Southern Quilt Trial
The Southern Quilt trail originated in Powder Springs, Georgia in late 2007 and early 2008 and is considered the Home of the Southern Quilt Trail. Their mission was and is to promote and preserve the history of traditional folk art quilt patterns that have been handed down from generations through the years. These unique art forms are displayed on historical farms and buildings in our community and the rural countryside.
Since then, the Southern Quilt Trail has been growing in the surrounding cities, counties and states including Bowden, Breman, Centralhatchee, Dallas, Douglasville, Tallapoosa, Ephesus, Hiram, Franklin and Roopville.
How it began – When Joe Sutton, owner of Powder Springs Flowers Gifts, went online to read his hometown daily newspaper he found, on the front page, a picture of three quilts on the side of a building. The article then went on to tell about the Appalachian Quilt Trail. After researching the Quilt Trail, he went across the street to the local antique shop, The Country Store of Seven Springs, where he and the shop owners, Gloria Hilderbrand and Diane Reese decided that Powder Springs needed to start a quilt trail of its own.
As members of the Seven Springs Historical Society, they presented the idea to the Society as a project. The Seven Springs Historical Society was very excited about starting this project and formed a Quilt Trail Committee.
After more research was done, it was found that the original trail was started in 2001 in Adams County, Ohio. Here, one quilt was painted in honor of a mother, while other quilts were painted to honor the heritage of quilting. This quickly spread to East Tennessee, Iowa, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and other states. Quilts are and have been such a big part of everyone’s life.
The first quilt was then started at the County Store of Seven Springs, which is located in a building that dates back to the mid 1800’s and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Others were then painted and placed on other buildings in downtown Powder Springs. There are quilt squares on twelve of the buildings in our historic downtown area. Most of these buildings were built around 1910 – 1920. The quilt squares depict sixteen different quilt patterns that were popular around the turn of the 20th century. Most quilts were a necessity in the early days for warmth before heaters and central heat were available.
The Quilt Trail in Powder Springs:
“Star of Bethlehem” quilt square located on the east side of the Country Store of Seven Springs (Rooted Trading Co. since 2020). “Pickle Dish” located on the east side of a building at 3880 Broad Street. “Sunbonnet Sue” located on the side of a barn behind the Victorian house at 4279 Marietta. “Carpenters Wheel” located on the west side of 4477 Marietta Street. “Floral Basket” located on the east side of the building at 4456 Marietta Street (old Push Rods building). “Double Wedding Ring” located over the back entrance to Powder Springs Florist and gift shop at 449 S. Town Square. “Double Irish Chain” located on the west side of the Country Store of Seven Springs. “Star in a Square” located on the east side of Powder Springs Flowers & Gifts at 449 S. Town Square. “Rose of Sharon” located on the east side of the building at 4451 Marietta Street. “Snow Crystal” located on side of the former home of The Seven Springs Museum located in the city park on Brownsville Road. “Sampler Quilt” made up of several different patterns is used to hide a lot of electrical meters and wires on the west courtyard side of the Hand Me Ups building. “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” located on the west side of the Book Worm Bookstore at 4451 Marietta Street. “French Nosegay” located on the back of the brick building between the traffic circle and Lewis Road. This building was part of the hardware store used as a lumber yard.
One can pick up a brochure containing more information about the date of these quilts, their locations, photos and their histories at The Seven Springs Museum at the Bodiford House at 4355 Marietta Street. Come visit us at the Museum to see our quilt display and learn more of the history of Powder Springs and those who settled and lived in the area.
One criteria for buildings and barns is that they should be old enough to be considered historic, generally at least 50 years old. One criteria for traditional quilt patterns is that old quilts are hand pieced or hand appliqued.
More information about the Southern Quilt Trail, the criteria for quilt patterns to use and buildings or barns that qualify as places to display them can be found at www.southernquilttrails.com.