Pinwheel MagicBlock Number: 79
By Nora Worthen
The waters of Lake James draw folks to its shores and campgrounds. One such couple come often to relax in their cabin at Bear Cliff Campground, enjoy Lake James, and visit Western North Carolina. While touring through the mountains, they began to notice the beautiful quilt blocks on barns and other buildings, and soon discovered that McDowell County has its own quilt trail.
Buddy and Sherry Knotts decided they had the perfect spot on their cabin for one of the McDowell Quilt Trail blocks. After making inquiries, they got in touch with Mike and Jill Lucas, who ushered them through the entire process from selecting a quilt pattern, to choosing colors, to installation. And then came the interview in which they tell their story.
Sherry was born and raised in Charlotte, married Buddy in 1970, and they moved to Florida two years later where they made their home for 21 years. She began her banking career at Wachovia, and is now employed by First Citizens Bank in Charlotte. When asked about his background, Buddy says with a grin, “I’m just a street bum from Myrtle Beach, born and raised.” But there’s more to it than that.
Buddy owns Helivision, a company based in Concord, NC that specializes in commercial aerial filming. Heliventures is a branch of the business devoted to helicopter pilot training, which their son Kevin runs. From a tour of duty for the U.S. Army in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot to filming live television broadcasts for NASCAR for which he has earned four Emmy awards, Buddy has made a career doing what he loves. Choosing a quilt pattern proved to be a bit more challenging.
The Knotts set criteria for their block: Sherry wanted a star; Buddy wanted something symbolic of helicopters. However, with over 4,000 quilt patterns from which to choose, this task was a bit overwhelming - how to find a pattern with their criteria.
Mike Lucas loves a challenge and using his computer, they began the search. After several appointments with Mike and exchanging emails with jpg files attached, they ran across “Angled Arrows,” an original nine-patch quilt pattern, which included a star and four pinwheels, symbolizing the rotor blades on a helicopter. Buddy says, “We thought we were home free. But we weren’t, because coloring it was a whole ‘nother animal.” They chose colors that would stand out, but yet pull in the environment – the mountains, the sun, and the greenery.