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Appalachian Quilt Trails

Grantee: HandMade in America and Graham County Cooperative Extension

Amount Awarded: $49,350 + $3,455
Award Date: April, 2011

Two Blue Ridge National Heritage Area grants to HandMade in America in 2006 and 2007 helped kick-start the development of Appalachian Quilt Trails in Western North Carolina. HandMade in America worked with local communities to design and install over 100 quilt block paintings on barns and other structures first in Madison, Mitchell, Yancey, and Ashe Counties and then in Avery County.

Based on successful trail projects in rural Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky, the Quilt Trails in these North Carolina counties are helping to draw tourists to rural areas, educate the public on local quilting traditions and agricultural heritage, and provide entrepreneurial opportunities for local businesses, farmers, and artists. The initiative spun off a new nonprofit organization – Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina – which has been successful in further developing trails and expanding them to other counties.

The HandMade grants were in the amounts of $38,000 in 2006 and $11,350 in 2007.

More recently, a grant to the a $3,455 grant was awarded to Graham County Cooperative in April, 2011, to help that county jump-start their county wide Quilt Trail.