Virtual Quilt Tour



McClellanville Quilts and their Stories Virtual Tour


Panels 1 & 2

Panel 3a & 3b

Panel 4

Panels 5 & 6a

Panels 6b & 7

Panel 8

Panel 9 Annex

Susan Bates & Martha Zierden


The Art of Quilting

Quilting has long been a way for women to bring beauty to their lives in a practical manner.  Whether it is a patchwork scrap quilt made from worn out homespun work shirts and faded gowns or an embroidered silk crazy quilt, it is an expression of that woman’s creativity.

A quilt traditionally consists of three layers–the top, the batting, and the backing.  The top is usually pieced in a design based on shapes and colors and can be made from a variety of fabrics.  The names of traditional patterns still used today, such as Lady Charlotte’s Crown, Bear Claw, Churn Dash, and Log Cabin, reflect the historic times in which they were created.

The amount of sewing needed to hold the three layers together was determined by the composition of the middle layer.  If an old, worn-out blanket was used, the quilt could simply be tied together in a few places.  If sheep’s wool or loose cotton fibers was the choice, as in Colonial and Victorian times, the piece had to be heavily quilted to prevent the batting from shifting and balling up.  This required a large quilting frame and often several women joined together to complete the task.  Gathering together to help quilt someone’s top became an enjoyable social event.

As quilts became less of a necessity and more of an art form, the stitching in the quilting pattern became as much of an art as the piecing of the top.  Expert quilters would aim for ten stitches to the inch and create elaborate designs.

Modern quilt batting, which comes in sheets of natural or synthetic fiber, requires less quilting to hold it in place, and when it was introduced many quilters changed to outline quilting, a technique that followed the piecing design on the quilt top and took much less time.  This also allowed the heavily basted layers to be hand-quilted on a hoop rather than on a large frame, but it still required many months work.  With modern technology, quilts can now be quilted on a special sewing machine in a few days’ time, freehand or using computer programs.

Shown here is a basket of raw cotton, which was used for batting in early quilts. The old, worn Starburst quilt beside the basket shows the fine quilting needed to hold the loose cotton in place.




Panel 1:


Wedding Ring Coverlet, 1950

On loan from Martha Zierden and Eddie Stroman

Made by Louise Leland Stroman and the Ladies Aid Society


This is the quilt that appears in the photo of the Ladies Aid Society.  It is not batted, but simply quilted top to bottom to form a coverlet.  Many of the scraps are fabrics from 1930s and 1940s.


Mr. Fran Graham on Pinckney Street, 1940s, model for the center panel

Collections of the Village Museum

The Village Quilt, 1990

On loan from the Village Museum

Made by the Village Quilters, designed by Susan Bates


The Village Quilters completed this as a gift to The Village Museum.  It depicts the oldest houses and churches in town and the scenes were appliqued and embroidered. Members over the years included Dot Porter, Sara Graham, Ann McQueen Mulligan, Kathy Leland, Patty Fulcher, Kimber Bates, Sally Warren, Allison Koelling, Beverly Bonner, Lil Jameson, and Susan Bates.


St. James Santee Parish, 2002-2006

On loan from St. James Santee Episcopal Church

Designed and created by Susan Bates


This crazy quilt was created to mark the 300th anniversary of St. James Santee Parish in 2006 and took four years to complete.  Four corner blocks show church sites, while the center block gives Parish dates.  Beginning with birds and animals, then Native Americans, images depicting the history and natural history of the area are depicted around the edges of the quilt, moving clockwise.  These include scenes from plantation life, wars, and town and coastal life.  The names of founding families, French and English, are included.


Embellished Crazy Quilt, 2016

On loan from Susan Bates

Designed and created by Susan Bates


Susan Bates describes a crazy quilt this way: “To make a crazy quilt, the first thing you do is throw away the pattern.  It is a free-for-all, no straight line, anything-goes creation.  It is also a scrap quilt that uses up all the leftovers from other projects, and it doesn’t have to be quilted.  No wonder it appeals to so many quilters at some point in their lives. This art quilt of mine is truly a whimsy.  On a base of lightweight cotton, silks, and gauze, the embroidery reflects the beauty of the natural world.  Scattered throughout the quilt are the initials and birth dates of loved ones.  It was then embellished with lace, ribbons, and beads – lots of ’bling’ on this one.”

