October 25, 2010

Southern happenings: Appalachian Quilt Trail

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It is no secret that this blog’s author loves the south. Otherwise it might be difficult to write about it (and brag on it) day after day. To me, the south is a wonderful place full of history, culture, tradition and plenty of soul. While in some parts of the world, being treated kindly feels like a privilege to be earned, here in the south we believe it is everyone’s right. Even if you’re a Gator fan. One very neat thing to see in Tennessee is the Appalachian Quilt Trail. A program to promote economic development and tourism within the state, the Trail consists of historically significant sites such as barns, rural mills and other locations having been decorated with square panels, hand-painted to look like quilts.

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The trail is now 300 miles long and currently consists of 330 sites, although that number is still growing. Many of the sites coincide with other venues…such as corn mazes (seasonal), antique shops, and a winery. What a fun, almost scavenger hunt-like excursion this would be…driving through the country tracking down quilts! And unless you visit an adjoining attraction, the quilts are free for viewing every day of the year. I have only seen a few of the ones in my area, but I’d love to plan a trip to some more. It seems that you can plot out your trip by length, attractions, and whether you’d like to stay overnight.

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Several other states besides Tennessee also have quilt trails. Have any of you visited a quilt trail?

16 comments:

  1. I have even heard of this - and my grandma is a huge quilter! I feel SO displaced in the "mid-Atlantic"!!

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  2. I meant I have *NEVER* heard - typo!

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  3. I've seen the "quilts" on the side of barns, but never knew what they were. Thanks for solving the mystery!

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  4. We have this right in our town. I have photographed a couple, but not all of them.

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  5. How neat! I'm not sure if we have any around here or not, but it's worth looking in to! Thanks for the smile!

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  6. I have never heard of that.

    Oh, and I have only been to one ZTA day since college and that was in Memphis. I am not sure where the MS/AL is next year.

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  7. Well, I am ashamed to say I have not heard of the Quilt Trail before. Thanks for sharing. I immediately began thinking of painting one on the side of one of our barns. I would tell John now but he is asleep next to me. lol So, it will have to wait til morning. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. I hope to be heading north soon. Maybe we will see some nice quilts. I'm with you ... I love the South.

    Carol-the gardener

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  9. I have never seen this, what a wonderful lovely idea. And what a great reason to make a quilt for.

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  10. My mom is a quilter, so of course she LOVES the quilt trail! We went on a "shop hop" a few years ago (you get a Bingo-like card and the goal is to visit each quilt shop on the card--they were all over ETN!) and also rolled a few Quilt Trail stops into our trip. Whenever I see a quilt square I try to stop and take a picture for Mom. They are so beautiful and often unexpected surprises!

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  11. I have never heard of a quilt trail. Sounds wonderful. Grandma used to meet up with little church ladies, and they would sit around a quilt and quilt together. How sweet is that?

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  12. Thanks for the shout out to the Appalachian Quilt Trail! We are so happy to "meet" you all. Be sure to visit our website at www.vacationaqt.com or look for us on Facebook to keep up the largest organized quilt trail in the nation!! There are over 500 sites in Tennessee now through collaboration with numerous local quilt trail efforts across the state. Start planning your trip now! For other states look up the American Quilt Trail for locations in states all across the country!

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  13. Hi,
    I havwe written a book about the quilt trails across the country, which will be published next year by Ohio University. I have seen hundreds of barn quilts and never tire of them. And yes, the AQT is fabulous!! Head to Tennessee if you get a chance.

    Meanwhile, if you would like to find out more about what's going on in barn quilt world--27 states plus Canda--visit americanquilttrail.com

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  14. I'm not sure which is worse--posting to ask you to excuse my typo or letting you think I didn't notice. Darn!

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  15. I have been on the Gee Quilt trail in Alabama...love it!

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Lay it on me y'all!