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Issue 14: South Carolina

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Quiltfolk’s mission is to seek out quilters wherever we go, and it seems to us that there are simply more quilters per capita in South Carolina. Everywhere we went on our trip, if there was one quilter, there were three, and we lost count of the number of shops we saw. Perhaps it’s that quilters like Cookie Washington, Ruth Hong, and Laurel Horton were so friendly. It was the love that was multiplied. 

Regardless, South Carolina charmed us completely, and now it’s your turn to be delighted. In Issue 14, you’ll “paint the town” with new friends on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, you’ll peek into vaults of textile history, you’ll see how grand views of the Atlantic inspire more than patchwork, and you’ll meet a lean, mean longarming “machine”… who just started kindergarten.

If you’re a quilter who wants to have her boiled peanuts and eat them too, the Palmetto State has its hand up, waving for you to come on over and stay awhile.

164 pages, offset printed and perfect bound, full color on uncoated paper. Printed in the USA.

Previews from Issue 14

Torreah “Cookie” Washington

In Charleston, an accomplished fiber artist, called “Cookie” by her many friends, makes quilts that explore themes of mysticism, spirituality, the pursuit of knowledge, and her ancestral roots as an African American. For 16 years and counting, Washington has shown a way for art quilters around the country to showcase their work by curating a powerful annual quilt show.

Paige Alexander

Lifelong Southerner Paige Alexander describes herself as “a traditional quilter who loves modern quilting”. In her sunny studio, ribbons from local, regional, and national quilting shows line the walls. Alexander’s meticulous attention to detail and solid technique take her quilts to the next level, but it all starts with a challenge: Alexander found her inspiration by taking on challenges issued by guilds. The results are winning, indeed. 

Little Boy Quilt

Can a five-year-old be an award-winning quilter? If your name is Ivan Huffstetler, the answer is yes! Little Ivan’s mother, quilter Rebecca Huffstetler, was pleasantly surprised when her (very) young son joined her at the longarm machine at age three. Ivan’s been sewing ever since, developing into a pint-sized but dedicated student who is honing his craft — when he’s not playing with his trucks and dinosaurs, of course.

Laurel Horton

What else can be said about well-known scholar, curator, and folklorist Laurel Horton? She’s a quilter, too! Those who know Horton as a prominent career quilt scholar may not know that the lady is a dedicated quilter who tries all styles, sizes, and techniques. We visit Horton in her natural habitat: among bookshelves and a lot of fabric at her house in Seneca, South Carolina.

The Gullah Lady

Ready to fall in love with a type of quilt you’ve likely never seen before? Sharon Cooper-Murray is known around the Lowcountry region of South Carolina as “The Gullah Lady”, a storytelling character who shares the history of the Gullah people. Descendants of slaves, Gullah people have kept their culture alive through language and art, and Cooper-Murray is particularly passionate about carrying on the tradition of Gullah rag quilts. Learn the story — and the technique — first-hand.

Ruth Hong

We love to meet young quilters on our travels and we know our readers love to read about the next generation of quilters. At just 20 years old, Ruth Hong — big sister to six brothers and sisters — has embarked on an entrepreneurial journey with quilts at the center. Quiltfolk was so impressed by this ambitious young lady that we’re excited to bring you a “Quiltfolk Q&A” so you can meet her, too.

Jim Shore

You’re likely familiar with the work of creative superstar, Jim Shore. His wildly popular Heartwood Creek figurines are licensed by brands such as Disney, Coca Cola, Peanuts, and more. What you may not know is that quilting and traditional quilting motifs have impacted the heart, soul, and aesthetic of his iconic work. We were grateful that Shore let us into his life for an afternoon of conversation and photographs so that we could dig deeper and tell the story of the man behind the empire. 

Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail

There are many beautiful quilt trails across America, but the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail is notable for a few reasons. A decade after its inception, the UHQT features some 267 blocks that appear on historic buildings, private homes, barns, banks, churches, libraries, schools, and, in a few cases, at business establishments. What’s more, every painted block is based on an actual quilt within the Upstate community. In Issue 14, we bring you five special blocks and, along the way, give you a glimpse of South Carolina’s beautiful countryside. 

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