“Some of the quilters in McClellanville in the 1940s to 1950s made beautiful velvet crazy quilts that they referred to as Joseph’s Coat quilts, using rich, dark colors and sweeping curves.”




Panel 2:


Crazy Quilt, 2005

On loan from Carol McClellan

Made by Carol McClellan


“I made this quilt when we first returned to McClellanville, about 15 years ago,” notes Carol McClellan.

Crazy Quilts became wildly popular in the late 1880s. They often incorporate small and irregularly shaped bits of exotic fabric like velvet, satin, tulle, and silk, and embellishments including buttons, lace, ribbons, beads, and embroidery.


Scrap Quilt Top, late 1960s

On loan from Carol McClellan

Made by Carol McClellan


“My grandmother, Louise Whilden McClellan, made many quilts from scraps,” remembers Carol McClellan.  “I was always fascinated watching her take leftover fabric and make a blanket.  She used a very simple method. She would cut a square of white fabric, usually an old bed sheet, and lay the pieces out on it.  She would then baste them down, turning the edges, then do an embroidery stitch.  She sewed the squares together to make a quilt top.  This square is one of two she helped me make.  I did all the stitching, as she watched and gave suggestions.”


Job’s Troubles, 2000

On loan from Judith and Graham Solomons

Made by Susan Baldwin Solomons Bates


It is said that every quilter puts a bit of herself into every quilt she makes, spending long hours in quiet contemplation. This one is full of love. It was made in memory of John Allen Solomons, who died in 1968, by his widow, Susan Bates, to help raise funds to build the Lowcountry Seaman’s Memorial at the Town Landing. The inscription on the memorial reads “In memory of those who lost their lives while working the coastal waters of South Carolina.”

The four-pointed star pattern is also known as Job’s Tears.


The Seaman’s Memorial, 2020 Photograph by William P. Baldwin

Trip Around the World and Running Diagonals, 1998

On loan from Martha Zierden

Made by Martha Zierden


“These quilts were made for two young boys when their baby quilts wore out,” notes Martha Zierden.  “But they were not as loved as the baby quilts, and so are still bright and colorful.”


Unidentified Pattern, possibly Garden Patch, c. 1940

Ohio Star, c. 1940

On loan from Debbie and Oliver Thames

Possibly made by Aletha Cox


These two quilts were found in a trunk in a shed at the home of Eve Anderson McClellan, and they were probably made by her sister Aletha Cox (1891-1968), who was a quilter. The similarity of the patterns indicates that the same person created both quilts. The red and cream one, worn and frayed from use, is made of homespun, possibly flour sacks or hand dyed cloth.  With its thick batting, it was clearly designed for warmth.  The simple pattern of red strips may be a variation of Garden Patch.  The fabrics in the Ohio Star quilt date it to the 1940s. In both cases, the top is machine pieced. Each is hand-quilted in a fan pattern in heavy black thread.

The McClellans owned a tract of land on the “S” curve of South Pinckney between the present post office and Highway 17.  This was the site of the old home (now gone) of Eve and her husband John McClellan.  Eve’s sister Aletha Jane and husband Charles James Cox lived nearby.  After the death of her husband in 1971, Eve invited her sister Rossie, who was married to James Hamilton (Hamp) Talley, and her brother, John David (Dave) Anderson, to build homes beside her on the McClellan tract. They were all the siblings of Lawton Anderson, grandfather of Oliver Thames. Rossie Talley gave the quilts to Debbie Thames.


Kool-Aid Quilt, 1990

Property of the McClellanville Arts Council

Made by Jennifer Amor and St. James Santee students


Artist-in-Residence Jennifer Amor led 4th grade students at St. James Santee in the design and construction of this quilt.  The students decorated the squares with fabric crayon and made the hand prints with a Kool-Aid based dye. Jennifer Amor’s residency was sponsored by the McClellanville Arts Council with funding from the South Carolina Arts Commission.



