We were on a driving tour on Route 6, following the GPS to Grovedale Winery in Wyalusing, when we spotted the first barn painting. It looked like a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign, but it was square, not round. A few turns later, and there was another one, another square painted pattern, this time decorating a store.
What happens when you take a group of crafty people and give them every structure in town as a canvas? “Quilted Corners of Wyalusing” is the result, a self-guided driving tour of historic barns and businesses adorned with quilt patterns painted on 8’ x 8’ wooden blocks.
The idea began in Ohio, with one devoted daughter hanging a quilt on her barn to honor her mother, a longtime quilter. When Sugar Run resident Peggy DeMartino saw the concept in Country Home magazine she knew it would be a great fit for Wyalusing. The Wyalusing Chamber saw her presentation on the program and became an enthusiastic partner. Now, fifteen years later, nearly 100 patterns augment the natural beauty of the countryside.
The route of brightly colored images gives a kind of logic to meandering through the area. It also serves as a great excuse to stop at regular intervals for food, shopping and events as genuine as the folks who wave to you on your ride.
Quilt seekers pick up a map at the Wyalusing Chamber office when they’re open and can access a cell phone audio tour using the code that you will find on a sign near each quilt location, which describes the piece in front of you. Time is a critical element here, as in taking as much time as you can to enjoy the artwork. Picnic near the Wyalusing Rocks, which served as a signaling post for the Iroquois Indians, rising 500 feet above the Susquehanna River. Savor the best of the season from roadside farmer’s markets.
Time your visit to a fun fall happening. The Wyalusing Valley Wine Fest is September 10 from noon to five, rain or shine, on the grounds of the Wyalusing Valley Museum (www.wyalusingwinefestival.com) and is the perfect excuse to pull off the road and sample local wines. Grovedale, by the way, sells a red wine called Marquette, which is a pinot noir hybrid that is comfy in this cold climate. (It’s the vintner’s favorite, and lays claim to being the first 100 percent locally grown dry red wine in Northeastern Pennsylvania.) Or bring your inner artist to the Old Barn Rug Hooking Guild Hook-In on September 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tuscarora Wayne Community Room on Main Street in Wyalusing (Call  869-2630 for more information). Members of the guild will be hanging their creations and rug-hooking vendors will be on hand. Great gift idea!
This trip can also trigger a flood of memories of winter nights spent reside while family members created beautiful things with their hands. Spend some time in Wyalusing and you have an excellent chance of finding your favorite pattern in a quilt to take home as the ultimate souvenir of your travels. Visit www.wyalusing.net for a complete listing of local businesses.