Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Quilt Your Path Home - Collinsville's 15th Annual Quilt Walk

By GG Burns, Artist and Advocate

A few weeks ago, Rebecca Clayton a volunteer for the Collinsville Historical Association, (CHA) contacted me and shared that during the 2016 annual quilt walk, the CHA was also hosting their first Annual Art Show called: Collinsville’s Art CafĂ©.  

Without hesitation, I of course said I’d be honored to participate, knowing that my mentor and beloved Collinsville High School Home Economics teacher, Mrs. Martha Barksdale, had no doubt been involved with the conception of this new art event. 

Martha had inspired me, as well as many others, to attend college. Since early childhood, I had always wanted to become a fashion artist and Martha definitely played an instrumental role in my life as I pursue my dreams. 

While growing up in small town USA, I often had a pencil or paint brush in my hand. My inability to pay attention in class, once earned me a trip to the principal’s office for sketching a "portrait" of a substitute teacher in the first grade. (I wish I had that sketch today.) This is an image that my Mother saved from some of my early illustrations apparently from the 4th grade. 

My Mother was my first teacher … a historian in her own right. She preserved, recycled, and repurposed “everything” before it was fashionable. Last year, when she passed, I made sure some of Mom's collections made there way to Collinsville’s historical museum. When I’m gone, I hope some of my art, but mostly Mom’s quilts, and other collections that she’s passed down from many generations before us, will finally make their way to a place like Collinsville's museum. 

Last weekend, (yes last minute), I sat down to create art for the Collinsville event. I have lived in several cities, even another state since I left Collinsville a few months out of high school. However, I always made photos each time I was visiting, especially during the Quilt Walks or at Collinsville's famous Turkey Trot event. Sadly, when I was in town to attend families’ funerals, I also made photos. Photography and photo editing are to me as some enjoy reading or crossword puzzles.  

As I reflected on the history of this quaint little town and of my photo collection, there was one image that said, “paint me”. 

“Quilt Your Path Home” by GG Burns

Over the years, I recall standing and staring at a peaceful scene in front of Collinsville’s funeral home. The funeral home is housed in a large Victorian 2-story home that has been around as long as I can remember.

At first, I thought about framing the churches in a patchwork border … but that didn’t work. At the last minute, I sketched a fancy path leading into the church parking lot and added quilt triangles. 

“Quilt Your Path Home”  and GG's Grandmother's quilt"
These were much like the quilts I had watched my Grandmother Massey stitch as a child. Both my Grandmother and Mom were seamstress, artisans in their own way – who used fabric, patterns and thread instead of the paint and paper I use today.

If you haven’t been home in a while, regardless as to where your roots are – I encourage you to do so. 

If you are from the Northeast part of the great state of Alabama – please stop by Collinsville’s Historical Museum on Main Street. Call to check their hours at: 256-524-2323, but they are usually open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 1-4pm. 

Additionally, please join us for Collinsville's 15th Annual Quilt Walk at the beginning at the Collinsville Public Librarythis weekend: September 23 12pm-5pm – September 24 10pm-4pm

GG's quilted Chicks watercolor paintings and a painting of GG's great Aunt Alice's quilt"
I promise you will not be disappointed, regardless of how much time you have to spend. If you don’t have time to attend this unique 15th annual quilt walk this year, please mark your calendar for next year. 

I hope to see you there. gg

Live interview about the history 
of Collinsville's Quilt Walk 
and more: 

Text me through my Facebook pages if you would like 
to order a limited edition print of
“Quilt Your Path Home”
Prints are available in 8x10” size, 
packaged in 11x14” double mats for $30 each or 
smaller versions of 5x7” packaged in 8x10” 
double mats for $20 each.



Standing by Mrs. Martha Barksdale,
Collinsville Historical Association Volunteer