Geneva Loewe Photograph by Bernadette Humphrey

Strip quilts, 1988 and 1991

On loan from Sanders High and Zachary Stroman

Designed and made by Geneva Loewe


Geneva Loewe was born in Awendaw in 1943 and learned quilting from her grandmother at age 9.  She left Awendaw at age 13, married, and lived in Europe, where she raised two children.  She returned to Awendaw as a widow in 1976.  She resumed quilting as a hobby in 1976 and started selling her creations in 1980.

Ms. Loewe specialized in strip quilts and pattern quilts.  The strip quilts are her own design, though she often noted that the technique was inspired by traditional African motifs.  She began by sewing strips together to get a desired width and then filled in the length.  The designs evolved as the quilt grew.  Loewe’s pattern quilts included Granny’s Fan, Sun Bonnet Sue, Monkey Wrench, Winner’s Circle, Log Cabin, Eight-Cornered Star, and Courthouse Steps, designs requested by her customers.  She also made rag dolls, pillows, and shawls, and Yo-Yo dolls.

Geneva Loewe joined the Board of the Directors of the McClellanville Arts Council in 1990 and served until she could no longer drive at night.


The lavender quilt was purchased by the McClellanville Arts Council Board of Directors as a baby gift for Zack Stroman in 1991.  The blue quilt was purchased for Sanders High by his parents in 1988, when he was an infant.


The South Santee Seniors and their quilt

Photo by Melanie Hartnett

Knotted Rag Quilt, 2019

On loan from the Awendaw Senior Citizens Center

Made by the Awendaw senior ladies

Everyone enjoyed working on this quilt, off and on for six months.


Ms. Martha Alston from the Awendaw Community.




Panel 3 a & b


“Squares”, 1960s

On loan from Em Morrison Baldwin

Made by Elizabeth (Lib) Hills and Susan Bates


These two quilts were made for Em and Oran (Zero) Baldwin by his sister Lib (Elizabeth Baldwin Hills).  Lib and Zero grew up in Charleston.  Lib married John Hills and moved to McClellanville.  After their mother died, Zero moved in with Lib and John.  Lib loved to sew and made the quilts from scraps as marriage gifts to Em and Zero in the 1960s.  They were never finished and were left in a chest.  Em found them a few years ago, and Susan Bates finished the quilts for Em.


Village ladies, including Lib Hills, 1950s, Collections of the Village Museum

“Man’s” Crazy Quilt, 1960s

On loan from Em Baldwin

Made by Elizabeth (Lib) Hills


Lib Hills made this quilt for Em Baldwin.  Em calls this her “man quilt” because of its heavy weight.

Swill Corner congregants outside of T.W. Graham store, 1990

Photographers unknown

Flannel Hugo Quilt, 1990s and 2011

On loan from Mollie Browne

Made by Sherry Browne


“I began sewing this quilt by hand while working for the Town of McClellanville as a receptionist in the 1990s, spreading it out on the conference table in the office,” remembers Sherry Browne.  “I got quilting advice from the Episcopal sewing group.  I used the materials I had on hand, including old bathrobes, flannel sheets, and flannel shirts.  A few of those old shirts were left by volunteers after Hugo who came by the T.W. Graham store after work to drink in what became known as the Swill Corner.

“I left the pockets in some of the squares, not knowing they would come in handy.  The project lagged until 2011, when I finished the quilt for Mollie’s wedding.  I hung the quilt on the mantel as a decoration, but guests filled the pockets with money and sweet wishes.  The quilt remains in Mollie’s family.”



Ohio Star, 1997

On loan from Pam Hollings McConnell

Made by the Village Quilters for a raffle


Among the losses to Hurricane Hugo in 1989 were several treasured quilts, including one belonging to Dorothy Porter which was made by her grandmother.  Not a quilter herself, Mrs. Porter gathered a group of friends and acquaintances to help her recreate the Grandmother’s Flower Basket quilt so that she could leave it to her own granddaughter.  The group quickly became friends and completed Dot’s quilt amid laughter, tea, and cookies.  They eventually called themselves the Village Quilters.

The group continued to meet weekly and went on to complete a number of quilts.  This one was made for a raffle at the McClellanville Arts Council during the annual Tour of Homes.  Pam Hollings McConnell was the lucky winner!



