The Louisiana Quilt Trail: Established 2011
The brain child of Ponchatoula native and resident Ann Boudreaux, the Louisiana Northshore Quilt Trail Association hatched into existence in early 2011. Four women joined Ann to nurture the nonprofit in the hopes of founding the first Quilt Trail in the state of Louisiana.
It was a challenge at first as every creative endeavor runs into its share of skeptics. As artists, quilters and DIY homemakers rapidly painted quilt blocks in garages and on dining room tables in the quiet of the night, the Directors of the LNQT Board travelled the five parish region to spread the word about the advantages of supporting Ms. Ann's baby. They knew that if they could just offer free presentations with tons of visuals, everyone would jump on board and paint their own quilt block on their business or home.
With the words still ringing in their ears, "Great idea, but what is it?", the Board knew they needed more help. They invited four more women to join them on the Board to help them carry on in the quest to convince each passerby, each person whose grocery buggy collided into theirs, each casual stranger in the elevator...that Louisiana's first Quilt Trail would not only enrich the love of quilting in our region, but, as a tourist draw, it could possibly be an answer to the waning economy of the state.
What exactly is a quilt trail?
A Quilt Trail is the exhibition of artistic interpretations (painted, mixed media, etc.) of quilt blocks outdoors on homes, businesses, sheds, fences, barns or on posts in the yard, field, pasture or flower bed.
Among the region's unique landscape and architecture of the parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston, St. Helena and Washington. These five parishes are located at the crossroad of Interstate 12 (east & west) and Interstate 55 (north & south). All Trails are within a 45 minute-to-two hour drive from both New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
• TO ENCOURAGE TOURISM OF THE LOUISIANA NORTHSHORE
• TO PROMOTE COMMUNITY AND CORPORATE PARTICIPATION TO CONNECT THE NORTHSHORE REGION
• TO STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY SPIRIT AND PRIDE.
• TO FOSTER EDUCATION AND AN APPRECIATION OF THE QUILTING ARTS.
• TO DEVELOP COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG ARTISANS INCLUDING ARTISTS, QUILTMAKERS AND CONTRACTORS.
•TO PROCURE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC FUNDING FOR ADVERTISING AND ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS.
The Louisiana Quilt Trail Board
The Louisiana Northshore Quilt Trail will not only serve as an economic boost to tourism, but also promote community and corporate participation to connect the five parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, Livingston, St. Helena and Washington. The Trail will showcase the historical beauty of the north shore and the cultural significance of the art of quiltmaking.
Our active board is always working hard to improve and market our quilt trail
• A thorough website at www.louisianaquilttrail.com which contains pictures of all of the blocks, explanations of the personal images in each pattern, a Google map to guide tourists along the Trails and a Process page that demonstrates to viewers how to make their own quilt block (COMPLETED)
• A grant from the Jazz and Heritage Foundation to construct three new blocks in little-travelled areas celebrating the cultures in Bogalusa, Albany and St. Helena (COMPLETED)
• A grant from Benson Technologies for three blocks in the cities of Covington, Slidell and Kentwood (COMPLETED)
• An active Facebook presence (ONGOING)
• An Interstate Logo sign at Exit 23 (COMPLETED)
• Brochures in all of the Welcome Centers in the State (COMPLETED)
• The Quilt Trail Shoppe in Ponchatoula that enables us to sell souvenirs of the Trail which not only publicize the Trail, but also subsidize the marketing of the Trail (COMPLETED)
• Shoppe products which include a calendar, a poster, clay tiles, tote bags, note cards and magnets—all with info about an individual block or a collection of blocks on our trail. (COMPLETED)
• International recognition on the Quilt Trail Blog that Louisiana’s Trail is the fastest growing success story in the country right now (ONGOING)
• A wide range of tourists stopping by the Shoppe then riding the Trail: 86 from Wyoming, 10 from a cruise ship, several from Massachusetts, Florida, Texas. We even have ten European tourists coming in October from Germany to ride through our Quilt Trail (ONGOING)
• Over two dozen presentations to local groups in the five parish region to motivate them to join the Trail (ONGOING)
• Small weather-worthy plaques that hang beside the business quilt blocks that clue in onlookers that they are witnessing a part of something bigger than one block. The plaques also contain the explanation behind the images in the pattern as well as a QR Code that can instantly direct them to the LNQT’s website so that they can continue touring the Trail (COMPLETED)
• SCVNGR App Challenge: through this App, tourists can complete twenty or more challenges as they tour the Trail and cash in their earned points at the Quilt Trail Shoppe. (COMPLETED)
Have some questions for our board?
Contact us, and one of our board members will answer any of your questions. They are literally a fountain of Quilt Trail knowledge!