Trace colorful quilt patterns along scenic country roads
Quilt patterns with names like “Snail’s Trail,” “Lone Start” or “Wedding Ring” have often reflected autobiographical events and fanciful memories. In the same way, quilt “blocks” mounted to barns and buildings, painted on wood, can become a short hand for the art of community and shared values.
The Haywood County Quilt Trails Project, launched by the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority in 2009, invites curious visitors and friends to search out this “thread of signature pieces” along scenic roads across the county’s backcountry and rural lands. Each block, up to eight feet across, can be seen from the roadway.
Blocks along the Quilt Trail identify historic sites that include the Shelton House, Boone Orchard Apple House and the Shook Smathers House. The “Little Red Schoolhouse” block immortalizes the original location of the Pigeon Valley Academy and a block entitled “Open Door” commemorates the Bank of Clyde, the only financial institution in Haywood County to remain solvent and keep its doors open during the Great Depression.
Each community story represented by these blocks is described on the Quilt Trail website. A fold-out map, available at the Haywood County Visitor Center or accessible by download, includes all 48 quilt blocks in the county (including Waynesville, Canton, Clyde, Maggie Valley and Balsam). Each is shown with address and GPS coordinates.