Angel’s Quilt, 2006

On loan from Nancy Mills

Made by Nancy Mills


“I made this quilt for my Jack Russell, Angel,” notes Nancy Mills.  “The top pictures animals of all types and the backing features dogs.  Angel is now gone but this quilt will always remind me of her.”


Looking forward to Panels 4, 5 & 6.




Panel 4:

Antique Valentines, 2006

On loan from Nancy Mills

Made by Nancy Mills


“I have always loved anything ‘vintage,’” says Nancy Mills. “After purchasing the machine embroidery ‘valentines’ I found the vintage valentine fabric online.”


Louise Leland’s wedding day, 1908

From Dorothy Stroman

Turkey Tracks, probably early 1940s

On loan from Martha Zierden

Made by Louise Augusta Leland Stroman


Louise Augusta Leland of McClellanville married George Edward Stroman in 1908, and they lived in Orangeburg County until they returned to the Village in 1939.  Louise Stroman operated a boarding house, the Mimosa Inn, in her Oak Street home, and was an active member of the Ladies Aid Society.

An earlier name for this pattern was “Wandering Foot.” “Don’t let a young man sleep under a Turkey Track quilt, or he’ll wander from you,” young women were sometimes told in the 1850s.



Mariner’s Compass, 1998

On loan from Susan Bates

Made by Susan Bates


Susan Bates writes, “The Mariner’s Compass pattern is one of the most difficult I have ever attempted because of the precision required for the points to come together properly. It took several attempts and so much effort that, after designing and piecing the top as a wall hanging, I enlarged it to make a full-sized bed quilt, centering the pieced work on the top of the bed.  Then I gave it the intricate hand quilting it seemed to call for.  This one was on the quilting frame for many, many months.”

“A quilt on a frame takes up a great deal of space but it also makes a wonderful playhouse for youngsters or a hidden retreat for beleaguered dogs and cats, so one is seldom alone when quilting.  Occasionally, however, quilting can be a good time for quiet reflection.”



Mary Jane Bryant Anderson and children,

Photo provided by Darla Reese

Unknown, has elements of Cathedral Window, c. 1888

On loan from Darla Reese

Made by Mary Jane Bryant Anderson


Darla Reese says, “My great-great grandmother made this quilt but didn’t have the materials for a backing.  The quilt was preserved by my grandmother, Mary Jane Bryant Anderson, and then by my mom, but I later had the backing added by hand by a church quilting club in Greenville, SC.  My grandmother was very close to her grandmother, as I was to her, so in honor of my grandmother we named our son Anderson.”



Log Cabin Wall Hanging, c. 1987

On loan from Olga Maria Caballero

Made by Susan Bates

Mary Fudge Reese and family

Photo provided by Darla Reese

Cathedral Window, 1968

On loan from Chris Reese

Made by Mary Fudge Reese


Chris Reese remembers, “My grandmother would sit for hours cutting scrap material to make this quilt.  She always worked alone but told me stories while she worked.  She learned to quilt from her mother.  Quilting was their entertainment.”




Panel 5:

Wall Hanging, 2005

On loan from Nancy Mills

Made by Nancy Mills


“I made this wall hanging when I lived at Bonneau Beach,” notes Nancy Mills.  “It now hangs in my office.”



The Village Quilters working on Kathy’s 25th Anniversary Quilt

Photo by Susan Bates

25th Anniversary Quilt, 1993

On loan from Kathy and Rutledge Leland

Made by the Village Quilters


This quilt was created in 1993 to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of Kathy and Rutledge Leland.  The blocks, designed by Susan Bates and Kathy Leland, honor Kathy and Rut’s children, their first home, the town they love, and the South Carolina coast.


Crazy Quilt Pillow, 1998

On loan from Margy Leland

Made by Sally Warren for Margy Leland.


Ducks, 2000

Made by the Village Quilters, on loan from Allen and Andrew DuPre

Made as a wedding gift for the couple.


Crazy Quilt Sampler, Christmas, 1997

On loan from Margy Leland

Made by Sally Warner for Margy Leland.




