Binding Together the Old and the New
The fabric of society has seen a lot of changes in the last few years, but if you look closely enough, it’s possible to spot a silver lining now and then. One such bright side seems to be that sewing has seen a real revival, lately. It’s a tradition rich with the details of the time—quilters in the American Colonies sometimes used paper from letters, newspapers and catalog clippings for practical and aesthetic reasons, making the era’s quilts some of its most compelling source material.
Quilting is also one of history’s best examples of “upcycling.” It uses 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!”
Now in its seventh year as the only fabric store on Hilton Head, Island Quilters has continued to grow, create, and inspire. And its 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!” Beth says. “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.”
Four years ago, Beth designed a line of batik fabrics just for Hilton Head.
She made these using an Indonesian technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to cloth. These bright, cheerful fabrics are exclusive to Island Quilters. They celebrate life in the Lowcountry. Choose from its most iconic symbols: the dolphin and sea turtle, lighthouses, palms and golf clubs. “We are now recoloring our fifth shipment of these beautiful fabrics,” she says. And, she adds, “We are also known for our beautiful kits and samples. My staff and I personally curate our many Half-Yard Bundles, which are easy to pick up and sew into beautiful heirloom pieces. For me, it’s a way to express my creativity,” Beth enthuses. “Plus, quilting and sewing mend the soul.”
Island Quilters is located in the Park Plaza Shopping Center right next to the UPS store. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. It also offers a wide variety of products online!
By Dani Ray
33 Office Park Road