From fabric to a finished quilt block
A 12 inch prototype of the Courthouse Steps design is constructed initially with fabric. A square in a family quilt also may be replicated for a quilt square.
The production team at the Upstate Heritage Quilt trail draws the pattern on a weather-resistant board. Next they carefully paint and stencil to reproduce the fabric pattern. Finally they apply several coats of marine sealer to assure protection for the quilt block.
Two local businesses provide bucket trucks for quilt block installations. Here staff from the City of Landrum work with JB Trees/JB Scapes to hang the 4 x 4 foot quilt block at Landrum City Hall.
The idea for Landrum's first quilt block came when Landrum Quilters members visited the September 2010 Lake and Mountains Quilt Show in Seneca. There they saw a display and a brochure on the fledgling Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail (UHQT) in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties.
Colorful pictures of quilt blocks hanging on buildings, homes and in gardens prompted them to share details at a Landrum Quilters (LQ) club meeting. The club decided to offer a quilt block to Landrum Middle School in appreciation for the school’s long-time hosting of the club’s biennial quilt show.
Principal Crystal McSwain supported the proposal and Dianne Barnhill, an LQ member, designed an original block entitled Cardinal Heritage. The 3 x 3 foot block, painted by the UHQT production team, was hung over the school gymnasium in August 2011 shortly after the 2011 Landrum Quilt Show.
The Landrum Area Business Association quickly recognized the potential of a quilt trail for creating tourism, adding attractive visual art and providing an historical perspective for the city.
In February 2012 then City Administrator Steve Wolochowicz presented a proposal to Landrum City Council to initiate the Foothills Quilt Trail project in Landrum. Council agreed and generously provided funding for quilt blocks for the four city properties, a website and promotional materials.
In May 2012, the City of Landrum received a $5,000 grant from the Mary F. Kessler Fund, Polk County Community Foundation to further develop the quilt trail. These funds, with contributions from quilt block sponsors, resulted in installation of 19 new blocks.
The current Landrum City Council and the city administrator continue to support expansion of the quilt trail through the hospitality tax budget and funding from quilt block sponsors.
A team from the Landrum Quilters, under the auspices of the city administrator, works with those interested in sponsoring blocks.