Franklin to celebrate Quilting Heritage

This coming Saturday the artistry of quilting will be showcased with the third annual Airing of the Quilts in Franklin. Airing of the Quilts will be held on Saturday, May 11 and all throughout Historic Downtown Franklin and in other areas of Macon County as well.

“While Saturday, May 11, is the main focus of Airing of the Quilts, we have many other events planned leading up to the festival,” said Deb Heatherly, Chairman of the Macon County Quilt Trail.

Pre-events for Airing of the Quilts begin on Friday, May 10. Carol Daniel of Shiner, Texas will be conducting a seminar at Deb’s Cats N Quits on the Square in Square technique. Also on Friday, quilt appraiser Ken Gleason will be in the lower level of Franklin Town Hall from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Appointments are required. No walk-ins please. Phone (828) 349-8912 to make an appointment.

Friday evening at six o’clock, author Suzi Parron author of the popular book, Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement, will offer a free special presentation in the lower level of Franklin Town Hall. The program is both informative and entertaining, as Suzi explores the way in which our quilting heritage takes on new meaning as this movement continues to expand.

Saturday’s festival will feature hundreds of quilts airing throughout downtown Franklin and the county. There will be quilt related vendors downtown creating an unbelievable burst of spring color. The Historic West Mill District of Cowee will feature quilts and tours of Rickman’s Store and Pleasant Hill Church which will include quilting demonstrations from the Cowee Quilters.


Other events for Saturday include:


Whistle Stop Mall – The World’s Largest Quilt will be on display all day. Businesses there will also have quilts airing.

The Story of Quilting during the Civil War will be held beginning at 12 noon in the lower level of Franklin Town Hall. Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, this presentation demonstrates Ken & Connie Gleason’s love of history and quilting. In period costumes, they begin to transport you back to the 1860’s with knowledge and fun.

The Childhood Memories Vintage & Miniature Quilt Show will feature vintage quilts, but more importantly, miniature quilts by local quilters. Come and see these tiny creations displayed with other miniatures such as doll beds, antique toy sewing machines, and more. This show will be in the windows in the former Macon Furniture Mart location on Main Street. Hours are from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Unitarian Church (Sierra Drive off Lakeside Drive) – As part of the Macon County Quilt Trail, the Unitarian Church of Franklin will also be airing quilts.

Gillespie Chapel will be open and airing quilts.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy Wreath Laying Ceremony will be held at 11:00am at Rankin Square in Historic Downtown Franklin. The event is a moving annual ritual that you will not want to miss.

Plus the Franklin Garden Club will hold their Annual Plant Sale from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Each year the club gathers perennials, hanging baskets, plus pots of annuals and offers them for sale during their annual fundraiser. They will be located in the Clock Tower Square in Historic Downtown Franklin.

Visitors can also tour the back roads and discover the Macon County Quilt Trail with over 20 quilt blocks that have been installed on barns, homes, and businesses throughout the county. Quilt Trail guides will be available for purchase.

“Last year we were very pleased with the attendance for this event as well as participation from the community,” said Linda Schlott, Franklin Main Street Program Executive Director. “We encourage everyone to get involved from homeowners to businesses and churches.”

So what do you have to do to participate? Simply hang a quilt on your porch, deck, clothes line or in front of your business. It’s that simple.

Airing of the Quilts is sponsored by the Franklin Main Street Program, Town of Franklin, Franklin TDA and Macon County TDC.

For more information call the Franklin Main Street Program at 828-524-2516, ext. 304 or visit