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History, heritage on display at bed-turning

Different pieces of history and heritage are stitched together with multi-colored patterns and stories to tell.
Fabrics were on display on Wednesday, July 22, at Farmhouse Gallery & Gardens during a bed-turning event that showcased different pieces of the popular Quilt Trail from across the region. The event was held in conjunction with a three-day Quilt Fest across the state that was sponsored by Tennessee Quilts.
“This is an informal storytelling performance,” said Emily Bidgood of the Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council. “This is an event that a lot of people know about and do when you’re in the quilt world because it is a way to talk about quilts.
“Every quilt has a story. This day is special because this is a bed-turning to benefit the Quilt Trail. It is for the Quilt Trail by the Quilt Trail; the pieces here are the quilts behind the quilt barns.”
Unicoi County is home to six of the quilt barns across the state, including Farmhouse Gallery & Gardens, Double D Roost, Love Farm, Murphy Barn, Scott Strawberry & Tomato Farm and the Unicoi County Heritage Museum.
“If you’re driving across the region you can see the quilt barns,” Bidgood said. “We have 120 sites on the Quilt Trail. Those quilt murals you see are inspired by real quilts. We have some of those quilts here today and people are sharing the story of each quilt.
“The Quilt Trail is a non-profit endeavor. People are out today to support what the Quilt Trail stands for, which is strengthening our rural economy, supporting local farms and celebrating special Appalachian arts and handicrafts.”
The events caught the eye of different enthusiasts from across the area, including Jan Crowder, of Johnson City, and her mother, Virginia, from Nashville.
Inside the complex at Farmhouse Gallery, different individuals took center stage. Among those from the area was Carolyn Bailey, who showcased different quilts at a family member’s residence.
“A lot of people have their own quilt collections at home,” Bidgood said. “For many, many years, these pieces have been undervalued. Now, we have this renaissance for handmade items and local goods. We’re much more proud to be from the Appalachian area now than before and it is an important time to support local history and heritage.”
If an individual was unable to make it to this year’s event, Bidgood said another bed-turning will be on the way for 2016.
“We are going to another bed-turning event next year,” she said.
Visit quiltrail.org for more information on the Quilt Trail and for feature events coming in the near future.