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The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, Where Every Quilt Tells a Story

Published: August 17, 2015

 The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, Where Every Quilt Tells a Story

It all started in 2009 with one quilt square mounted on the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla.

Today, the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail has more than 160 quilt panels mounted on barns, businesses, homes, and public buildings across Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties.

The idea was based on similar quilt trails in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Oconee County was the first county in South Carolina to embrace the quilt trail concept after a group of dedicated citizens came together to establish the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail in an effort to promote Oconee County. The first quilt square was sponsored by the Wynward Point Ladies Group and was mounted on the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla in the fall of 2009.

The Wynward Point Ladies Group has created more than 30 quilt squares so far and requests keep coming in from businesses and organizations wanting to display one of their works of art.

The quilts are unique designs and each painted quilt panel is a copy of an existing quilt that usually has some historical connection with the sponsoring family or organization. The quilt panels are painted by volunteers on weather-resistant wooden panels using quality outdoor paint.

Recently, the log home of Hoyt and Laura Grant on Hwy 11 near Table Rock State Park became an addition to the quilt trail. The red and white gingham quilt, also called a nine patch, was a popular pattern used by pioneer women who used every scrap of fabric to quickly sew together quilts used for warmth.

Earlier this year five Anderson School District schools joined the quilt trail. Students from various art classes learned about the trail and quilt patterns and then were challenged to create their own design representing their school.

The latest quilt to join the trail is “Prairie Star” by quilter Barbara Schoonoever. It’s located at Hospice of the Foothills in Seneca.

A pdf map of the quilt trail, along with GPS coordinates, can be found at the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail website. Please keep in mind that these quilt squares are on private property and should be viewed and photographed from public roads. Many owners may allow a closer look if you ask their permission.

Sherry Jackson is a Greenville-based writer covering travel, technology, real estate, business and many other topics. For examples of some of her work, visit www.dragonflyventures.com.