Hagood Mill’s Three Quilters are Patching Together Our Traditions
- One Block at a Time
Volunteer Stories from The Hagood Mill Historic Site & Folklife Center
Visitors to the Hagood Mill talk about how much they enjoy seeing hand quilting demonstrations. Hand quilting is almost a lost traditional art. Volunteers, Jeanette Moody, Shirley Cashion and Wanda Adams say they hand quilt to keep the art alive. Recently they are pleased to see things changing. This resurgence they contribute to how calming hand quilting can be in what today can be a stressful environment.
Jeanette Moody recalls her first time to demonstrate quilting at the Hagood Mill. “It was a cold, rainy, Saturday morning in February. I was quilting inside the 1791 Murphree-Hollingsworth cabin using the yellow glow of light from a kerosene lamp. I could smell the kerosene. Outside, I heard children laughing as they petted baby pigs and chickens in cages in and around the bed of Robert Perry’s truck. From where I sat, through the open shutters, I could see the huge wooden water wheel slowly turning on the back of mill. It was like I had stepped back in time. At that moment, I knew I was hooked on volunteering at the Hagood Mill.”
Shirley Cashion says “Quilting by hand makes it easy for me to talk, laugh, and just relax in the same room, surrounded by my family. And surprisingly I find hand stitching more accurate.” Shirley, who is basically self-taught, has fond memories of watching her mother quilt. “It is a pleasure to talk with the visitors to the Hagood Mill. There is as much to talk about as there are quilts to stitch.”
Wanda Adams smiles as she says “I find hand quilting very relaxing. Hand quilting is a special time that I can share with my daughter. My daughter, like so many of the visitors to the Hagood Mill, needs the opportunity to see the way settlers to this area did things. I particularly love to hear visitors share the stories from their childhood of how they played under their grandmother’s big floor size quilt frame.”
It is significant that the Pickens County Cultural Commission sponsored a quilting course at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History over 20 years ago. That class was taught by Ms. Eleanor Reed and it had a lasting imprint on Pickens County. The eight women who took this course started the Upcountry Quilters Guild. Today, this guild has over seventy members, who meet once a month at the Blue Ridge Electric Coop. Inc. in Pickens, SC. If you would like more information about the Upcountry Quilters go to www.upcountryquiltersguild.com.
All three of our quilters enjoy volunteering at the Hagood Mill because they love people. There is always time to reminisce about quilting memories, and that is what Hagood Mill is really all about……..it is a place to learn about our past and make new memories.
We invite one and all to join us the next third Saturday at the Hagood Mill for the day. While you are there be sure to stop by and talk with Jeanette, Shirley, and Wanda. They will enjoy talking with you as they demonstrate hand quilting.
The Hagood Mill operates, rain or shine, the third Saturday of every month and is located just 3 miles north of Pickens or 5 ½ miles south of Cherokee Foothills Scenic Hwy 11 off SC Hwy 178 at 138 Hagood Mill Road. Hagood Mill is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. to tour the buildings and grounds and to visit the Mill Site Gift Shop.
For additional information please contact the Hagood Mill at (864) 898-2936 or the Pickens County Museum at (864) 898-5963.