WESTMINSTER — Kimberly Wulfert, PhD., Quilt Historian (www.womenfolk.com), has stated that “The Lone Star quilt block is likely one of the most recognizable quilt patterns to Americans.”
It is also one of the oldest patterns, along with the Mariner’s Compass, Orange Peel, Job’s Trouble and Irish chain. But this is a pattern known by many names. There are variations of it with six points, eight points (the most common design) or even more.
Various Lone Star quilt pattern names are given to the pattern with a large central star, made up of diamond shaped fabric to form the star points from the center out.
Often the colors are chosen and placed to form what appear to be concentric circles radiating around the center. It is placed in the center of the quilt top and can be appliquéd down to the background or pieced in. Sometimes other tiny stars are placed in the large blank areas surrounding the star, or flowers may be appliquéd in those areas.
Mary Elizabeth (Libby) Long of Westminster made this Lone Star quilt for Cecil T. Sandifer. She began quilting late in her life, upon her retirement in the year 2000. As a child, she helped her mother make quilts, a necessity in those days.
So far, she’s made 18 quilts, one for each of her three children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Lucky friends have been gifted with quilts in honor of anniversaries and other special occasions. Her philosophy about quilting is that it is a craft that needs to be taught to the younger generations.
The history of this quilt, relates to the history of Cecil T. Sandifer, founder and owner of the Funeral Home. Mr. Sandifer has worn a tie since his years as a teenager, as evidenced by old family photographs. He began wearing ties when he was named the bus driver at Connie Maxwell Orphanage where he and his wife, Frances, were raised. They moved to Westminster in 1952 and established the Sandifer Funeral Home. He has continued to wear a tie for the 90 plus years of his life.
The current location of the Funeral Home bears a plaque that reads: “The original structure of this building dates back to circa 1879 when this property was conveyed to Joseph T. King from H.J. Reeder. Cecil and Frances B. Sandifer purchased this home in the year 1954 from Olive King Pitts rearing seven children in the funeral home.
Historical preservation is evident by four original gables, metal roof, eight workable fireplaces and hand hewn ceilings and walls. The sacredness and preservation of these premises becomes a constant reminder of our commitment serving with dignity and compassionate care.”
Mr. Sandifer has made huge contributions to the Upstate in more ways than one. He was decorated for valor while serving in the Fourth Division of the U.S. Army infantry during WWII and earned a Purple Heart, three Battle Stars and a Bronze Star.
He served in the S.C. House of Representatives, as mayor of Westminster and as a commissioner on the Employment Security Commission, now the Department of Employment and Workforce.
Mr. Sandifer was awarded the Order of the Palmetto for his significant statewide contributions, and a portion of U.S. 123 was named after him for his many good deeds and services in local civic organizations.