Behind each quilt square is a story that tells the history of its origin and why it is meaningful to the quilter or the owner. Sometimes the finished work represents a team effort, such as in the case of A Bridge to a New Beginning, which was created by Walhalla students to represent their new high school.
Led by Aiken native, Martha Files, the organizing group for the quilt trail first met in 2009 and hoped to have 10 quilt blocks produced and in place by the semi-annual Festival of Quilts in 2010. More than 250 blocks later, the trail represents the rich artistic heritage of quilters across the region. Read more about its history here.
For visitors, the quilt trail is a glimpse at an age-old art form, one that was an important part of social life for women before they were in the workforce in large numbers. In African-American tradition, quilts told Bible stories or recounted seminal events in history.
The best way to see some of the quilt squares is to use the interactive map and/or consider the suggested itineraries found on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail website. The fine folks there can even help create a customized map for short or long driving tours of the trail.