Athens and Limestone County Bicentennial Quilts

By: Holly Hollman
The Friendship Quilters Guild issued a challenge to its members to use their sewing creativity to symbolize historic sites in Athens and Limestone County for the bicentennial. Both Athens and Limestone County are 200 this year.

The quilters drew the name of a historic site and had to research the site and then determine how to interpret the site through a quilt.

Carole Hamilton won first place with her star design for Cambridge United Methodist Church. Hamilton said the Cambridge community was among the areas in consideration for the seat of Limestone County. When Athens became the seat, Cambridge lost its “star” on the map and never materialized into a city. During her research, Hamilton said she discovered that worshippers sometimes used quilts on the walls to block wind after the Union Army used some of its planks for firewood during the Civil War. Although Cambridge is not a city, the church still conducts services.

Jane Clark placed second with her depiction of Athens State University. She used the bear claw pattern and added the school mascot, Hebrew the Bear. Clark also included two columns to represent Founders Hall.

Kim Johnson and Cecelia Bradford tied for third place. Johnson made the Limestone County Courthouse and painted cotton bolls on her quilt. Bradford made the steeple of Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Downtown Athens because the steeple is an iconic part of the downtown skyline.

Other quilters also made creations for the Presbyterian Church, Athens State, and Gulf Station.

The bicentennial quilts will be on display starting late March through September at Athens City Hall. The quilts then will go to High Cotton Arts for the “Art As Our Narrative: A Bicentennial Exhibit,” from October through December.

By: Holly Hollman