- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Summer 2015






Quilter's Road Trip

There are no shortage of fun and fascinating quilt-related places across the U.S.…from museums to historic sites to—of course—hundreds of amazing quilt and fabric shops!

And we’re excited to highlight many of those places (and connect the dots between them) for this new recurring Friends@Festival feature. For each edition, we’ll focus on a different geographic area, providing our readers a virtual road map of sites, sights, and sounds…both “quilty” and otherwise.

Naturally, we’re initiating our journey with a road trip through a region of Texas that is near (literally) and dear to us. If you’re planning to join us for Quilt Festival in Houston this fall, consider staying over a few extra days to hit the country roads winding their way between Houston and beautiful La Grange, home to the Texas Quilt Museum.

Stop one: Breakfast of “Czampions”

Any good road trip must start with breakfast. So, the first stop is at the Chappell Hill Bakery & Deli for kolaches. These Czech pastries traditionally contain fruit, but here in Texas, the most popular variety are filled with sausage…something Chappell Hill does especially well.

Stop two: Historic Winedale

This unincorporated community near Round Top, Texas dates back to 1870, but is best known today as the home of the Winedale Historical Complex. A division of The University of Texas’s Briscoe Center for American History, the Winedale center includes eight impressive 19th-century structures-furnished with locally made furniture, quilts and coverlets, paintings, china, and utensils—on 225 acres of land. It’s also home to a research center, natural trail, and picnic area. Weekend tours of the complex are available.

Stop three: Round Top

A great place to finish out your day and stay for the night is Round Top, a tiny, but oh-so-charming town known best for its twice-annual antique shows. At the center of Round Top is Bybee Square, which features restored historic homes and a barn that today house galleries, boutiques, antiques, and fine crafts. It’s also home to Stone Cellar Wines, a pub and pizzeria that hosts live music every Friday and Saturday from 7-11 p.m.

Just to the south of the town square is Henkel Square, another unique shopping and events district comprised of restored 1800s’ buildings housing artisan, home décor, and fine craft shops.

Round Top is also home to the famous Royers Cafe, “a Texas country bistro serving gourmet comfort food” (think Grilled Shrimp BLT on Jalapeno Sourdough or Pork Tenderloin with a Peach ‘N Pepper Glaze). But the biggest attraction is the café's famous pies, which they ship to all parts of the world.

There are a surprising number of lodging options in Round Top for a town its size, most of which are beautiful bed and breakfasts or quaint guest houses. You can check out the Round Top Chamber of Commerce’s list of lodging options for recommendations on accommodations in the area.

Stop one: The Best Little Town
Square in Texas

Day two of our road trip takes us down the road about 25 minutes to La Grange, a town known for its German and Czech heritage, and as the inspiration for a ZZ Top song and a little stage musical called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (though visitors are more likely to comment on its historic charm and bucolic rolling hills).

The main town square in La Grange centers around the Fayette County Courthouse, a rare Romanesque Revival structure built in 1891 and restored to its original historic appearance in 2005. It’s also home to the Texas Quilt Museum, established by Quilt Festival founder and Director Emeritus, Karey Bresenhan, and Quilts, Inc. Vice President Nancy O’Bryant.

Housed in two historic 1890s’ buildings, the Museum showcases both antique and contemporary quilt art against a backdrop of original hardwood floors, high ceilings, and brick walls. The Museum’s three gallery spaces host three to four rotating exhibits at a time, and feature works from well-known quilt artists and renowned collections.

Outside the Museum, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden, a period “town” garden, pays homage to area gardens present between 1893—the year the Museum’s buildings were constructed—and 1930. It includes a variety of flowers, shrubs, vines, and trees oriented around the Museum’s large outside wall mural.

Next door to the Museum is The Quilted Skein, a shop featuring hundreds of bolts of fabric and a huge array of yarns, as well as books and notions. The shop also regularly hosts well-known quilting and knitting designers and instructors, and offers a variety of classes.

When it’s time for a lunch break, there are several options right on or near to the square, including Prause's Meat Market, Bistro 108, Latte on the Square, and Cafe Dobré. Note: With any small-town restaurants, it's always a good idea to call ahead and verify that they're open on the day of your travel.

Extra Stop: Painted Churches

Should you have any extra time in the area, or opt to stay an additional night in La Grange, we highly recommend making your winding way among the Fayette County Painted Churches as you venture back toward the Houston area.

Although not technically “painted,” these three churches—St. Mary’s Catholic Church in High Hill, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Ammannsville, and Saints Cyril and Methodius Church in Dubina—are known for the elaborate faux finish artistry that adorn their interiors. And the scenic, country drive between them alone is enough reason to make the trip.


© 2015. A publication of Quintessential Quilt Media. No portion may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Quilts, Inc.