Seven counties in Georgia preserve the traditional folk art of quilting by displaying painted quilt patterns on historical barns and buildings in their communities. The Southern Quilt Trail is located in Carroll, Cobb, Douglas, Haralson, Heard, Paulding and Randolph counties. A committee with representatives from each county oversees the trail.
“The quilt trails originated in Ohio. They have grown in different cities. Most of the quilt trails are out in the country and on old barns. Most of them are in rural areas,” said Gloria Hilderbrand, one of the founders of the SQT.
Powder Springs florist Joe Sutton first discovered the quilt trail online. He approached Hilderbrand and her business partner Diane Reese about starting one in Cobb County.
“We read all about it and researched and did the first quilts in Powder Springs in 2007. We grew from there,” said Hilderbrand, a Powder Springs resident who is married to Bill Hilderbrand. They have 3 grown children, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. She is a retired shop owner who owns the Country Store of Seven Springs in downtown Powder Springs.
The first quilt on the SQT was displayed at the Country Store of Seven Springs. The building, circa mid 1800s, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Since we didn’t live out in the country when we heard about it, we thought we would put them on our buildings in Powder Springs. We used plywood and painted copies of old quilt patterns on them. They are attached to some of the buildings in the downtown Powder Springs area,” she said.
“(The SQT) is something different to ride and look at. There are so many quilters. They love the quilts. It’s a unique thing. You’ll thoroughly enjoy it,” she said.
People from all over the country visit the SQT. “It’s been fun. It never ceases to amaze us at the people,” Hildebrand said.
To learn more and obtain trail sites visit southernquilttrail.org. Brochures available at the Country Store of Seven Springs (houses Kiwi Quilts), 4455 Marietta St., Powder Springs 30127 and Seven Springs Museum, 3901 Brownsville Road, Powder Springs 30127 in downtown Powder Springs.