Quilt Block Trails of North Carolina
Just when you thought life couldn’t get much sweeter than a scenic drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains, something pretty spectacular catches your eye along the main highways and country roads in the mountain towns in North Carolina. First you notice them on the sides of the barns along your route. Then you see them hanging proudly on schools and shops. And soon you realize there are dozens of structures along the picturesque pathways that are beautifully adorned with these brightly painted quilt blocks, each with their own designs and their own unique stories to tell. Welcome to the Quilt Trails of North Carolina, the largest Quilt Trail in the United States.
The collection of colorful mural squares that embellish buildings along this trail are painted to look like quilt patterns and serve as a reminder of cozy wintertime quilting events that brought early Appalachian communities together and preserved their rich heritage through textile art that celebrates life in NC mountain communities. Each quilt block has its own unique pattern, design, and color scheme that connects it to the land, building, business, or family showcasing it.
The idea of quilt trails was originated in 2001 by Ohio’s Donna Sue Groves, who wanted to honor her beloved mother, Maxine, a celebrated quilter, and her Appalachian heritage, by displaying a beautiful quilt-patterned block on her barn. This simple act of love inspired Groves’ neighbors to join in, and the practice spread from county to county, state to state, and soon a cross-country community was born. Since 2001, quilt trails have sprung up in 40 states across the United States and Canada.
The largest span of painted quilt blocks can be found in the western mountain towns in North Carolina, where hundreds of participating families, businesses and organizations extend across six counties that make up the WNC Quilt Block Trail, with the highest concentration of blocks located in Yancey and Mitchell Counties.
Managed by the Burnsville-based non-profit, Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina, the project publishes driving maps for all the trail routes and provides printed Tour Guides with information about each of the blocks on display and the stories they convey. As Barbara Webster, Executive Director of Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina says, following these maps and guides to find each of the quilt blocks is “like an Easter egg hunt.” Trail visitors have fun going out on the mountain roads and finding their way around, guided by the colorful quilt blocks that brighten the trails.
One of the most popular stops along the famous quilt trail is the award-winning sundial quilt in downtown Burnsville, NC, which was installed on March 19, 2010 in observance of the 100-year anniversary of standard time zones, which went into effect on March 19, 1910. This commemorative quilt block is known as “the largest vertical sundial in North Carolina and the only quilt block sundial in the world,” and it actually displays the local solar time for both Eastern Standard Time and Eastern Daylight Time. This must-see attraction is displayed on the side of the Yancey Common Times Journal building just off the town square in Burnsville.
With more than 30 quilt blocks in downtown Burnsville alone, there’s plenty here to fill an entire day of quilt finding while learning each of the stories their unique designs tell. But with so many more to see along the lovely Appalachian drive, trail followers will want to branch out and enjoy the quilt trails that wind through the beautiful mountain towns in North Carolina. There are nine distinct driving routes throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains that lead to a variety of barn quilts along the WNC Quilt Block Trail. And the trail is growing every day as more and more families, businesses, and other notable landmarks add quilt blocks to their own buildings and barns.
On May 17, The Coves Mountain River Club joined in on the tradition by hanging two commissioned quilt blocks on the Round Mountain Ranch barn. Using colors and patterns to beautifully blend images of majestic mountains with free-flowing river waters, the design evokes all the natural wonder and charm of The Coves. The quilt blocks are named ‘Windows to Heaven’. Nature lovers know a home that offers both mountain and river views is an exceptional find. That’s why The Coves didn’t have to think twice when deciding on quilt block designs that represents that rare and wonderful mountain-river combination.
Now imagine yourself enjoying it daily from your custom-built rustic mountain home with a spacious open floor plan on a private lot adorned by lush mountain foliage. Or better yet, come see for yourself why life at The Coves is as comfy and inviting as a favorite family quilt.
We can help you plan your visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy the WNC Quilt Block Trail. And stop by The Coves to see our very own painted quilt blocks and the glorious mountain and river views that its artwork proudly represents.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine which provides information about living in the foothills.
