County joins the Appalachian Quilt Trail

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By Jennifer Caldwell


Curious blocks of color are popping up in obscure places around the county. 

And while these patterns may seem to appear at random there is a definite method to the madness.

These strategically placed eight foot square patches of color will put Campbell County on the map as a part of the Appalachian Quilt Trail.

For more than a year members of the Campbell County Artist’s Association have worked diligently to develop a plan, secure funding and construct and paint selected Heritage quilt patterns on the squares that will adorn five barns and buildings across the county.

Karen Cumorich, CCAA president, said the driving force behind the project was the desire of association members to attract more tourism to the scenic area.

“There is a great deal to see and do here and being part of the quilt trail will help visitors discover some of those things,” Cumorich said.

Unlike similar endeavors, funding for the quilt trail project was never an issue.

“We had the funding secured before we were even ready to begin,” Cumorich said of the $2,500 provided by the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce.

With money to spend a committee, made up of Sharon Steiner, Jocelyn Griffo and Cumorich, was organized to scour the county for great locations to place the artwork.

Sally Newhall, quilt trail committee chair, said locating the perfect spot for the quilt blocks was somewhat challenging.

“They (the squares) need to be relatively accessible from the road so they can be seen as people pass by,” Newhall said of the criteria for location choice.

Decisions on design for each of the five squares were also an integral part of the process.

Newhall along with Griffo, Fran Painter, Terry Chaniott and Marie Wentland collaborated to determine the patterns that would become part of the county’s landscape.

“The group tried to choose patterns that were indicative of the area,” Cumorich said of the selection process.

After patterns were selected artist association members set about painting them on the blocks.

Campbell County High School art students also contributed to the project by completing the color wheel pattern on one of the squares.

The AQT spans from East Tennessee all the way to the Cumberland Plateau. 

With several surrounding counties actively participating in the quilt trail, the addition of Campbell County will provide another unique link in the chain that affords travelers the opportunity to get off the beaten path and enjoy the charm of these areas.

On Tuesday artist association members saw the culmination of their labor with the hanging of the first block at Owens’ Shoe Store in Caryville where John Cumorich, Bob Newhall and Don Painter spent the morning mounting the honeybee pattern.

Over the course of the next two weeks Karen Cumorich and Sally Newhall anticipate the placement of the other four blocks which will be located at the Harris barn in Speedwell, Tommy Thompson’s barn in Pioneer, Dennis Potter’s barn in Elk Valley and Freeman Park in LaFollette.

For more information about the AQT visit www.vacationaqt.com.