The Quilt Trails began in Ohio and have since spread to 30 States. North Carolina being one of them. A Quilt Trail is a series of painted wood or metal, hanging or freestanding quilt squares. With over 200 quilt blocks, NC has the highest concentration of them anywhere in the USA. The Quilt Trails of the Tar River is a trail that is inclusive of the counties that border the Tar River.

I am lucky enough to live very close to several of these blocks. The blocks are hung on the outside of a building such as a barn, house or business. The patterns are chosen and are based on the history of the building or the family that is purchasing the block. There are thousands of patterns to choose from and each is unique!

A couple of weeks ago, The Husband and I set out for a couple of hours of exploration and managed to find 7 of them not too far from home.


This first one is called Card Trick and is located on the outside of the Franklin County Arts Council building in Louisburg, North Carolina.



Carpenter’s Wheel is found on the Porch Building also located in Louisburg. The Porch Building was built in WW2 by African-American Veterans for the purpose of providing a place for the men to learn job skills with vocational training. The building outgrew that purpose and was then used as a traditional all-black elementary school from 1951 to 1959.



The Women’s Club in Youngsville, North Carolina is home to this wonderful square called Step to the Alter.  Aptly named because the building that bears this square is the oldest church building in town (127 years old). The Youngsville Women’s Club restored the lovely old church into a museum reflecting the history of Youngsville and the surrounding community.



Wheel of Fortune is the name of this block and it looks terrific against the red brick of the Old Bank Building in Franklinton.  Built in 1901 the quilt square adorns the side of the building and seems to fit effortlessly into the architecture. The building was used as a bank until 1975 and was then taken over by the local school district.



Honey Bee-Run of the Mill Bed and Breakfast overlooks Weldon’s Mill in Vance County, North Carolina.We found 3 quilt blocks in this area. The first one is on the old grist mill. I love it against the old boards of the structure. Built in the 1700′s it still stands on a high stone foundation over looking the water.



The second quilt block in this group is on the big white house that is the bed and breakfast portion of this grouping.



And the final one in this trio is on the Bees Knees Country Store.


This is a fairly new addition and the name and historical information about this square I was unable to find at the time of this post.


4 Responses to Quilt Trails of Tar River | Out and About

  1. Amy says:

    I’ve never heard of the Quilt Trail. Fascinating piece of Americana. Now if I ever see one, I’ll know what it is!

  2. Denise @BeBetsy says:

    How wonderful! I am not familiar with that term or the story. I always learn something new from you. Our older sister has made many fantastic quilts and she will surely love to see this post. We just love you sharing your Out and About posts. Thanks so much ~

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