Glory BeBlock Number: 36
Terry Wilson contributed to this article.
In days and nights of past years, one of the common features of mountain homes was a collection of handmade quilts. Each house in town, and cabin in the hills, had a group of handmade quilts they called their own. These quilts, often artistic in nature, served the simple purpose of providing a barrier to the chill of a cold winter’s night. With the introduction of central heating in local building practices, these quilts were often relegated to a space in a back closet to be used only in power outages.
Recently, a group of artisans across the nation has revived interest in the art of quilting by creating and displaying wooden ‘quilt blocks’ on homes, public buildings, and even farm buildings. These blocks serve as an artistic reminder of a time gone by, a time lost, but not forgotten.
Monday afternoon, June 7, travelers along East Main Street in Old Fort saw several folks gathered on the front lawn at the home of Sue Gibbs. These folks were there to help celebrate the hanging of the 36th quilt block installed by the McDowell Quilt Trail. The quilt block features a flag theme and is appropriately named “Glory Be.”
Sue Gibbs stated that she chose the “Glory Be” pattern because she feels, ”You can’t be patriotic enough.” Her love of the American flag décor is obvious in other hangings and decorations in her yard, all of which feature an American flag theme.
The flag hanging on Sue’s front porch is the product of approximately 25 hours of work, featuring the talents of Mike Lucas, builder, and Kathy Brendle, painter. Mrs. Brendle stated that this quilt block would have a lifespan of 8-10 years.
Kathy took time to explain the ‘process’ for purchasing a quilt block for display on an individual’s property. The first step is to contact the McDowell Arts Council Association (MACA) and request an application, or download one from the McDowell Quilt Trail website. Members of the quilt trail committee can offer assistance with either selecting an existing design for a quilt block or creating an original design. Once the design is selected/created, the construction process begins. The quilt block is usually ready for hanging within 30 days.