The Florida Quilt Trail was the idea of Stephanie Metts, owner of the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe in Trenton, Florida. Her idea was enthusiastically adopted in 2013 by elected officials and community leaders from Trenton and Gilchrist County.
Florida's first block, named “Trenton’s Compass Rose”, was designed to symbolize guidance for visitors to Trenton and is placed on the east wall of the old 1925 Coca Cola Bottling Plant which is now home to the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe.
The original concept of barn quilts began in 2001 with Donna Sue Groves and her wish to honor her mother, Maxine, and her Appalachian heritage by having a painted quilt hung on her barn in Adams County, Ohio. Her work with the Ohio Arts Council and other community organizations inspired Donna Sue to alter her plan from a single block to a "sampler" of twenty quilt squares that could be created along a driving trail that would invite visitors to travel through the countryside. This simple idea has now spread to every state and to Canada, and the trail continues to grow. Over 8,000 quilt blocks are part of organized trails; dozens more are scattered through the countryside waiting to be discovered.
“Barnless Quilt Trails” soon followed as many rural American communities wanted to use the same concept of quilt squares painted on their historic buildings to attract visitors and share a nostalgic glimpse of their priceless heritage.
A Trenton conference in January 2014, organized and hosted by Stephanie Metts in the 1925 Crystal Ice House, which houses a portion of the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe, featured Suzi Parron, author of the 2012 Book, Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement. The conference was attended by a number of elected officials and community leaders from many neighboring North Central Florida Cities.
The enthusiasm generated by Suzi's presentation and the persuasive economics of thousands of quilt enthusiasts traveling the Quilt Trails have resulted in twenty (20) neighboring cities and communities participating in the Florida Quilt Trail.
The first Quilt Trail Block in the US was painted in 2001. The first Quilt Trail Block in Florida was painted in 2013. There are now more than 8,000 painted Quilt Trail blocks in every state of the United States and more than 100 painted Quilt Trail blocks in Florida.
The size of each of Florida's twenty (20) trails varies from one block to more than twenty blocks. The size of each block varies from a 2' X 2' painted block hung on a building to a 10' by 50' mural painted by one of Florida's leading folk artists, Janet Moses, on the side of the Florida Quilt Museum in Trenton, Florida, which is home to The Florida Quilt Trail.
This website only begins to tell the story of the communities and individuals who are motivating the growth of "Barnless" quilt blocks in Florida. Each community's individual story along with pictures and links to their available websites are highlighted in the following sections of this Website.
For more information about The Florida Quilt Museum, click the Florida Quilt Museum "Action Button" below.
Trenton's Compass Rose painted by Kathy Sausen and Hung on the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe's Home, a 1925 Coca Cola Plant
Let us know if you and your community would like to participate in the Florida Quilt Trail
Drive the Quilt Trail anytime Day or Night and feel free to visit us at the Florida Quilt Museum and the Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe during normal business hours.
Mon thru Sat from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
517 North Main Street, Trenton, FL 32693, US
The City of Trenton is now planning for the future as new residents, visitors, and businesses arrive in our community. When you visit Trenton, you will want to visit The Suwannee Valley Quilt Shoppe, The Florida Quilt Museum and The Florida Quilt Trail as well as our gift shops at Ace Hardware and Best Drugs. Set aside time during your visit to dine in some of our quaint restaurants like Suwannee Rose Cafe, Hobos, Cherry's and the local drive thru Burger Spot, where home cooked food is excellent and fellowship is enjoyed with some down home folks.
Recreational opportunities include a bike and hiking trail located in the downtown area by the Old Trenton Train Depot, which is a historic landmark. The trail is a scenic route to Manatee State Park, with its abundant wildlife. At the State Park, manatees can be observed along with boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and picnic areas or a cruise along the famous Suwannee River.
For more information about the City of Trenton, click the Trenton, Florida "Action Button" below.
The Gilchrist County TDC (Tourist Development Council) is composed of a 9 member board appointed by the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners and is funded by the 2% Tourist Development (bed) Tax collected on overnight lodging. The 2% Tourist Development Tax was placed on the ballot where Gilchrist County residents voted yes - the tax was implemented 2006. The TDC works with local tourism related industries to promote Gilchrist County. The council makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners for the effective operational uses of the tourist development tax revenue to encourage economic growth for Gilchrist County. Our main focus is nature and heritage tourism. The TDC promotes events such as the Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival.
To learn more about Gilchrist County, Florida (Springs Capital of the World) and our natural escapes with the warmth of our Southern Hospitality we welcome you to visit our website at: