New quilt added to Quilt Trail in Marshall County

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Pictured at the unveiling of the quilt square at the Palmer Farm on State Route 64 are some of the elected officials, land owners, and other stakeholders associated with the project.

From Staff Reports

Last Thursday, a new quilt joined those already on display in Marshall and surrounding counties.

This one is located on a barn on Tennessee Highway 64, just inside the Marshall County line. The barn is on the farm owned by Dennis and Sara Mason Miller, which dates to the 1870s. Its original owner was a minister, and Sara's grandparents, Dr. William Clift Ransom and Lily Montgomery, were married in one of the house's front rooms in 1883. The farm is known as the Palmer Farm, after the family who owned and farmed it from 1916 until 1984, when the Millers bought it. The quilt pattern, a bread basket pattern, is based on a quilt that has been in Sara's family for over 100 years, and it was also chosen because Sara is an accomplished basket weaver

"Tennesseans have a proud, rich history rooted by memories of childhood," according to the website "Although their stories are not the same, often they can be linked back to a barn on a family farm or the quilt of a beloved grandmother. Southern Middle Tennessee Quilt Trails are dedicated to all those wonderful stories and to Donna Sue Groves, the woman behind the barn quilts. What started out as only a joke between a mother and daughter in a small town Ohio community is now a thriving national grassroots movement."

According to Wikipedia, in 2001 Groves wanted to honor her mother, Maxine, a noted quilter, with a painted quilt square on the family's barn in Manchester, Ohio. The Groves farm quilt later became part of a trail of 20 barn quilts that formed a driving trail throughout Adams County. There are now quilt trails in 43 states and two Canadian provinces.

The Southern Middle Tennessee Resource Conservation and Development Council sponsors the Southern Middle Tennessee Quilt Trail. This trail is a driving route throughout nine counties in southern Middle Tennessee. It is designed to draw visitors to the region and promote sustainable economic development in rural areas. Eight-by-eight-foot quilt block murals hung on barns and other sites of historical and economic significance. The quilt trail is a visual combination of century farms, historic sites, and places of interest, all of which are a vital part of our economic well-being. The quilt blocks represent the love, comfort and warmth of centuries, along with the beauty and artistic expression of their makers. Each route is carefully chosen for its potential to draw visitor traffic to the abundance of local businesses, historic sites, educational opportunities, and recreational activities this region has to offer. As the need for sustainable economic development in rural areas becomes more apparent, the Quilt Trail provides opportunities for community growth by promoting agri-tourism, creating community involvement, and engaging residents in impacting their communities and protecting the heritage, cultural and natural resources of the region.