Coker Creek quilter gives the gift of warmth

Coker Creek quilter gives the gift of warmth

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One of McClure's favorite quilts. One of McClure's favorite quilts.
She takes inspiration from the foothills that surround her home. She takes inspiration from the foothills that surround her home.
"And all kinds of quilts would be on my mind. All different ideas of the leaves, the clouds or whatever and I would think of quilt patterns," she said. "It really is, I'm obsessed I guess." "And all kinds of quilts would be on my mind. All different ideas of the leaves, the clouds or whatever and I would think of quilt patterns," she said. "It really is, I'm obsessed I guess."
McClure and her friends sewed together this quilt that contains images from children's books. McClure and her friends sewed together this quilt that contains images from children's books.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

MADISONVILLE (WATE) - A lady in Monroe County admits she's obsessed.

High in the foothills on the edge of the Cherokee National Forest, Anita McClure, who grew up in Delaware and went to college in Florida, takes in the scenery outside her home in Coker Creek.

Even on a cloudy day, the view can be breathtaking. She never imagined she end up in the hills of East Tennessee.

And she never thought about spending countless hours sewing either, but she does - sometimes up to forty hours a week.

It's not even her job. It is, however, her passion. Anita McClure is a quilter. 

"I was going to join quilters anonymous because it's gone too far. But I can't help it," she said.

Take a walk through her home and it's obvious quilting has taken over her life.

There are stacks of fabrics and thread and partially-sewn blocks everywhere.

And on the walls and beds is some of her best work. One an award winner, others perhaps future award winners.

"These are all the projects that are to be finished that I have hanging just to remind me that they need finishing," she showed us.

McClure says she began quilting 25 years ago with friends. Each would sew a block and then those blocks would be quilted together. One was a quilt of children's stories.

"Each person gave the book that went with it. It's really neat," McClure said.

She's lost count of the number of quilts she's made, but figures it's somewhere in the hundreds. And most of them she gives to friends.

Her work is heavily influenced by her surroundings. A long walk is good exercise, but also for her, great inspiration.

"And all kinds of quilts would be on my mind. All different ideas of the leaves, the clouds or whatever and I would think of quilt patterns," she said. "It really is, I'm obsessed I guess."

She's never sold a quilt, but thinks about it from time to time. It is, after all, a lot of work. But then she thinks, not really.

"If I were to live in a little, tiny log cabin with just my machines and fabric and once in a while I'd see my family. I would be the happiest person in the world," she said, laughing.

So we salute the Delaware girl who found a home in the Tennessee hills and whose passion for her hobby is very much in step with the Spirit of East Tennessee. 


If you know someone who you believe is an example of the Spirit of East Tennessee, e-mail me at gpatterson@wate.com.

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