New Star Of North CarolinaBlock Number: 20
By Nora Worthen
The "New Star of North Carolina" is now shining over Bruce’s Fabulous Foods on Main Street in Marion. Bruce and Barbara Brown are the hosts of the 20th quilt block that the McDowell Quilt Trail installed on Tuesday morning, January 26, 2010.
Mike Lucas, with the assistance of Richard Turner and three committee members, Jill Lucas, Janet Williams, and Nora Worthen, braved the cold wind on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny day to install the quilt block on the awning over the front door of the eating establishment. The committee received words of encouragement and smiles as folks walked by observing the progress.
The McDowell Quilt Trail is an art project operating under the umbrella of the McDowell Arts Council Association (MACA) to bring splashes of color to otherwise plain and unadorned buildings in an effort to beautify the city and county, and tell a story. The placement of quilt blocks on buildings is also a way to honor and preserve the mountain heritage of quilt making when quilts were made for utilitarian purposes as opposed to being an art form or craft.
Bruce Brown learned the art of quilt making when he moved to North Carolina in 1991 to begin his new job in McDowell County. Barbara remained behind to finish up her job and handle final arrangements for selling their house, and Bruce says, “During that time, I got to the point where I was bored at night, so my mother-in-law and two of my wife’s aunts taught me to quilt.” As a result, he has six quilts to his credit, with most of them going back to family members in Ohio that year for Christmas.