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Landrum Quilt Trail project gets boost

The proposed quilt trail for the City of Landrum recently received a significant boost from a $5,000 grant through the Mary F. Kessler Fund of the Polk County Community Foundation.
City administrator Steve Wolochowicz said he believes the trail will draw people to the city and connect businesses and residents in a unique way.
“In some 30 other states, quilt trails have become popular destinations for tourists,” said Wolochowicz. “I believe this will be just as great for people locally as well because it will place folk art all around town for them to enjoy.”
A quilt trail is a series of wooden painted quilt blocks displayed outdoors along a designated route in various locations, such as storefronts, barns and gardens. Sizes range from 1 foot square up to 8 feet square.
The Kessler Fund grant will provide quilt blocks for O.P. Earle Elementary School, the Landrum Library, the Hospice Thrift Barn and the Thermal Belt Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
Landrum businesses and residents may also apply to receive a quilt block, although the number available through the grant is limited. Quilt blocks received through the grant must be hung in an exterior location within the city of Landrum, primarily on Highways 14, 176 and North Trade or connecting streets on property that is commercially zoned.
Wolochowicz announced the application process Monday, June 18. Information is available under “Links” on the city’s website, www.cityoflandrum.com. Applications are available on the Landrum Quilters’ website, www.landrumquilters.com.
Landrum City Council approved funding in February for the Foothills Quilt Trail. The city’s funding will provide four exterior quilt blocks for city-owned properties and promotion of the trail as it develops.
A production team at the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Walhalla, S.C. is currently painting blocks for the Landrum Fire Department and Landrum City Hall. Those first blocks will be hung later in the summer. A block for Brookwood Park will soon follow and the city’s fourth quilt block, to be displayed at the Landrum Depot, is on hold until the depot renovation is complete.
The first quilt block in the city was hung over the gym at Landrum Middle School in August 2011 as a gift from the Landrum Quilters. The block honors the spirit of cooperation between quilters and the school, which hosts the club’s biennial quilt show. The Landrum Quilters is working with the city to select designs for the quilt blocks and to tie in local history to the designs selected.
“The colorful blocks build a sense of community pride and, in Landrum, reflect the city’s quilting heritage,” said Wolochowicz.
Landrum Quilters was first established in 1980 and has since grown to include more than 130 members. The group hosts monthly programs, periodic workshops and philanthropic projects. The quilters meet the fourth Monday of every month at 9:30 a.m. at the Gowensville Community Center, as well as for occasional quilting bees.
For more information about Landrum Quilters, contact Ellen Henderson at 864-895-0908.