March 14, 2023
Businesses interested in joining the Haywood County Quilt Trail can get a custom quilt block designed to display on their building.
The Haywood County Arts Council is looking for 11 businesses who would like to be part of the quilt trail, a self-guided tour of more than three dozen colorful quilt blocks on display across Haywood County — providing a symbol of comfort, family, heritage and community.
The design and installation of the new quilt blocks is partly funded by a grant from the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. Businesses or building owners contribute 50% of the cost of for creating the blocks, at a cost of $150.
“We are a community-driven brand and we empower our clients to do the same,” said Lorelei Garnes, owner of Digital Buzz Media, who recently added a quilt block to her business in downtown Waynesville. “A quilt block is a great way to support our local nonprofits and to get our company on the quilt block maps.”
During the last two years, the arts councils has worked to better organize, brand and market the Quilt Trails program.
“A second phase of that effort is to increase the number of quilt blocks in Haywood County that are connected to small local businesses to help drive tourism to business districts and stimulate the local Haywood County economy,” said Morgan Beryl, HCAC Executive Director.
Each quilt block tells a story of Haywood County’s cultural and natural heritage, paying homage to the sense of place where it’s installed. For example, a quilt block on the old Imperial Hotel in downtown Canton, home to Southern Porch Restaurant, incorporates bay leaves as a symbol of cooking, a compass as a symbol of welcoming visitors and borrows colors from the town of Canton flag.
“Since acquiring the block it became an eye-catching part of the building’s appearance on Main Street, and being in downtown Canton, it makes our downtown part of the successful quilt block trail,” said building owner Pat Smathers.
How it works: All the blocks will be included in the self-guided tour at www.haywoodquilttrails.com. Criteria includes:
• Must be located in Maggie Valley, Clyde, Canton Waynesville.
• The business or building owner must contribute $150 toward the creation of the quilt block, plus handle the installation.
• The business or building owner must be a Haywood County resident.
• If the building owner is not the applicant, the business owner must have a letter of support from the building owner.
Selected businesses will work with the arts council on design ideas for the 32″ x 32″ quilt block. The design cannot incorporate a business’ logo but can reflect the business’ industry.
The design process can take about a month, and painting can take about two months. The quilt blocks are painted by volunteers at the Quilt Block Studio, in space donated by Folkmoot. Business representatives are welcome to help paint their own block.
Quilt blocks are expected to be complete and hung by mid-summer 2023. Eligible businesses will be chosen on a first come first serve basis based on zip code.
The deadline to apply is March 22. Learn more at www.haywoodarts.org/quilt-trail-business-program.