The Quilt Square Trail:

Published 12:03 am Thursday, January 3, 2013

Established in early spring of 2011, Louisiana’s first (and only, so far) Quilt Square Trail, appropriately named the Louisiana Northshore Quilt Trail, continues to elicit great reviews.

The brainchild of Ponchatoula resident Ann Boudreaux, the non-profit Louisiana Northshore Quilt Trail Association has grown exponentially over the past year, almost two, as more and more quilters, artists, do-it-yourselfers, businesses and others in the trail’s five-parish area (Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington) become aware of the exciting creative endeavor.

Coincidentally, the group’s mission includes five points, one for each parish involved:

° To serve as an economic boost in the parishes through increased tourism

° To promote community and corporate pride and participation toward a common goal

° To promote and connect the Northshore region

° To showcase the historical beauty of the Northshore

° To foster appreciation and illustrate the cultural significance of the art of quilt making

The real definition of a quilt trail, according to the LNQT’s website, is “the exhibition of artistic interpretations (painted, mixed media, etc.) of quilt blocks outdoors on homes, businesses, sheds, fences, barns or on posts in yards, fields, pastures or flower beds.” That said, what the quilt trail comes down to is the representation of a culturally diverse area via various artistic metaphors and media.

Now Bogalusa has joined the trail, installing its first quilt square at the Native American Museum in Cassidy Park about two weeks before Christmas.

“(It’s) Nice to be first!” said museum director Lorraine Bourn.

“We put our square on the Native American Museum… and we are working on the one for the Pioneer Museum. It’s going to feature the history of Bogalusa,” she said, adding that once Santa had left the porch at the Pioneer Museum they would be able to hang the second quilt square.

Bourn said that the square that was hung recently was designed by Judy Pritchard and painted by Lynda and Mike Willems. Bourn also told the story behind that square.

“The hand represents the presence of man — his work, achievements and history. The feathers signify prayers, sources of ideas, and they are a mark of honor. The triangle around the circle are stone points,” she said.

“The “circle of life” is divided into the four quadrants — north (white) stands for endurance, cleansing and truth; south (yellow) signifies growth, healing, warmth and strength; east (red) is for knowledge, wisdom and goodness; and west (black) shows release, spiritual protection and life,” concluded Bourn.

In Franklinton, the Washington Parish Tourism Commission has also installed a quilt square titled “Scenic Rural Nine-Patch,” said Kathi Mayor.

“There are now six blocks installed in Franklinton,” continued Mayor. In addition, she said, “There are five blocks, one per parish, that have been funded by a grant from the Jazz and Heritage Foundation. The theme of that is to be the Italian culture of Bogalusa, but interviews and more research are needed on that and I don’t know where it will be installed yet,” she said.

“This is such fun. Have you thought about one for The Daily News? Mayor asked. “I saw one titled ‘black & white and read allover’ in another state. I’d love to see one with nurses caps and doctor bags at the hospital, if someone would take the hint,” she said.

Another sign of the growth of the quilt trail organization was the recent opening of the Quilt Trail Shoppe, located inside the Art Station at 146 West Oak St. in Ponchatoula. The LNQT will use the proceeds to help subsidize the Trail’s marketing costs, said Mayor. The shop, open Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon until 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., features four products for sale. A framed or unframed poster of the first 51 Charter Blocks is available, as are canvas bags with 10 different designs. There are clay tiles with easels — more than 60 individual Trail blocks fired into 4 by 4 inch tiles, each with its story printed on a label on the back. And finally, note cards featuring 16 different designs are also available.

For more information about the Quilt Trail or about the new Quilt Trail Shoppe, visit the website,, or call the shop at 985-386-8815.