In a dozen communities throughout six counties in the mountains just outside of Asheville, NC, where Lark Crafts is based, you’ll find barns, country stores, churches, libraries, and other buildings decorated with bright and captivating painted quilt blocks.
The 140 homespun art installations, created by 250 volunteers who paint the squares and record their stories, make up the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina. Driving trails like this one exist in approximately 24 different states throughout the country. A part of the heritage tourism movement, they weave through scenic countryside and often past each region’s best farm stands, galleries, restaurants, and historic attractions.
Each painted block featured on the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina is designed to help tell the story of the land and the building it decorates and of the people in the community. Each of those squares is a history repository, says Barbara Webster, the program’s executive director. I like to think of the blocks as mirrors of who we are.
What a beautiful reason for a slow-and-winding road trip this summer. Ever driven a quilt trail, or have one in your area you’ve been meaning to check out? Chime in here and tell us all about it.