Caldwell County Performing Arts at JE Broyhill Civic Center
When it comes to Lenoir NC events, Caldwell County performing arts is known for delivering fun and comfort all in one pack. At the JE Broyhill Civic Center, residents cannot afford to miss the glamor that comes with the annual events often meant to showcase talent in the fields of music, drama, and comedy. As if not enough, the center is home to countless concerts where local and international bands entertain audiences of all ages in different weekends and selected weekdays.
With a 1,000 seat auditorium fitted with excellent acoustics, the center boasts an impressive attendance of all the Lenoir NC events year round. Most attribute the presence to the central location on Highway 321. Its 7,660 square foot conference hall offers generous space for wedding receptions, parties, corporate meetings and family get togethers. The center sits 15.3 miles away from Interstate 40, about 19 miles from Morgantown and 25 miles from Blowing Rock.
MUSIC CONCERTS AND COMMUNITY EVENTS
If you are planning to attend the upcoming music concerts and performances while you’re searching for real estate in Lenoir NC, you need to peruse you better examine the events calendar, or risk missing your favorite. In the coming months, several family-friendly festivals go down every month with music performances from:
- Milton Harkey Bluegrass presenting Dailey and Vincent on Saturday at 7:30 pm.
- Mandolin Orange expected to grace the Showcase event with the hit American folk.
Other than the music concerts, the center is a famed for hosting community events, scheduled to occur in different months. Some of this event include:
- The Heritage Christian School presentation “Cheaper by Dozen”
- Barrage 8
- The Caldwell Cuisine Tasting – Australian
Whether you are living in Carolina mountain homes or planning to relocate, you may consider scheduling your visit to match the annual events dates. A visit to Western North Carolina is not complete without attending perhaps some of the festivals such as:
- The Caldwell Ancient Musicians showcase
- The Disney Fantasia Concert
- Jesus Christ Superstar performance
- Annual bike rides
FUN THINGS TO DO
While much revolves around the organized events happening inside the auditorium, there’s more than meets the eye. In fact, attending the Lenoir NC events might be fun but not sufficient to give you a holistic feel of the local experience. Just as close to the Carolina Mountain homes in Lenoir, one can participate in a myriad of fun activities such as the Wilson Creek, the Downtown Lenoir Cruise Ins, Tuesday night group bike rides, antique shopping, kayaking, trout fishing and hunting in selected areas.
TICKETS FOR JE BROYHILL CIVIC CENTER
In case, you did not know, almost all the indoor events require you to get a ticket. Often, the cost of the tickets varies with the events, the age of the attendee and the season hence the need to check the centers site upon announcements. Nevertheless, you can join the elite group to enjoy numerous entertainment programs and cultural celebrations in the County. One needs to pay a season subscription to benefit from the advantages of being in the founder’s club. You can order the tickets online or visit the JE Broyhill Civic Center office.
PROXIMITY TO THE COVES MOUNTAIN RIVER CLUB
When it comes to real estate in Lenoir NC, The Coves Mountain River Club is a household name. It’s difficult to escape a glimpse of the natural, compelling beauty of the natural forests, and cozy estates set up on the mountain top or along the Johns River. Living along the river, surrounded by natural forests is a rare combination hence the reason people are ready to seize the opportunity to live in a mountain paradise.
Amenities at The Coves include a mountaintop lodge with infinity-view swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center and outdoor living room with incredible views of Table Rock Mountain. Along the Johns River, more amenities include a full service equestrian center, two community gardens, Coleton’s Swimming Hole, Coves River Park and several waterfalls. Over 39 miles of hiking and horse trails weave in and around the community.
Folks searching for prime real estate in Lenoir NC will find homesites on the top of the mountain, along the river, equestrian land parcels and private wood estates. Popular builder floor plans capture the maximum living space while welcoming the outdoors inside through spacious great rooms, large kitchens and vaulted ceilings. Homesites are priced from $39,900.
