It is possible to spot a silver lining now and then in the fabric of 2020 at Island Quilters.
One such bright side seems to be that with people staying closer to home, sewing has seen a real revival. It’s a tradition rich with the details of the time. Quilters in the American Colonies sometimes used paper from letters, newspapers and catalogue clippings for practical and aesthetic reasons. It makes the era’s quilts some of its most compelling source material. Quilting is also one of history’s best examples of “upcycling,” as it’s often done using scraps, cuttings and older pieces in the creation of new ones. And while today’s quilters can trace a line directly back to the hand-sewn masterpieces of Medieval times, quilted garments are thought to have existed as far back as Ancient Egypt’s First Dynasty!
So what does Island Quilters, Hilton Head’s one and only quilting shop, have to add to the long thread of conversation about the art of quilting?
“Perhaps that something that has been around this long is still such a fresh, dynamic and challenging activity,” says owner Beth Hanlon-Ridder. “I designed Island Quilters to reflect this. We are not your grandmother’s quilting shop!”
Island Quilters’ contemporary aesthetic has not gone unnoticed. Visitors note how well-organized and refreshing the space is, while raving about its varied and eye-catching selection, with the latest from Kaffe Fassett, Free Spirit, Moda, Northcott, Riley Blake, Hoffman and more. “Island Quilters is the happiest shop on the Island! It is jam-packed with fabrics and ideas that just make you smile.
“There’s always something at the ‘Demo’ table to talk about and great samples to get your creativity soaring.”
Hanlon-Ridder has also designed many of her own batiks. She uses an Indonesian technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to cloth. These bright, cheerful fabrics are exclusive to Island Quilters, and celebrate life in the Lowcountry with some of its most iconic symbols — the dolphin and sea turtle, lighthouses, palms and golf clubs. “I created dozens of samples highlighting ways to use them. There are aprons, placemats, table-runners, wall-hangings, quilts and more!” She adds, “For me, it’s a way to express my creativity. Plus, quilting and sewing mend the soul.”
To ensure everyone’s safety, masks are required inside the store. They frequently clean and sanitize all surfaces, process payments with cards only, and limit the number of guests in the store to four at a time.
Island Quilters is located in the Park Plaza Shopping Center right next to the UPS store. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. It also offers a wide variety of products online!
33 Office Park Road
Hilton Head, SC
By Dani Ray