Wisdom 11 “To Thee I Give You Our Past”

Peggie Hartwell (1939-present)
Summerville, SC

McKissick Museum Collection 2017.20.01

Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award recipient Peggie Hartwell is known for her machine-quilted, machine-and hand-appliqued story quilts. This one depicts an elderly woman holding a white object in her hand and passing it to a young girl-an intergenerational exchange. 

Close Up Of Columbia Bicentennial Quilt

Outline Embroidered Quilt
Maker Unknown
South Carolina

Fan Pattern Quilt With Patterned Fans

Four-Patch String Quilt
Maker Unknown
South Carolina
ca. 1890-1910

Peggie Hartwell, 2017



Peggie Hartwell (1939-present)


Hartwell is from the town of Summerville in Charleston County, SC. She traces her work to her grandfather’s stories while her creative and personal evolution was also nurtured by the quilts made by the women in her family. Those living threads were made from scraps of fabric left over from family sewing projects or bits and pieces salvaged from clothes no longer wearable. In her childhood, she felt the comfort of her entire family: fragments of her grandmother’s apron, her grandfather’s shirt, and her mother’s favorite but worn-out dress, all interlocked in quilts that embraced her and kept her warm.

Hartwell’s quilts are a means of engaging her community and exploring contemporary issues. She is the founder of the Voices on Cloth program, which promotes the art of quilt making among the general public, with a special focus on K-12 students. Voices on Cloth preserves the story quilt and quilt making traditions, fostering creative thinking and the concept of art as a visual language. She is the artistic advisor for The Quilted Conscience, a national arts-based learning experience that cultivates inter-generational and cross-cultural bonds through story quilt workshops for young people who are new to the U.S.

Hartwell’s quilts are inspired by current issues: the plight of children walking from Central America to the U.S., hunger, and gang violence. She is a founding member of the national Women of Color Quilters Network.



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