Mariners CompassBlock Number: 94
by Kathy Brendle
A tradition of quilting in the family inspired the latest addition to the McDowell County Quilt Trail. “Mariner’s Compass” now graces the home of Ray and
Barbara Watson of 695 Watson Road in Nebo. The quilt design was chosen
since Ray had been in the Navy, and because Barbara’s own mother was an avid
quilter. Barbara pointed out that you needed a quilter in the family if you wanted
to keep warm. She remembers her mother always being busy with her hands. For
example she made Barbara and her sisters each a “Cathedral Window” quilt. Barbara
said her mother often used the “Texas Star” pattern. Shown different patterns to choose from, she recognized the similarity of the Texas star to “Mariner’s Compass.”
She really liked the original colors of the Mariner’s pattern, which also influenced her
The block was an April birthday present from her daughters, Debi Wilkerson and Shannah Gorecki. Their husbands, Jamie Wilkerson and Jake Gorecki, are active in the Nebo Fire Department. Having seen the different quilt blocks around the county, Barbara had commented to the girls that she would like one of her own.
The girls honored their parents with “Mariner’s Compass” on Saturday, July 30.
The Watsons live on land that has been in Ray Watson’s family for a long time.
They would have preferred to have hung their quilt block on the barn, but since
it has burned, they chose to hang “Mariner’s Compass” on the house. The 4’ x 4’
block hangs diagonally on the home. The background of the star consists of
small points of green and brown. The next layer and larger points are two shades
of blue. The star itself is colored a deep pink on half of the star, a light pink on
the other half.
If you’re traveling Highway 70 East, you may want to swing down Watson
Road about a mile before the Burke County line and see a traditional quilt design
given as a birthday present.