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Quilt Trail Grows to 17 Blocks

A new quilt block with striking yellow features on a turquoise background was installed recently in Mountain View, bringing to 17 the number of quilt blocks on the Stone County Quilt Trail.

The painted quilt block is located at The Mountain View Meeting Place, a red building behind the Wildflower Bed & Breakfast on the northeast corner of the square. The property has been owned since 2015 by Chris and Shelley Smith who collaborated with local barn quilt artist Glenda Osten on the quilt design. Osten spent countless hours constructing, then painting and perfecting the design elements on the piece. It is her fifth barn quilt painting, all in Stone County.

With Osten’s assistance in researching, the Smiths chose the Dresden Plate pattern which is alternately known as Grandmother’s Sunburst and Sunflower. The pattern originated during the 1920s and 1930s, and quilts of this pattern were a source of hope and light during the depression in the 1930s.

Osten said, “In Great-Grandmother’s time, women would piece together this pattern using small scraps of fabric to create each petal, then handstitched them together to form the flower. At some point, they would all meet in one family’s home to hand appliqué all the flowers they made onto what will become an heirloom quilt to be given to one of the families.”

Owner Shelley Smith reflected, “This was the perfect pattern to be displayed on the Mountain View Meeting Place barn.” The Meeting Place is a new venue designed as a place for friends to come together for a variety of reasons: showers, parties, contra dances, to play and listen to music, or work on crafts. She added, “This is much the same as the ladies who would meet together to finish their quilts in a good old-fashioned quilting bee.”

The flower names are also fitting as the building is located next to and owned by the Wildflower Bed & Breakfast, and the quilt itself hangs above a lovely flower bed that includes brown-eyed Susans which the quilt pattern resembles.

The Wildflower Bed & Breakfast, known originally as the Commercial Hotel, will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2018, and the Smiths have in mind another barn quilt on the side of the building, facing the parking lot that will be chosen to commemorate the history of the old hotel.

The Stone County Quilt Trail is the inaugural trail of Arkansas Quilt Trails. The website ArkansasQuiltTrails.com features the quilt blocks, the addresses to find the blocks, and the stories behind each one. Searcy County will be the next county to launch its quilt trail with an expected debut by the end of the year. Each county will have its own county trail on the website when a minimum of 12 quilt blocks have been installed.

Arkansas Quilt Trails is a project of Rural Community Alliance, a nonprofit organization that promotes rural schools and communities. Contact Renee Carr at 870-615-2195 or carr@thenewrural.org for more information on adding a quilt block to the Stone County Trail or for information on starting a trail in another county. Brochures featuring the Stone County Quilt Trail are available at the Chamber of Commerce on the square.

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