When Anderson County built its Main Library in downtown Anderson, SC at 300 North McDuffie Street, one of the architectural decisions was to place a compass-rose mosaic in the middle of the floor in the main lobby. The compass theme was then used in a variety of forms on signs and shelving throughout the building. It is said to illustrate the library system, with the 8 points representing the branch libraries and reaching out from the center circle, or Main Library. Since its simplicity is a memorable image for people to associate with the library, the compass was eventually chosen as the library system’s logo.
The Main Library has been host to the Anderson Prickly Fingers Quilt Guild’s meetings for many years. To honor that long-standing relationship and to celebrate National Library week, the Guild and one of its members, Diane Schonauer and husband David, decided to co-sponsor a quilt block for the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail. Diane fashioned her mini quilt after the Compass Rose mosaic. Her quilt was made in 2011 as an appliqué that is top-stitched using monofilament thread. The complexity of this pattern appealed to skilled quilt makers of the mid-1800s. The radiating design has appeared in many variations under such names as Compass Rose, Chips and Whetstones, Sunburst and The Sunflower. These patterns require the maker to measure, cut, and sew accurately, so that the points are sharp and all the pieces lie flat without bunching or rippling.
Diane learned to sew from her sister Linda. Their mother had a Singer sewing machine and they used it first to make doll clothes, then eventually clothing. She was exposed to quilting at a young age with her mother’s Cathedral Windows, Yo-yos, and Log Cabin blocks. She had always admired them—as a young adult, she took a quilting class at Katie’s Calico Corner, a local fabric shop. Twenty years later, her local high school offered evening classes on quilting—she signed up for the class and has not stopped since.
The quilt block is mounted on the west side of the Anderson County Main Library that faces McDuffie Street.
For more information about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, click on www.uhqt.org.