ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers

Updated on October 12, 2018
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is a published author, freelance writer, and photographer. She also specializes in horses.

Conception to Reality

In central North Carolina nestled between hickory and oak forest, cow pastures, and small towns is a strong community of artists - visual, literary and musical - who have been quietly honing their crafts for many years. Some of those artists, members of Franklin county Arts Council, had the idea that with hard work and organization they could celebrate the talent, history, and culture of their region. The Quilt Trails of the Tar River was conceived. It has taken the efforts of many volunteers to bring the conception to reality. Marketing, construction, priming, drawing the design and painting them, and then installing the blocks are some of the tasks involved in creating the Quilt Trails of the Tar River.

The trail has grown from the first block painted and installed by Stephen Filarsky in 2011 to 67 blocks spanning seven counties in central and eastern North Carolina in 2018. The name has changed to Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers. The aim is to follow those rivers all the way to the coast.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Stephen Filarsky and Theresa Brown with 1st block
Stephen Filarsky and Theresa Brown with 1st block
Stephen Filarsky and Theresa Brown with 1st block

Quilt Trail Celebration

Franklin County Arts Council celebrates their Quilt Trail at historic old depot in Bunn, NC
Franklin County Arts Council celebrates their Quilt Trail at historic old depot in Bunn, NC | Source

Weldon Mill in Henderson, NC

Source

Origin of Quilt Trails Born in Ohio

The first quilt trail began when Donna Sue Groves of Ohio hung a quilt block on her barn in honor of her mother. From that single block quilt trails have spread to thirty states and to Canada. Western North Carolina boasts over two-hundred quilt blocks in six counties. The Quilt Trail of the Tar River is the first such trail in the central and eastern part of the state.

Volunteer Stephen Filarsky, who with his wife Theresa came up with the quilt trail idea, paints the design on one of the quilt blocks
Volunteer Stephen Filarsky, who with his wife Theresa came up with the quilt trail idea, paints the design on one of the quilt blocks

Growth and Local Support

Supported in part by a grant from the Franklin County Tourism Development Authority, the trail meanders along its route telling the story of the Tar and Roanoke River region block by block. The quilt trail helps tourists learn about this part of North Carolina's rich history and culture. Visitors to the area are finding the quilt trail a pleasant day trip, drawing them into a beautiful countryside of gently rolling tree-shaded roads through farmland, small picturesque towns and rural communities. It is only a short drive from the Triangle area which includes Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Many of the quilt blocks lead followers to small businesses like shops, galleries, inns, and restaurants as well as historical landmarks.

Sally Johnson from West Yarmouth, Massachusetts was drawn to to the Quilt Trail of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers through a Facebook friend, Jennifer Thomas, who has a block on her home in Henderson, North Carolina.

Ms. Johnson said, "We are both quilters and I came to the area in April because I was teaching a class with Debbie Lou Powell. I love the concept of how the area represents the heritage of our country. I love the old fashion country style and love how the buildings look with the quilt blocks displayed on them. If I lived in the area I would for sure have one on my home."

The quilt blocks are square, wooden blocks sold in 2 by 2, 4 by 4, and 8 by 8 sizes. They are painted with a single quilt block pattern. For an extra fee the quilt pattern can be painted directly onto a building. A history of the building is included on the brochure and on the FCAC website, adding to the experience of following the trail, which now reaches beyond the boundaries of Franklin County to Vance, Granville, Warren, Wake, Nash, Martin and Pitt counties. It just keeps on growing.

For More Information

Email equeen@fcacarts.org or go to FCACARTS.org and click on the Quilt Trail tab to learn more about the trail and see images of the quilt blocks.

You can also see images at Pinterest.com/franklincountya/


Quilt block on tobacco barn in Moratoc Park on the Roanoke River in Williamston, NC

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • DonnaCSmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Campbell Smith 

      3 years ago from Central North Carolina

      Blond Logic, it is still growing and bringing folks to our area. I think all are seeing the value in being part of the quilt trail.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      3 years ago from Brazil

      How interesting. I had never heard of this before. It sounds like a great way to keep a tradition alive and support local businesses.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)