Thursday, April 4, 2013

Southern Quilt Trail

I see a road trip in my future!

Found this story and thought I would share:

Georgia’s portion of the National Quilt Trail, known as the Southern Quilt Trail, had its start in historic downtown Powder Springs. Located west of Atlanta just off highway 78/278, Powder Springs is a town of pretty front porches and shady sidewalks. Like much of North Georgia, the discovery of gold drew white settlers to the area, but its seven mineral springs helped it to become popular as a resort by the middle of the 19th century.

During the 20th century, people lost interest in “taking the cure” by dipping into the cool waters, but Powder Springs has another claim to fame now. It has some 16 quilt squares painted on the sides of various historic buildings in town – a number of which can be seen on a walking tour.

The Quilt Trail has nothing to do with stitching circles or re-decorating your bedroom. In 2001, Donna Sue Grove initiated the painting of a quilt square pattern on the barn at her Adams County, Ohio residence, to honor a promise she had made to her mother. That one barn started a national phenomenon – almost every state now has its own trail of barns or historic buildings with a quilt square painted on the side.

Traditionally, the square should be painted on an historic building and the pattern should be one of importance to a woman in the family. Many are located on rural roads – and a quilt square tour makes for a much more interesting trip through the country than one on an interstate. It’s difficult to keep track of the number of Quilt barns in the country– but in Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina there are over 400. It’s also hard to find one site that lists them all – but the National Quilt Trail and the Appalachian Quilt Trail Guide are good starts.

Georgia has been a little slow to join the party – but in 2007, the Seven Springs Historical Society began painting the squares on buildings in Powder Springs. In Georgia it is known as the Southern Quilt Trail, and it now includes quilt squares on buildings and barns in Cobb, Heard, Paulding, Haralson and Carroll counties. The Rolling Hills Resource Conservation and Development Council has a list on its site with locations as well.