Give us a call at 828.754.0700. We’d love to show you around.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page Complimentary Magazine comprised of helpful relocation information.
Caldwell County North Carolina – Where Public Art Reigns
Did you know public arts reigns supreme in Caldwell County and in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina? Lenoir, established in 1791, is one of the first art infused mountain towns in North Carolina and continues to rise as a mecca for artists of all kinds. The Caldwell Arts Council has been promoting and presenting high quality arts in Caldwell County since 1976. In addition to gallery programs, the CAC offers large Artist-in-Schools program.
A glimpse at the calendar for the Caldwell Arts Council reveals an astonishing amount of art activities for a small town of its size. During the spring, events included:
- Group Discussions – Caldwell County Stories and For The Love Of Art
- Art Exhibits showcasing plein air painting
- ArtMix Creative Women Making Art and Mountain Whimsy Exhibit
- Shakespeare Monologue Competition
- Middle School Poetry Recitation Competition.
One of the most beautiful jewels in the crown of Caldwell County is the outdoor sculpture collection in the heart of land for sale Caldwell County. The outdoor sculpture collection puts Lenoir in the top 3% of collections in the United States. In addition, the Caldwell Arts Council has the largest collection of permanent public outdoor sculpture of any community of its population in the United States.
Over the years, 80 sculptures have been purchased and placed on street corners, parks, public offices, schools, libraries and almost anywhere in Lenoir and Caldwell County. Stop by the visitor’s center to obtain the sculpture walking tour map.
Since the early 1980s, Caldwell County has been known for the annual Indoor/Outdoor Sculpture Celebration. One of Southeast’s largest and longest-running sculpture competitions, the celebration features between 75 and 80 national artists and their works. Co-sponsored by the Caldwell Arts Council and the Tri-State Sculptors Association, the event takes place the second Saturday of September at the J.E. Broyhill Park in downtown Lenoir. The park is transformed into an outdoor sculpture garden where visitors can stroll and look at the entries, talk with the artists, and buy sculptures.
The beautiful vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains continues to inspires artists of all genres. The clear fresh air and open space offers a healthy way of living in the NC mountain communities. To capture the beauty of such a place quickly becomes a lifelong endeavor as the scenic beauty changes by the season surrounding the land for sale Caldwell County.
The Coves Mountain River Club is the finest master planned community in Lenoir and offers the opportunity to live on place that inspires creativity. Whether it’s hiking on the 39 miles of trails, savoring a sunset at the community’s mountaintop lodge or enjoying a picnic on a warm summer’s day along the Johns River at one of four waterfalls within the community. Elevations range from 1,040 to 1,700 feet providing incredible diversity of the scenery and views of Pisgah National Forest.
Amenities at The Coves Mountain River Club include a full service equestrian center, two community gardens, a mountaintop lodge with an infinity view swimming pool, hot tub and state-of-the-art fitness center. Buyers can choose a large private wooded estate, riverfront property or homesites with long range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains to build a dream home. You won’t find any NC mountain communities like us in the foothills and our HOA fees are low at less than $1,000 a year. People love the foothills because of the mild four season Lenoir weather.
Come be inspired by one of the best mountain towns in North Carolina and see the diverse land for sale Caldwell County at The Coves Mountain River Club. We have a number of artists in residence who live within our community who will gladly share more about the art opportunities in the foothills.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our complimentary 84 page Complimentary Magazine which provides more information about living in the foothills.
Tips on Building a Mountain Home in Western North Carolina
Home building in the mountains can be tricky and sometimes, even the best of builders building in Caldwell County real estate developments overlook the principles of fundamental home design. To begin, it’s smart to choose carefully selected durable materials that are sourced and produced locally. The result is a design that is in harmony with the environment and cost effective to build. Equally important is designing a home to fit the mountain terrain.
