Following the quilt trail in Vicksburg

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VICKSBURG, Mich. -- So what exactly is a quilt trail? Simply put, it's four-foot by four-foot sections of plywood with quilt designs painted on each section. There are a total of four sections locked together with a frame in to one eight by eight foot piece.

These plywood quilts are hung around Vicksburg on historic barns for at least a five year period. All are visible from the road and very colorful. The Vicksburg Quilt Trail was created a few years ago, but originally started in Ohio back in 2001. The idea caught on big time, and communities all over the Midwest have created these barn quilt trails.

In just about 14 years, there are quilt trails in every single state and Canada. In Vicksburg, historic barn owners agree to showcase the wood quilts for a period of five years, and the city even supplies the bucket truck to help hang each quilt. Barn owners pick the quilt and the colors from books, and many of the quilts chosen have a story or some special meaning behind it. For example, one barn quilt known as God's Eye was chosen since the family has a very spiritual background and hopes that God will keep an eye on their family and community.

Contrary to what most of us might think, the quilts are not painted by professional artists. People like neighbors, students, and the barn owners themselves. More than two dozen barn quilts are across the trail in/around Vicksburg. The quilt trail operates with all volunteers, and donations and maps are available to find each one.

Tax deductible contributions can be made to the Vicksburg Quilt Trail in care of the Vicksburg Historical Society 300 North Richardson Street, Vicksburg, MI 49097. For additional information or maps of where each quilt is located, contact Hugh and Kitch Rinehart 269 329-0481. Their email address is HKRinehart@msn.com. Find the Vicksburg Quilt Trail Facebook page here.

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