Though it’s long been known for its many horse farms and bourbon distilleries, Kentucky has become known as a destination for quilters from around the world. If you share a love of quilts and quilt making, put some of these destinations on your must visit list.
This Ohio River city, about 200 miles downstream from Louisville, has become a Mecca for quilters for more than 25 years. The internationally recognized National Quilt Museum has 320 quilts in their collection. At any given time, 50 – 60 of the quilts are on display. The majority are regional and national award winners.
The American Quilters Society (AQS) annually holds one of the largest quilt shows in the country every April. Quilters from all over the world enter this competition with thousands of dollars in contest prize money. The city of Paducah is known for their famous hospitality during what has come to be known as “QuiltWeek”.
While in Paducah, be sure to check out the famous Hancock’s of Paducah, Eleanor Burns’ Quilt in a Day shop and Quilter’s Alley. There are some other quilt shops around the state you won’t want to miss out on if you’re in the area. In Lexington, two outstanding shops are The Quilter’s Square and Q-First in Quilting. Among Friends Quilt Shop is the largest and most popular quilt shop in Louisville, and in Middletown, just east of Louisville, The Cozy Quilter is one of the area’s newer quilt shops. About 45 miles south of Louisville in Elizabethtown, you’ll find Uniquely Yours Quilt Shop which, along with all the others, has a multitude of items guaranteed to enthrall quilters for hours.
Quilt Barn Trail
In Kentucky, quilting is an art form that continues to evolve. Over the past several years, painted quilt patterns on the sides of barns in Kentucky have emerged as a new form of self-expression for rural residents. This began as a way to lure travelers off of the interstate roadways and onto back roads, bringing tourists into rural areas that were looking for an economic boost. These eight foot square quilt blocks are often painted by students, quilt guilds, 4-H groups and other organizations, with the specific quilt pattern chosen by the barn owner. Many local electrical companies, fire departments and construction workers assist the owners in hanging their barn quilts. Today, there are over 4,000 quilt squares across the country. Most of them are located along 120 quilt trails. Hundreds of these barn quilts are spread over the rural Kentucky countryside.