 Panel 6 a & b: 

Eugenie (Jennie) Isabel Morrison

Doll Quilt, c. 1990s

On loan from Kathy Leland

Made by Patty Fulcher


The soft colors of this small quilt complement an antique doll dressed in Kathy Leland’s baby gown, c. 1945.  The doll bed was locally made around 1925 for Sara Graham, Kathy Leland’s mother, when she was five years old.  The doll was hers, too.  Its gown with handmade lace was made by Ms. Sara’s mother, Jennie Graham and her sisters.


Satin Baby Quilt, 1945

On loan from Kathy Leland

Made by Jennie Morrison Graham


Eugenie (Jennie) Isabel Morrison was born in McClellanville in 1873, the daughter of Robert Venning Morrison and Aletha Muldrow.  She grew up with her eleven siblings in their home on the corner of Oak and Venning Streets, which is now the Episcopal Parish House.  She married Thomas William Graham, and they began their life together at Woodville Plantation on the South Santee.  In 1900 the plantation house burned and they moved to McClellanville, where they built a home on Oak Street next door to her parents.  Here she and her sisters, Loulie Morrison Duke and May Morrison Brailsford, would quilt on a large frame set up in her front hall. Together they made beautiful satin wedding quilts and baby quilts for family and friends.

This baby quilt was made by Jennie Graham for her granddaughter, Kathy Graham Leland.



Patty Fulcher and Susan Bates, 1990s
From Susan Bates

Isi’s Baby Quilt, 2005

On loan from Erin Browne Brewton

Made by Sherry Browne


“I stitched this quilt for my grandchild-on-the-way while my father was recovering from a long illness,” remembers Sherry Browne.  “I spent days sitting with him in rehab, working on the quilt.”



News & Courier article on the Ladies Aid Society by Jack Leland, 1950

On loan from New Wappetaw Presbyterian Church

Crazy quilt, 1950

On loan from New Wappetaw Presbyterian Church

Made by the Ladies Aid Society

This crazy quilt was made by the Women’s Auxiliary of New Wappetaw Presbyterian Church.  The members met weekly at their shop on Pinckney Street to sew, and their creations were given to the needy, sent to Thornwell Orphanage, or sold for $1.25 to $4.00.  The tops were generally pieced with donated scraps, but special orders were sometimes assembled with purchased materials.  Wool batting was used inside comforters, and homespun covers the underside of many of their quilts.  The Ladies Aide Society was operating by 1885 and continued to make and sell quilts until 1972.

R.V. Morrison bought this quilt in the 1950s. In 2012 his daughter, Anne Morrison Bosher of Big Bear, California, gave it to the Women of New Wappetaw Presbyterian Church.



Village ladies quilting, 1950s
Collections of the Village Museum

Loulie Duke
Collections of the Village Museum

Crazy Quilt, 1940s

On loan from Beth Gannon

Made by Loulie Legare Morrison Duke


Loulie Legare Morrison was born in McClellanville in 1889, the daughter of Robert Venning Morrison and Aletha Muldrow.  She was raised with eleven siblings at the corner of Oak and Venning Streets (now the Episcopal Parish House).  She married Thomas Pascal Duke and lived in their Water Street home across from her parents.  She often quilted with her sisters, Jennie Graham and May Brailsford.  This quilt top belongs to her granddaughter, Beth Duke Gannon.





Panel 7: 

Susan Bates:

“My grandmother, Claudia Lucille Morrison Leland, was a wonderful seamstress and quilter,” says Susan Bates.  “I remember a quilt frame set up in her living room with all the furniture pushed back against the walls. She taught me to sew on her treadle sewing machine when I was ten years old, and she instilled in me a lifelong love of creating with fabric. I pieced my first quilt in 1981 and have made one or more almost every year since.”


Starburst pattern, quilt, and quilter of unknown origin.

The old, worn Starburst quilt beside the basket shows the fine quilting needed to hold the loose cotton in place.


Iris, 2014

On loan from Sonya Spahr

Made by Sonya Spahr


“I started this project at a quilt show in Savannah, Georgia,” remembers Spahr.  “The instructor was Marjan Kuepfel.  She offered several patterns and I chose the iris because it is my birth month flower.  The technique is fused applique with machine embroidery and machine quilting.  I have since scaled down the size and made one for my grandmother.”




