“It was a labor of love,” explains Sheryl Bailey about the bicentennial quilt that she and six other Hart County Homemakers helped to create. “I spent at least 80 hours just planning the design and researching information for the quilt because I wanted it to represent as many areas of the county as possible.” Bailey spearheaded the project after learning the Bicentennial Committee wanted one made as part of the county’s 200 th anniversary celebration. “I thought this would be a great project for our local quilting club,” adds Bailey.
Deciding what to put on each square was the most difficult part of designing the quilt. “I’m not originally from Hart County, though my family and I have now lived here for 18 years; there’s still a lot that I don’t know about the county’s history,” notes Bailey. Therefore her first step was to visit the Hart County Historical Society where Curator Carolyn Short provided her with a variety of possibilities. She also interviewed several other individuals knowledgeable in local history. She posed the same question to each, “If you were creating a quilt that represented Hart County, what would you include?” Soon she had a long list of ideas to present to the quilting club. “Once we agreed on the topic for each quilt square, then we had to decide how it was to be created – did a photo exist that could be transferred onto fabric, or should the design be appliquéd or embroidered onto the quilt?” explains Bailey.
While all these details were being decided, Bailey went ahead and began working on the quilt’s lettering. “We wanted it to say, Hart County Bicentennial, with the years noted and I found some beautiful blue calico fabric that I used for this purpose, which looks great on the yellow background. We discovered that many of the older quilts contained that color.”
Helping Bailey with the project were Paula Day, Vyetta Reynolds, Kathy DeMarco, Joyce Gonterman, Mary Coakley and Linda Logsdon. Reynolds designed the buffalo featured on the quilt which represents the grassy plains that once existed in parts of the county, along with giving Munfordville its original name. Gonterman designed the star that represents the many craft and cottage industries that exist in the county – past and present. Coakley created two blocks on the quilt – the tobacco leaf and image of Hart County. DeMarco designed the John Hunt Morgan square who, along with his Raiders, impacted many areas of the county during the Civil War. Logsdon donated some of the fabric used in the quilt and Day created the basket block to pay homage to the county’s long history of basket makers. “I loved weaving the fabric to make the basket,” notes Day. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to try.” Day also quilted all the squares once they were pieced together. “It took me about a day to quilt it. I enjoyed being a part of this bicentennial project.”’
Other squares on the quilt represent places such as Glen Lily, Memorial School, the new high school, Munfordville Presbyterian Church, downtown Horse Cave, Three Hundred Springs, the Woodson House, Gaddie Cabin, Cub Run Cave, the original railroad bridge, as well as people – Thelma Stovall and Simon B. Buckner and events – Hart County Fair and the Civil War. Additional squares showcase local wildlife and nature scenes. Altogether the quilt features 25 squares and measures 68 x 68 inches.
“It’s a beautiful quilt and we are so grateful to Sheryl and all the others who helped to create it,” adds Virginia Davis, Chamber Director and a member of the Bicentennial Committee. The quilt is currently on display at the Hart County Chamber of Commerce’s new office located at 116 East Union Street in Munfordville (formerly the Hart County Sheriff’s Dept.). In time, the quilt will be moved to a permanent location inside the Hart County Courthouse. “I encourage the public to stop by the Chamber office to see the quilt,” adds Davis. “The Chamber is open Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.”