The latest addition to the Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council’s area Quilt Trail was unveiled at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center last week.
Each quilt pattern on the Quilt Trail is selected from a treasured family quilt that has a special connection to a barn or historic place in the area.
With Jonesborough being the storytelling capital of the world, Visitors Center staff wanted to make sure the quilt pattern chosen had a great story associated with it, Jonesborough director of tourism Alicia Phelps said.
The large white square features four floral designs that were taken from a quilt on display in the Visitors Center. The quilt, provided by the Heritage Alliance of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee, was made by a group of Jonesborough women in 1860 as a gift to a local businessman.
Phelps said the quilt’s pattern will be included on a new walking trail that will feature several quilt patterns in downtown Jonesborough.
“This will be the official kickoff for the walking quilt trail in historic Jonesborough in the downtown area, so that’s pretty neat. We’re excited to see that happen,” Phelps said.
The area Quilt Trail features 83 quilt patterns in six counties across Northeast Tennessee.
Appalachian RC&D Council member Lynice Broyles said the trail has given a major boost to tourism since the project began.
“It’s brought lots of people in to tour the area and with our maps that are located in visitors centers and other strategic places, they can find the locations of all of them,” she said.
On Oct. 1, a special open-house event will be held that will give people a chance to tour a number of the Quilt Trail locations.
In addition to the unveiling of the center’s quilt square, the East Tennessee Foundation awarded the Appalachian RC&D with a $2,500 grant as part of the foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration. In July, the foundation began to award 25 $2,500 grants to various nonprofit organizations throughout the region in recognition of the anniversary.
Broyles said the foundation has been a strong supporter of the Quilt Trail and many of the other projects the council has established.
The grant will be used to advance the trail, as well as to begin work on several different walking trails in downtown Jonesborough, Elizabethton and Mountain City.
For more information on the Quilt Trail, including a guide to locations, visit www.quilttrail.org.