Shop nurtures Aiken quilters

Charmain Z. Brackett/Correspondent
Maureen Bishop (from left) explains the process of making a Celtic knot to Sarah Doucet and Susan Gillespie during a class at the Aiken Quilt Shoppe. Ms. Bishop, the class instructor, said the knot pattern evolved into several styles of quilting.

Novice and experienced quilters are finding a home in Nancy Clifton's Aiken shop.


"I've always done a lot of sewing, and my mother does quilting. I started quilting this past fall," said Susan Gillespie, who has taken several classes at the Aiken Quilt Shoppe on Hayne Avenue.

On Jan. 26, she was part of a Celtic knot quilted wall-hanging class at the shop.

"I've enjoyed every class," she said.

The quilt shop will celebrate its second anniversary next month, and Ms. Clifton said her shop seems to have found a niche in Aiken.

"There are so many people who have always wanted to learn to quilt, but it had never been the right time," said Ms. Clifton.

Classes cover a variety of themes and appeal to various age groups. Men as well as women participate. Men, she said, like quilting for its artistic element.

"We have a lot of different techniques, hand sewing, speed sewing, making quilts and pocketbooks. We've had to double up on our children's classes," she said.

Some classes involve a project that can be completed in one session. The children's classes feature simple projects such as purses. Other classes require several sessions.

The Celtic knot class involved two Saturdays, and participants had to do homework to finish the project.

It was based on an ancient knot pattern from the Book of Kell, said Maureen Bishop, the class instructor.

"It was very popular in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales," she said. "It developed into different styles."

Upcoming classes include a needle turn hand applique class from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, a square dance quilted place mat from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, a pineapple blossom class from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, and a Sun Bonnet Sue design class from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13.

The My First Quilt class will meet on from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on three Saturdays -- Feb. 16, March 1 and 15.

The Kids Club meets from 3:30 to 5 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month.

Class costs range from about $15 to $60, depending on the number of sessions. Some classes also require the purchase of a kit.

For more information, call (803) 649-7511 or visit

Reach Charmain Brackett at