A lion to watch over you – from a slightly different spot

Quilt square on Judy Lewallen’s barn in Alderson
Quilt square on Judy Lewallen’s barn in Alderson

Recognizing that the Lion Quilt Square was a bit hard to see on the side of the Renaissance Building in Alderson, it was moved to the front corner of the building on Friday, Aug. 8. Bowyer’s Tree Trimming and Stump Grinding Service once again provided the bucket truck and the labor.

Now the lion can be more easily seen. Many Alderson citizens and others have commented positively about the lion. The quilt square was painted by Connie Atkins of Pickaway Pickin’s in Pickaway. She used a base quilt pattern called “Chantilly Lace” and added the lion face to the center, somewhat reminiscent of the old “Chantilly Lace”  rock and roll song written by Jerry Foster, Bill Rice, and The Big Bopper, who released the song in 1958.

According to Wikipedia, “The song depicts one side of a flirting telephone conversation, with a young man talking about what he likes about his girlfriend, including:

Chantilly lace and a pretty face

And a pony tail hangin’ down

A wiggle in the walk and a giggle in the talk

Make the world go ‘round.”

What Alderson now has is “Chantilly lace and a lion face”! The quilt square is just one example of the custom work done by Atkins. She starts out with ¾ inch plywood and applies three base coats of paint. Just like making a sewn quilt square, the design requires a lot of measuring and very precise painting. She finishes off the square with two top coats of polyurethane and Perry McDowell constructs a small frame.

She has created many quilt squares in Monroe and Greenbrier Counties. Atkins said, “I started painting the quilt squares because my mother-in-law wanted one for her birthday. That one, ‘Kari’s Star,’ is probably still my favorite. It is hanging on a barn on Rt. 3 in Monroe County.”  Another hangs on Judy Lewallen’s barn in Alderson.

Atkins has been painting the quilt squares for a year and a half and can be reached at her shop next to Avery Atkins Farm Equipment at the intersection of Rt. 219 and Hillsdale Road in Pickaway. Her phone numbers are 304-772-4081 or 305-646-8111. Prices for a custom quilt square start around $250.