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The Florida Quilt Trail Expands to Dudley Farm Historic State Park

Submitted by Gabrielle Redfern

The Florida Quit Museum, home to The Florida Quilt Trail and Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Festival, is proud to announce the expansion of The Florida Quilt Trail into western Alachua County. Dudley Farm Historic State Park, located at 18730 W. Newberry Road Newberry, FL 32669 unveiled “Hands All Around” a Quilt Block painted by Irma Riley, on December 2, 2017. On this day, the Farm celebrated Ms. Myrtle Dudley’s birthday by grinding sugar cane and boiling it into cane syrup.

The Quilt Block hangs on the Welcome House at the historic homestead. According to Dudley Farm Staff, the pattern was originally quilted by one of the Dudley ladies in the early 1900’s, and is featured on a quilt that is part of the conserved collection of artifacts at Dudley Farm. Inside the house hangs a wedding ring quilt made by local quilter Madalyn Jones, who donated the structure to the State Park.

Cindy Frost, a volunteer docent, coordinated the dedication and was the lead demonstrator in the Farm’s annual “Cane Day”. Mrs. Stephanie Metts, who originated the Florida Quilt Trail in 2013, was on hand to officially welcome this block to the Florida Quilt Trail.

“We are excited for Alachua County to hang its second quilt block on the Florida Quilt Trail”, said Mrs. Metts, as the City of Newberry joins the City of High Springs on the Florida Quilt Trail. “And to incorporate historic patterns with a local family connection is very much in the tradition of the American Quilt Trail movement which was started by Donna Sue Groves to honor her mother in 2001 in Adams County, Ohio.”

The Florida Quilt Trail is linked to the American Quilt Trail Movement, the largest grassroots art project in the United States and Canada. Trenton, White Springs, Madison, Live Oak, Lake City, Bell, Branford, and other communities are represented on the Florida Quilt Trail as it winds its way through north Florida.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Dudley Farm Historic State Park demonstrates the evolution of Florida farming from the 1850s to the mid-1940s-through three generations of the Dudley family. An authentic working farm, the homestead consists of 18 buildings, including the family farmhouse with original furnishings, an 1880s kitchen outbuilding, a general store and post office, and a functional cane syrup complex.

“Hands All Around” painted by Irma Riley hangs on the Welcome House at

Dudley Farms Historic State Park. This quilt block is a welcome addition to

The Florida Quilt Trail. All photographs by Stephanie Metts.

Artist Irma Riley stands with the quilt block “Hands all Around” painted for Dudley Farms Historic State Park

Cindy Frost, who coordinated the dedication of the new quilt block added to the Florida Quilt Trail, and who was the lead demonstrator at Dudley Farms Historic State Park’s “Cane Day” is shown before a display of Dudley Family artifacts from the conserved collection at the Farm.

Wedding Ring Quilt by Madalyn Jones, on display inside the structure donated by Mrs. Jones to Dudley
Farms Historic State Park.

Quilts on display during “Cane Day” at Dudley Farms Historic State Park

All photographs by Stephanie Metts.