Foothills FarmingBlock Number: 22
By Nora Worthen
On February 27, 2010, members of the committee met at Farm Bureau along with James Nations, President of McDowell Farm Bureau, and his wife Susan. Others present to help install "Foothills Farming" were Wayne Miller, Vice President and Eddie Bingham, member of the Farm Bureau board of directors. James received permission from the board of directors to install a block on the north-facing end of the Farm Bureau Building, located at 21 Buncombe St., Marion, NC. James, speaking of the quilt trail project says, "I feel like this project is beautifying our country, and will eventually draw more tourism into the county."
Mike Lucas, Heather Cotton, and Janet Williams initially met with James to help him decide on a custom design. James says, “We wanted something that would reflect the agricultural industry here in McDowell County because that’s what Farm Bureau is all about. We are a volunteer organization and support and help promote an awareness, through education, about agriculture and its changes.” According to Nations, Farm Bureau began in 1936 with a group of farmers who came together to help market their products. Susan is involved with the Women’s Committee, which provides agricultural education in the classroom, and also teaches personal development in these low economic times on how to keep the family strong.
"Foothills Farming," block No. 22, depicts a mountain farm setting with a red barn, which has its own quilt block, and of course, a tractor. These custom designed block patterns can be made into a quilt using the applique method. Applique is one form of quilt making, which goes back to the eighteenth century, a technique of cutting entire motifs from printed fabric, then sewing them on a plain fabric background. Contemporary quilters continue this tradition, adding their own twists or designing their own patterns.