisers are not seeing some activity too. So, I always want to remind folks to let them know you appreciate their support for Carolina Arts. And, people should remember that we are not a non-profit. We don’t receive any funding to produce this paper for the good of the community. A lot of people make that mistake thinking that we must be to do all this work. The advertisers make this paper possible. That’s a fact that should never be forgotten.

Oh yeah, we also got lots of new Facebook “likes” over at ( last month. We can always use more.

Finally, I want to give some well deserved credit to the good folks who take the time each month to spread that notice of the new issue out each month to their e-mail list and the folks who receive that second-hand notice who pass it along. That’s how we are getting all those downloads. Some of you know what I’m talking about – you’re getting 3 and 4 and more copies of the same notice from various sources.

Our list is not that big, although it is getting bigger every month as folks from those second- and third-hand list are asking to be added to our list – just to make sure they will always get the notice.

So at the first of the month when we throw that stone (our e-mail list) into the water and the waves go out – others are throwing their stones in the water creating new waves. And, some of those folks have big stones to toss. But we don’t care if the stones are big, medium sized or small, as long as people keep throwing them. I guess it shows they like what they see each month. At least I hope that’s what it means. We appreciate it.


And, if for some reason you’re reading this and haven’t been hit by one of those waves – the link to download the November 2011 issue of Carolina Arts is ( It will take a few minutes, but well worth the wait. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

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.

The December 2011 Issue of Carolina Arts is Now Ready to Download

Thursday, December 1st, 2011


The December 2011 issue of Carolina Arts is up on our website at ( – all 62 pages of it. We had just over 79,000 downloads of the November 2011 issue – a new record.

We ask that you help us bring the news about the Carolina visual art community to others by spreading the link for the download around to your e-mail lists and posting it on your Facebook page. Once people see all that is going on in the visual art community they will spread it around to their lists and on their Facebook pages.

The link is: (

If you are receiving this because you are on someone’s list, you can send us an e-mail to ( to be placed on our list, so you will get a notice of every new issue.

I’ve heard from some people that they are receiving numerous copies of this e-mail. I’m sorry about that, but it just goes to show how well connected you are in the Carolina art community.

So download that PDF and dig in – it’s going to take a while to get through this issue. And, don’t forget to find a way to thank our advertisers – they make the paper possible.

Thanks – Tom and Linda Starland

Carolina Arts