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View the World through Quilts April 5 at Georgia Museum of Agriculture

TIFTON – Twelve-inch quilt blocks representing 207 different countries highlight a unique quilting exhibit opening April 5 at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

A part of the Museum’s annual Folklife Festival, “A Trip around the World” is presented in the Museum’s Gallery in partnership with the Wiregrass Quilters Guild in conjunction with the Guild’s annual American Legacy Quilt Show.

One-hundred and fifty Georgia quilt-makers created vibrant 12-inch quilt blocks which have been thoroughly researched by the artist-creator of each block and represent a distinctive aspect of the chosen country.

The exhibit was created by the Georgia Quilt Project, which was formed in 1988 to document the state’s quilts. The Project’s efforts are focused on archiving information about the quilts and quilters of Georgia, encouraging appreciation and preservation of Georgia’s quilts, and preserving the art of quilt-making and the appreciation of quilts through education.

The Wiregrass Quilters Guild, with members from Tift, Irwin, Turner, Coffee, Dougherty, Worth, Crisp, Lee, and Ben Hill counties, is underwriting this exhibit and will host its opening to coincide with the opening of the annual American Legacy Quilt Show on April 5. The “Trip around the World” exhibit will remain on display for three months, and the American Legacy Quilt Show concludes on April 6.

For more information or to schedule a private group tour of the exhibit, interested persons can contact GMA Gallery Coordinator Polly Huff at phuff@abac.edu or view the Museum’s website at www.abac.edu/museum. Exhibit hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The “Trip around the World” project began when the Georgia Quilt Project organized the “Gift of Quilts: Georgia’s Gift to the World” for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. This included organizing quilters throughout the state of Georgia in an effort to provide nearly 400 quilts used as gifts to welcome each country to the Games.

After quilters had sewn their quilts, they were asked to create a block that best represented that country. About 70 blocks were received at the time, and were later exhibited at the Uniform Distribution Center (UDC) where volunteers for the Olympic Games picked up their designated uniform.

Oxmoor House also published a book, The Olympic Quilts: America’s Welcome to the World, featuring pictures of all 397 quilts. The project also resulted in an Atlanta History Center exhibit which was seen by over 68,000 visitors during its 17-week display.

The country blocks were put in storage after the Games until a call was put out for volunteers to make blocks for the remaining countries, aimed at representing the sovereign countries of the world and any territory that sent a team to the Olympic Games. The results of the now completed project were published in Trip Around the World: A Country Quilt Block Travelogue by Schiffer Publishing. Each page of the book contains a full-color picture of a quilt block interpretation, along with the artists’ statements.

The completed 207 blocks were recently mounted on individual canvases and have traveled to several other exhibit spaces in Georgia before landing in Tifton. Along with the blocks, visitors will have a chance to view the large title quilt featured on the cover of the project book.
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