The Lake County Quilt Trail project is the first in the Golden State to place painted quilt squares on highly visible barns and buildings throughout Lake County. It is an agricultural and tourism project designed to promote and celebrate our community pride.
In 2009, Marilyn Holdenried, the founder/chairman of the Kelseyville Pear Festival, discovered a grassroots movement that captivated her imagination. “While attending the International Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, I was introduced to the Quilt Trail project concept,” she said. “I was totally hooked! We needed this project in Lake County.”
Colorful quilt squares began adorning the barns of Adams County, Ohio, in 2001. The idea came from Donna Sue Groves who painted and hung the first quilt square on her barn honoring her mother, Nina Maxine Groves, an expert quilter, and to celebrate the shared Appalachian agricultural heritage of Ohio. Donna Sue’s early vision was to create an imaginary clothesline of interconnecting barns decorated with quilt squares across Ohio.
“The barn quilts are public art that celebrate the place people call home,” says Donna Sue Groves. “They make people feel good about themselves and where they live.”
The idea caught on like wild fire and her dream of linking that region has expanded to 30 states and 2 Canadian provinces creating a large network of organized trails of over 2,000 barn quilts just waiting to be discovered.
The all-volunteer quilt trail project team creates unique 8’ and 4’ painted wooden squares that are hung outside on unique buildings. The team consists of quilters, graphic artists, painters, writers, carpenters, and videographer. Each quilt block pattern is selected to connect with the history of the building, honor farming, or celebrate the family, as well as pay tribute to the generational history of beautiful quilts.
In 2014 the LCQT will begin production of Phase 5. The Quilt Trail celebrates the Kelseyville Pear Festival in September by completing 12 or more unique and beautiful installations. As of the end of 2013 we have 49 quilts on our trail!