Local artisan ‘quilts’ with wood

By Mike Steely

Senior Writer


He’s a friendly fellow who has a very unique home-made product. Dan Grogan’s Scrap Wood Quilts are framed wood art designed in quilt patterns and have proven popular among people looking for something different for their homes or office.

The Focus caught up with Grogan recently while he was exhibiting in the Lions Clubhouse in Fountain City and asked him a few questions.

How did you get started with Scrap Wood Quilts?

I’ve always been artistic and had an interest in woodworking. One day when we were redecorating the home office I thought it might be interesting to match the pattern of a vintage quilt we were hanging. So I went to the shop, gathered some old wood that I had lying around and created my first scrap wood quilt.

What is or was your profession?

In my previous life, I had about an 18-year career with the YMCA and then about six years working in special education. These days I’m either in the shop or volunteering in the community.

Do you live in Knoxville?

I’m originally from Kansas. I had an eight-year stay in Tampa, Florida. My wife and I moved to Knoxville in 1992.

Where do you get the wood you use?

The reclaimed wood comes from a variety of sources. Old pallets, barn wood, and project leftovers. My favorite find was smokehouse wood that appears to be over 170 years old. I’ve had clients bring me family barn wood, wood from their old farmhouse and tobacco barn wood. It’s amazing how many people hang on to old sentimental wood.

How much does a piece normally sell for?

The price depends on the size, the number of pieces in the work and the complexity involved. I’ve sold pieces from $25 – $600.

Do you have other appearances or events on your schedule?

There are no events scheduled at this time. I’m hoping that the pandemic will ease so that I can participate in more shows.

Tell me about your workshop and tools.

I’ve converted a large storage shed into my workshop. My primary tools are a table saw, chop saw, band saw and a lot of wood glue. However, I’ve decided that my most important tools are a good ruler and a sharp pencil.

What is your most popular piece?

It depends on the customer. Some like the quilt patterns. Some like the abstract pieces. Some like the rustic look while others want it finished and shiny. I’ve probably sold more crosses than anything else.

Do you have requests for the creation of a piece?

As I mentioned, clients will bring me family wood with or without a design in mind. The requests can vary. I’ve been asked to replicate great-grandmother’s quilt quite a few times.

How would someone get in touch with you and purchase a piece?

Anyone can call me at (865)742-0410, Facebook: Don Grogan’s Scrap Wood Quilts, Messenger, email: quiltsbydon@yahoo.com.