Mrs. Thronie Martin and her husband, Tom

Photograph from Nancy Morrison

Grandmother’s Flower Garden, 1960s

On loan from Nancy Morrison

Made by Thronie Shuler Martin


This quilt was made for Nancy Morrison by her mother, Thronie Shuler Martin.  The difficult mosaic pattern used over 4500 hexagons, all hand pieced.  It was then quilted in a fan pattern.  Mrs. Thronie Martin was an accomplished quilter who made two quilts per year for over 14 years to raffle at Archibald Rutledge Academy, as well as numerous quilts for her own family.



Steelers Quilt, 2019

On loan from Sheila Powell

Made by Berneatha Jenkins and Ethel Green


Sheila Powell is an avid Steelers fan.  Berneatha and Ethel made this quilt for her birthday.



Cross-Stitched Quilt, 1982

On loan from Ceil Graham

Made by various sewers.


This quilt was created in 1982 for a raffle prize at the Shrimp Festival.  Each square was cross-stitched by a local resident.  Mrs. Thronie Martin, Nancy Morrison’s mother, did the quilting.

Shrimp Festival, 1983

from Melanie McClellan Hartnett


Shrimp Festival, 1983

from Melanie McClellan Hartnett


Evelyn “Linky” Leland

From Alicia Leland Bruner

Evelyn “Linky” Leland

From Alicia Leland Bruner

Shrimp Festival, 1990
From Susan Bates

Stripes and Curves, 2003

On loan from Carol McClellan

Made by Carol McClellan


Carol McClellan writes, “I learned the technique for this quilt in 2003.  Circular shapes are cut from strips of fabric that have been sewn together.  I chose the colors and design based on the background fabric.  The quilt features a pieced border and is quilted in the free-hand leaf design.  The quilt stays on the back of my sofa and is occasionally used as a cover on cold nights.”



A final wider view of Panel 7.




Panel 8:

Ohio Star, c. 1940

On loan from Debbie and Oliver Thames

Possibly made by Aletha Cox


Bow Tie or Drunkard’s Path, 1940s

On loan from the Village Museum

Maker unknown


This quilt, likely donated to the Village Museum by Agnes Leland Baldwin, has no recorded history. Although the original owner and history are unknown, this quilt made of heavy cotton has been used and preserved for almost 80 years.



Knotted Rag Quilt, 2015

On loan from the South Santee Senior Center

Made by the South Santee Senior Ladies


This rag quilt was made by many quilters and took over six months to complete.  It received First Prize at the South Carolina State Fair in 2015. Susan Randolph says, “It was a joy to piece together around the table.”



The South Santee Seniors and their prize-winning quilt

Photo Sheila Powell




Panel 9:



McClellanville Arts Council Logo Strip Quilt

Collections of the McClellanville Arts Council

Made by Geneva Lowe in 1997 to commemorate the 20- year anniversary of the organization.



Village House Quilt,  c. 2010

On Loan from Cheves Leland.  The quilt owned by Cheves Leland has a few “vacant” homes.

Made by Susan Baldwin Bates, with individual houses embellished by Village residents.


Steve Rhea checking on his quilt square, picture following.

Susan Bates Square, Yuka Otani Square, Bill & Laney Youngman Square.


Village House Quilts, c. 2010

On Loan from Don Rutledge.  The quilt owned by Don Rutledge was donated to the McClellanville Arts Council for a raffle.  Winner Don Rutledge place it on long-term loan to MAC.

Made by Susan Baldwin Bates, with individual houses embellished by Village residents




We hope you have enjoyed our “Virtual Tour” as much as we did putting it together! When we realized that this wonderful show was not going to be available for viewing due to the restrictions necessary to keep us safe and healthy, we jumped into the future of social media with both virtual feet!

Thank you for visiting, please see our merchandise section to get your 2020 & 2021 “McClellanville Quilts and Their Stories” calendars!

WE hope you liked our Tour and please recommend it to your friends, The MAC