Preserving The Past

For the past twenty years, quilters across the United States have celebrated their handiwork and their creativity on National Quilting Day (March 19). Sealevel’s resident quilter, Wanda, tells her story of volunteerism, quilting and keeping the past alive.

In this day of technology, many of us have forgotten how our forefathers lived. In the time before television, cell phones and computers, quilting was a very common activity. Our great-grandmothers would sit out under trees in the warm months and quilt for not only necessity, but also for enjoyment and social interaction with other ladies. With so many new computerized sewing machines, hand quilting is slowly becoming a dying art.

To do my small part to keep this art form alive, my friends and I volunteer to demonstrate hand quilting at Hagood Mill in Pickens, South Carolina. The old gristmill was built sometime around 1773 and was purchased by the Hagood family in 1823. It served as a business and social center for the community. These days, people can find a groups of musicians and craftspeople demonstrating their talents for the community on the third Saturday of each month.

I enjoy listening to the stories that people tell us as they watch us work. We often hear someone say they remember playing under a big quilting frame while their grandmother and her friends sat and quilted. And every Saturday, a small child will come by just to ask me what I am doing. I ask them if they have ever sewn before. Most have not, and if they have, it’s been on a sewing machine. Hand quilting is so relaxing, except for the few needle sticks that will happen. But the work is so rewarding.

2 Comments

  1. Beverly McCulty
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    That was geat. Everyone has a good time there. Thanks for writing about Quilting.It is fun to do . Bev

  2. Yevonne Cearns
    Posted March 24, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful!!! I’ll have to visit Hagood Mill sometime. Great job, keeping the handiarts alive!

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