Blinn-Schulenburg offering quilt block painting class on Friday, Oct. 15

The art form is growing in popularity

The art form is growing in popularity

October 11, 2021

Dr. Becky Garlick, Executive Dean of the Blinn College-Schulenburg Campus, is always on the lookout for enrichment classes that can be offered on her campus.

On a road trip this summer, Garlick found one – painted quilt blocks.

A class on painting quilt blocks will be held Friday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the Schulenburg Campus. The class will be taught by Margaret Atkins and Rhoda Gersch, founders of a quilt block painting “trail site” in Winchester, a small, unincorporated community in Fayette County.

Quilt block painting is simply that – quilt block patterns painted onto plywood, canvas, or other media. They have grown in popularity as indoor or outdoor decorative items, including being displayed on barns and other buildings. “We take quilt designs, sometimes traditional, sometimes non-traditional, and move them to a square wooden block,” Atkins said. “That’s marked on a grid and then painted.

“You have a piece of art that you can hang in your house. Traditionally they’re hung on big wooden barns, which we don’t have here, so we encourage people to put them on gates, on fenceposts, on the side of their house, on metal buildings.”

For the Schulenburg class, two-foot by two-foot wooden sheets of plywood will be provided along with all other materials needed.

“We bring all the templates. We probably have 30 or 40 designs they can choose from and lots of different paint choices,” Atkins said.

It’s believed that quilt block paintings originated in the Midwest. Atkins and Gersch became enamored with the craft after Gersch’s sister in Kansas took a class and came to Fayette County to teach them. They decided to start a quilt block trail site in Winchester about four years ago.

“It took us four years, but we’re off and running pretty strong now,” Atkins said. “We’ve taught dozens of classes. We’ve got people coming from all over – San Antonio, Houston, the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

The class is being limited to 12 people and registration is $95 per person. To register, call Loraine Orellana, Coordinator of Distance and Community Education, at 979-743-5237 during normal business hours.

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