According to the website Quilting-in-America, “The term ‘quilt’ comes from the Latin ‘culcita,’ meaning a stuffed sack. The word has come to have two meanings. It is used as a noun, meaning the three-layer stitched bedcovering. It is also used as a verb, meaning the act of stitching through the three layers to hold them together.”
To get a grasp on how quilts are “put together,” it helps to think of a quilt as a “cloth sandwich,” — as Quilting-in-America explained — consisting of the usually decorated top, then a back and the filler in the middle. Additionally, under the general term of “patchwork,” there are three different types of quilts to be considered: the plain, or whole-cloth quilt; appliqué quilts; and pieced, or patchwork quilts.
Quilts are considered American folk art first introduced in this country by English and Dutch settlers. The purpose was quite simple — warmth — and quilts were often created for the purpose of bedding. However, they also served as window, door and wall hangings. Despite its colonial roots, don’t let the deep roots of quilting strike you as antiquated. Sure, today’s modern industry and technologies have replaced some facets of the textile industry, but the handmade quilt — each one constructed with charm, care, thought and skill — is timeless.
Founded in 1983 in Charleston, Cheryl Wheeler is president of the Cobblestone Quilters Guild (CQG) and has been a member for 25 years. The Guild meets the second Thursday of each month in Hanahan at Yeaman’s Park Presbyterian Church, “to foster the art of quilting and to encourage a high standard of design and technique in all of its various forms and to stimulate an interest in these goals within the community.”
Wheeler relayed, “We have a very diverse group of quilters (young to seniors, beginners to very advanced). There are six ‘splinter’ groups — quilters in the different areas around and in the Charleston area — which affords members the opportunity to have frequent get-togethers for quilting days.”
Membership is 173 with 33 members from Mount Pleasant, according to Guild Vice President Beverly Rhett. “Members range from New Jersey and North Carolina to Beaufort. We also have award-winning male quilters!” she exclaimed.
Wheeler considers the most well-known quilt ever made to be the Dear Jane, a legendary quilt made in 1863 during the Civil War by Jane A. Blakely Stickle that is currently displayed at the Bennington Museum in Vermont.
As there are many types of quilts such as Patchwork, Medallion, Crazy, Memory, Signature, Awareness, Charity Heirloom and Vintage, members of CQG can find what interests them at Duck Ditch Quilters in Goose Creek, Friendship Quilting Group in Hanahan, Night Heron Quilters in Kiawah and Seabrook, Indigo Quilters (evening) and Patchwork Gals (daytime) in Mount Pleasant, and the Quilt ‘N Friends in Summerville.
Rhett said, “The majority of CQG members create a more-traditional style quilt, but all styles of quilting are represented by Guild members.”
Providing interesting and informative programs, the Guild offers classes and hands-on programs featuring accomplished quilters from the Guild and program guests. Community and national speakers are invited to speak on interesting topics, and lectures by nationally known teachers take place once or twice a year.
CQG chooses charities that primarily support women or children and has made quilts for My Sister’s House, Ronald McDonald House, cancer survivor bags and pillows, ABC Baby Quilts and others. Wheeler revealed, “Our members are very giving and love to help charities with our talents of quilt making.” Presently, the Guild is working with Royal Family Quilt Kids Camp, Doors to Freedom, Quilts of Valor and making weighted blankets for local firefighters with PTSD.
Meetings consist of a brief business report and a range of activities, including show and tell, block of the month, quilters treasures raffle, charity and community outreach workday schedules, quilters workday schedules, and to keep you warm with a quilt in chilly weather — a beach retreat is held each year on Seabrook Island.
CQG presents a quilt show every other year (the last was held in 2018) and will be working with American Quilters Society on Sept. 25-27 at the Performing Arts Center in North Charleston.
So, once your interest is peaked to pursue quilting, you’ll be happy to learn that when it comes to quilting supplies, one local option hits the jackpot. “We enjoy working with the community for creative people to come in and feel at home with us,” relayed Kim McPeake of Wild & Wooly in Mount Pleasant. “We carry all the notions that quilters and knitters would need from 100% cotton, fabric, wool, yarn and anything else you might need such as needles, scissors … just about any gadget you can imagine.”
Additionally, McPeake explained, “Wild & Wooly carries an assortment of thread for quilters, appliqué, piecing or hand and machine quilts. We offer classes in quilting, sewing, knitting and crocheting, and the store extends any assistance to ladies and gentlemen — experienced or new quilters that may need it.”
For more information, go to cobblestonequilters.com. To get your quilting supply started, visit Wild & Wooly at 1212 Chuck Dawley Blvd. in Mount Pleasant, or call 843-881-5588 to check on classes and new fabrics.
By Eileen Casey