Delectable MountainsBlock Number: 33
McDowell Quilt Trail’s purpose is to bring beauty, tourism, and economic development to McDowell County, while showcasing quilt patterns on hand-painted exterior wooden panels. These quilt block patterns represent mountain culture and history. As with the hand-made quilts, each blocks has a story to tell. Sometimes the story is about a person, or a place, or an historical location. The following story, written by Martha McCauley, is about the quilt block, “Delectable Mountain, that is dedicated to her mother.
“When I decided to have a quilt block made for our cabin at the lake, I called my sisters and told them I wanted the quilt to be in memory of our mother, who passed away in 2000. They were thrilled, and so my husband and I began what would become a wonderful and meaningful experience.
“Mom was a native Floridian, who loved the North Carolina mountains. When we were younger, we would vacation in Maggie Valley every summer. Eventually, as her children became adults, Mom decided to buy some land in Linville at Land Harbor and build a small summer home. She would drive to North Carolina in April and return to Florida in October.
“While she was at her Linville home, she became interested in quilting. She was probably about 60 years old and had never quilted before, but that did not deter her. She loved learning new things, so she bought a quilting book and a quilting frame, and with some help from friends, she proceeded to make quilts. Thus began a new adventure in her life.
“She made quilts for all her children, and then her grandchildren, using patterns from this quilting book. She would take pictures of the finished quilts and put them in her book. Each pattern she used, she would put the name of the person she was making it for beside that specific pattern. She taught me how to quilt, so when she became ill and could no longer quilt, she gave me her quilting book and frame.
“When I decided to do a quilt block, I went straight to her quilting book to look for a pattern that would have significant meaning. So many memories came rushing back to me as I looked at pictures and saw her handwriting beside so many patterns. I finally came across a pattern that had no one’s name beside it, but she had calculated how many squares and triangles she would need to complete the pattern. I knew right away that this pattern was probably the next one she intended to use for a quilt, but had not started it because of her illness. When I looked at the name of the pattern, it only confirmed that this was the pattern to use, since it was titled “Delectable Mountains.”
“With a lump in my throat, and goose bumps on my arms, I chose this pattern for our quilt block. It is now hanging proudly and lovingly at our cabin. Every time I pass by it, it brings back memories of a loving mother, who was cherished by her children. What better way to preserve her memory than becoming a member of the McDowell Quilt Trail?”
“Delectable Mountains” is a 3x3 block, No 33 on the quilt trail, installed on May 13, 2010, and can be found Cabin No. 1 on Bear Cliff Drive in Nebo, NC.
As told to Nora Worthen by Martha McCauley