The Western North Carolina Quilt Trails organization reached a landmark milestone recently with the installation of its 200th quilt block on the front of Mitchell High School.
The block was designed and constructed by Mitchell High School students and pays tribute to the historic Little Poplar Schoolhouse on campus. It joins the Bakersville Quilt Trail, one of nine trails showcasing clusters of the 200 quilt blocks in various regions of Mitchell and Yancey Counties.
There are quilt trail programs in several other counties in the region, including Ashe, Avery, Madison, Macon, McDowell, Haywood, Watauga, Wilkes and in the Yadkin Valley. These are part of a larger system of quilt trails that started in Ohio and now have found their way into 33 states.
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area helped support the beginning of the Quilt Trails in Western North Carolna with two grants to HandMade in America, which in turn helped Arts Councils in several counties get the program going. In addition, the BRNHA recently awarded a grant to the Graham County Cooperative Extension to institute a quilt trails program.