February 27, 2020

Community Barn Quilt Project is taking shape

By MICAH HENRY

Work is underway to bring a colorful new addition to downtown Taylorsville: a barn quilt wall.

The Community Barn Quilt Project Coordinator Jack Simms, who is also a newly elected Taylorsville Town Commissioner, explained that the wooden squares, painted in quilt patterns, will soon decorate downtown on the eastern wall of the Alexander County Services Center (former Community One Bank). This wall faces the Alexander County Courthouse green, which will also be under development soon.

The first portion of the project placed four barn quilts on the Town Park building next to Taylorsville Town Hall.

Simms explained that the plan is to bring the community together in this project, which he credited to Taylorsville resident Reita Bryant. She doesn’t take credit for the idea, and references a similar barn quilt wall completed last year in Rowan County’s Mt. Ulla community.

Schools, fire departments, businesses, churches, individuals, and other groups are invited to participate in the project. Simms and artist Carol Mitchell explained that it is important to have all the barn quilts painted on boards of the same size (2×2 feet) and thickness. However, a larger focal quilt piece will be central to the wall, which incorporates the name “Taylorsville” and has a compass rose-like pattern with mileage figures to destinations within the Alexander and to major cities beyond the county borders.

This 4×4 foot square will be a central focal piece on the Community Barn Quilt Wall.

Simms further explained that he hopes each participant will have two identical quilt squares made: one for the wall and the second to place on their home, business, or other facility, so visitors can remember the single square and connect the entity with the downtown quilt.

This would further prove to be a conversation piece, when a person asks the homeowner, business owner, church, or school about the single quilt square — one could then explain about the large wall downtown and suggest the visitor view the entire Community Barn Quilt.

“It’s a win-win opportunity for the Town and the County to be involved in a common goal, a project that would interest visitors. It would be another draw to this area when the Courthouse Park project is completed,” Simms related.

A music stage, walking path, and other items have been discussed for the Courthouse Park, which is currently a grassed area. The plans are likely to be presented at a future County Commissioners’ meeting.

“We wanted to have something to come to town to see,” Bryant stated.

A barn quilt class is planned March 7 at the Hiddenite Arts and Heritage Center. Contact the Center at 828-632-6966 for more information.

PAINTING BARN QUILTS FOR DOWNTOWN TAYLORSVILLE — Above, members of the Brushy Mountain Quilters’ Guild paint wooden squares for the Community Barn Quilt Project, which will be placed in downtown Taylorsville on the eastern wall of the Alexander County Services Center. The group instructor is artist Carol Mitchell. Pictured above, left to right: Carol Mitchell, Reita Bryant, Micki Earp, Sue Vorndran, Carol Matheson, and Selena Harrington. Community participation is welcome; for more information, call project coordinator Jack Simms at 828-312-2575.

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