Margies CarnationBlock Number: 174
McDowell Quilt Trail
“MARGIE’S CARNATION” JOINS MCDOWELL QUILT TRAIL
Mike and Marie Hobbs of the Glenwood community are the hosts of the newest block on the McDowell Quilt Trail. The block is in memory and honor of John’s mother Margie Hobbs who loved nature, gardening and all outdoors. She was also a prolific quilter and the pattern of the block is reminiscent of one she had once sewn and assembled.
“Margie’s Carnation” was installed on the very small original wooden plank home built back in the late 1930’s by John’s parents, Margie and John Hobbs, both natives of McDowell County. In the 1950’s the re-routing of Highway 221 seized a part of the property the home was located on and it was subsequently pulled up from its original site and moved to a nearby location.
The outhouse no longer exists, although several other weathered outbuildings still stand. The original well remains visible, however it is no longer used as it once was by dropping a rope and bucket down to haul the water back up.
For over seventy-five years the 25 acre property has remained in the family boasting a wide array of gardens, fruit trees and farm animals. They basically had everything they needed to provide food for the table, including hogs, chickens and cattle.
Mike remembers coming off the bus from Glenwood Elementary School and heading up the hill home to “help” with the lap frame quilting projects. His grandmother, also an avid quilter, lived nearby on the family farm and he has extra fond memories of sampling” fried apple pies and potato candy” two favorite sweets “back in the day”. Through the years the original home eventually became just an empty out-building on the farm as a newer home was built in the 1960’s.
Having moved away to another area of North Carolina, Mike and Marie recently moved back to the newer home and have been diligently remodeling to bring it up to date. It was Mike’s intention to dismantle and demolish the old original home however his brother-in-law and sister, Larry and Karen Chapman of Morganton, N.C. talked him out of it. They insisted it should be restored and renovated to preserve the family and area history.
With the valued assistance of his brother-in law Larry, they re-roofed the home using the original tin, which he says amazingly evidently “had the perfect pitch, as there weren’t any leaks even where sunlight could be seen, because the water flowed off so fast”. The original door was retained and inside faded, peeling wallpaper from the past is noticeable.
There is still more work to be done to preserve the small old home and future plans are to continue the gardens and raise Black Angus cattle and honey bees on the farm acreage. A sign “Wisteria Farm” will be placed roadside in acknowledgement of the abundant vines on the property known for their fragrant lavender blooms and aggressive ability to take over everything.
When the Hobbs moved back to McDowell County they first noticed the England’s barn block just down the road from them, “To Everything There Is A Season”, which also had to be moved for construction of Highway 221. Seeing other blocks around town including “Foothills Farming” at the Farm Bureau, Mike inquired about them there. He was lead to contact McDowell Arts Council Association and subsequently the McDowell Quilt Trail volunteers.
Having made the decision to preserve his parent’s old home, it only seemed appropriate to place a block in his mother’s name on it. Mike chose a pattern that reminded him of one of her quilts, and decided to name it “Margie’s Carnation”.
Carnations, Dianthus Caryophyllus being the scientific name, are considered one of the world’s oldest cultured flower and its history dates back more than 2000 years. There are more than 300 varieties grown in dozens of colors, its Latin name “dianthus” translates to “flower of love”. Christians believe that the first carnation bloomed on earth when Virgin Mary wept for Jesus as he carried his cross, making it the symbol of a mother’s undying love. Subsequently, the carnation is the customary flower given on Mother’s Day.
Mike’s parents, Margie and John were married on Valentine’s Day and February 14th was to have been the installation date of the block. The weather however, did not cooperate and it was subsequently mounted on the home Saturday February 28, 2015 by volunteers Mike Lucas, Jack Raker and Jean Perusse. The Certificate of Authenticity was presented to Hobbs by Jill Lucas. “Margie’s Carnation”, #174 on the Trail, is a four foot by four foot block positioned on the diagonal and may be best viewed going north at 7575 Highway 221.
For information on procuring a quilt block and join the McDowell Quilt Trail contact Mike Lucas at 828-443-6476 or visit www.mcdowellquilttrail.org. There are hundreds of patterns to choose from or you may design one of your own to relate your own special story. A Lake James water trail exists on several docks and there are grants available for the Rural Heritage Trail.