Resident of Parksville, SC (McCormick County). Gilchrist was a schoolteacher from 1921-1975 and started quilting as a youngster. Her grandmother was born into slavery and learned to quilt while she worked as a seamstress and cook. Gilchrist learned from her mother and would use scraps to make quilts when she was growing up. Later in life, she planned out her quilts and purchased all the materials ahead of time.