PICKENS — The ever-expanding Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail has grown yet again with the addition of “Fire and Ice” and “Rhythm and Hues.”
“Fire and Ice” is the first quilt block chosen by the Pickens County selection committee and financed by the Pickens County A-tax Commission grant to the Pickens County Area Chamber of Commerce.
This multi-colored modern quilt graces the building of Domino’s Pizza at 102 East Main Street in downtown Pickens.
Domino’s owner Scott Carrick fell in love with it and requested it for his location. The original quilt was made by Seneca quilter Libby Carter. She chose the quilt’s colors because they reminded her of beautiful Upstate South Carolina — the blues of our lakes and waters and the vivid oranges that represent the lovely fall foliage of the mountains.
The quilt is primarily composed of batik fabrics. It was longarm quilted in the “Splashing” pattern by Libby’s friend, E. Ann Ewald of Dragonfly Designs. A version of this quilt was featured in the June 2008 edition of McCall’s Quilting. Libby’s placement of the orange batiks against the calmer blues creates a pleasing balance between energy and tranquility.
Libby has been quilting for approximately twenty years but has sewn in one form or another for much of her life. She considers herself a traditional quilter but enjoys all forms of quiltmaking and fabric craft. That is what inspired her to own a quilt shop with her sister for seven and a half years in Georgia before moving to S.C. Libby is a member of the Lake and Mountain Quilters Guild.
Rhythm and Hues can be found at 112 Main Street, next to the outdoor amphitheater on Route 183 in downtown Pickens. It was funded by an A-tax grant written by Kim Smagala, director of the Greater Pickens Chamber of Commerce.
According to Kim, Rhythm and Hues was chosen because it captured the essence of the Pickens community with its outdoor musical amphitheater and its vibrant Young Appalachian Musicians Program.
Rhythm and Hues is the unique creation of art quilter Jean Wachs. This quilt was made in 2016 for the Lake & Mountain Quilters Guild Show whose theme was “Symphony of Quilts.”
Jean said music has always been an important part of her life. Since she played the guitar when she was younger, it seemed like the perfect subject for the show. She used a clip art image which she enlarged, then modified, adding vibrant color and design to portray the music she imagined coming from the guitar.
All of the fabrics used in the quilt were 100 percent cotton, either batiks or hand dyed. Each piece was fused in place, then appliqued and quilted using free motion on her domestic machine. She sculpted copper wire to form the bridge, rayon gimp thread for the strings and small metal hooks for the tuning pegs. Jean’s strong color composition of red, blue, yellow and green imbue the quilt with intense energy.
The colors practically dance from the quilt.
Rhythm and Hues won first place at the quilt show in the pictorial category. It was not listed as being for sale, but during the show a lady called Jean, inquiring about purchasing it. She eventually sold it to the woman, following a commitment to exhibit it with the art group Thread Heads at the Belton Art Center a few months later.
Jean began sewing when she was in high school but did not take up quilting until 2006. Although she has done some traditional quilting, art quilting for wall display is her passion. In recent years, her focus has been on portrait and pictorial compositions.
For additional information on events at the Amphitheater visit the City of Pickens website.