HARTSVILLE, S.C. — The annual Swamp Fox Quilters challenge is on display at the Hartsville Museum. It is one of the most popular exhibits at the museum during the summer months.

“The show officially opened the same day as we carefully reopened the museum to the public on June 3,” said Andrea Steen, Hartsville Museum manager. “This is the Swamp Fox Quilters 20th Quilt Show at the Hartsville Museum.”

Each year a theme is chosen. This year’s theme is “Initially Yours.” Quilters were challenged with applying their three initials to three categories; Quilt Pattern, Main Color and Quilting Motif.

“This year’s theme was very creative and 25 quilters took on the challenge,” Steen said.

There are 88 members, and 23 members participated in the challenge. They made 25 quilts.

Lauri Winburn, president of the Swamp Fox Quilters and chairman of the 2020 Guild Challenge, said she came up with the challenge theme last year.

“For my quilt, I used my initials (LSW) as follows: 1. Quilt pattern — Stars that are wonky 2. Quilt color — Lavender and 3. Quilt Motif — Wandering,” Winburn said.

Quilts varied in size from Ann D. Parks “Pocket Prayer Quilt” measuring in at 2 inches by 2 inches to Teresa O. Reed’s “Rectangular Illusion of 76 inches by 102 inches.

Lorene Arnette of Dillon said she initially struggled with the challenge theme, but she ended up making two quilts and coming away with two second-place ribbons, one for each quilt.

“It was a fun project,” Arnette said. “I made a table runner out of my ‘Arabesque — Dance of the Butterflies.’”

“After we hung the quilts (and before we reopened from the quarantine) we invited the quilters to come by in small groups to judge their quilt,” Steen said.

Arnette said this year’s exhibit was wide open to creative interpretation, and it was difficult to choose the winners.

The results are in:

Best in Show — Pam C. Turner “Colors in a Cathedral Window.”

First Place Best Art Quilt — Janice M. Davis “J.M.B.”

Second Place Best Art Quilt — Lorene Bridgers Arnette “Texas Wildflower Cross.”

First Place Best Use of Theme — Rita D. Studdard/Heather Tighe “Swan Song.”

Second Place Best Use of Theme — Beth E. Twedell “SFQ Challenge.”

First Place Best Hand Quilting — J. Elaine Holmes “My Jewel.”

Second Place Best Hand Quilting — Linda R. Smiley “Land that I Love.”

First Place Best Machine Quilting — Timi L. Bronson “Tumbling Blocks.”

Second Place Best Machine Quilting — Harriett M. Whitlock “Quarantimes: Home Alone Too.”

First Place Best Pieced Quilt — Susan Weed Chinich /Rosie Sanford “Around the Corner.”

Second Place Best Pieced Quilt — Jonnie H. Britton “Initially Yours Baskets.”

First Place Best Applique — Harriett M. Whitlock “Quarantimes: Home Alone Too.”

Second Place Best Applique — Lorene Bridgers Arnette — “Arabesque — “Dance of the Butterflies.”

“The quilts are beautiful and the Hartsville Museum once again asks visitors to vote on their favorite quilt for our ‘People’s Choice Award,’ to be announced at the end of the Quilt Show that concludes Labor Day weekend,” Steen said.

While only 23 members participated in the challenge this year, Winburn said, these are some very talented quilters.

Winburn said, “I do believe that COVID-19 did impact the quilt show — so many of our members are in the “At Risk” category. The stress of all the changes and closing did affect many.”

“Many of our members made masks for not only family and friends, but also for local hospitals, nursing homes and retirement communities,” Winburn said.

“We are so appreciative of the Hartsville Museum for having the exhibit,” Arnette said. “We have members from all over the Pee Dee. We are a large group and have programs, trunk shows and demonstrations.”

Arnette said next year’s theme is “Diamonds are forever,” and she is already thinking about what she will make.

“The diamond shape is one of the more difficult patterns for quilters so we shall see,” Arnette said.

The Swamp Fox Quilters meets the first Thursday of the month at John Calvin Presbyterian Church, 2000 Marsh Avenue in Florence. They meet the third Thursday of the month for a work day. Lauri Winburn of Hartsville is president.

The quilts may be viewed at the museum, 222 N. Fifth St. in Hartsville. The museum is currently open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The number of visitors at one time is limited and social distancing is observed.

There is no admission charge.

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