Time and again people select floor plans that are meant for a flat subdivision lot. It may work on paper but it doesn’t take into consideration the expense of excavation, foundation and retaining walls. Try not to change the topography of the lot to fit a design but rather plan a home that will fit the your Carolina mountain property. By cooperating and harmonizing with the mountain, one can maximize views and avoid undue costs and headaches.
Historically, mountain homes evoke images of shelter, warmth and protection. The traditional thought was to create an indoor space that embraces the natural surroundings by utilizing them as primary building materials. Too often this would translate into dark rooms with heavy textures. Today designers are bringing the outdoors into the home through the use of floor-to-ceiling windows allowing them to utilize more current, fashionable materials on the interior while still embracing the surrounding natural environment.
Increasingly the theme in the mountain construction is to focus on quality over quantity. People would rather build a smaller home in exchange for better quality. Floor plans have evolved from formal living rooms to larger kitchens that flow into great rooms which incorporate dining areas.
Outdoor living spaces should merge seamlessly with indoor living space and are essential to complimenting the beauty and lure of mountain living. We find ultimately, people building a custom or semi-custom home in the mountains are looking to make their home unique and want it to express their own individuality.
These three simple steps will help you navigate through the process of building your home in the mountains at The Coves Mountain River Club Caldwell County real estate development:
Design your Carolina mountain property with the end in mind. Have your designer inspect your property and consider the direction of the view, where the sun will be shining when it is cold and when it is hot. How steep is the property is, where is the driveway access, utilities access, and which trees you want saved? These are questions to discuss with your designer before you go to contract with a builder. Planning ahead will cost you much less to build and maintain over the long run, and reduce your home energy costs. But most importantly, you and your family will be far more happy with the results.
What is your budget? Generally the cost to build a home can be broken down to the design fee, site excavation work, the construction of your home, utilities (well and septic), and landscaping. Make sure you discuss item by item with your designer upfront, to avoid the disheartening blow of a designing a dream house you can’t afford. Ask for a written estimate as soon as you’ve chosen the design to make sure you’re on the right track.
Your home should be designed to fit your lifestyle. All families have unique tastes and considerations. Do you like to entertain? Is your home a primary residence or a vacation second home? Will it be a home for two or ten? If your home is designed to satisfy your specific needs, more can be accomplished without going over-budget when building on your Carolina mountain property.
Planning carefully before you build is the key to a better, more energy efficient and affordable house. Remember the goal to building in the mountains is not to beat the mountain but to match your nature with Nature.
We’re here to streamline the process and make your home building experience at The Coves Mountain River Club stress free. Learn more about our Caldwell County real estate development and mountain towns in the area by requesting our complimentary 84 page Coves Magazine.
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Return
The Scottish have a long history in mountain towns in NC and the North Carolina state at large. The first settlements began in 1746, after the end of Culloden battle that left most of the clans homeless and destitute. The local government attracted Scottish settlers through incentives such as land and tax holidays, making it the most famous destination of the time. Since then, their Scottish settlers kept their culture vibrant through numerous mountain festivals that highlighted their heritage.
Being part of the NC mountain communities celebrations, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games were founded by Agnes Morton and MacDonald in 1954. The two founded the games to replicate the Royal Braemar Gathering, which they had attended severally in Scotland. The 6000-foot Grandfather Mountain became the most favorite for the attendees as it resembled the highlands of Scotland where the gathering was held. The modern day celebrations aim at fostering the Scottish clan’s heritage through dances, drumming, music, Gaelic culture, and athletic contests all around the Blowing Rock real estate. Other than then highland games of Pleasanton, California, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games remains one of the largest in the United States of America, attracting more than 30,000 participants.
The 2016 four day event kicks off on 7th-10th July 2016, with numerous games and activities organized by the NC mountain communities. The stunning mountain peaks surrounded by 170 colorful tents augments the Scottish tartan plaids while the tunes of bagpipes and kettledrums magnify their enthusiasm.
On Thursday afternoon, the event kicks off with the sheep and dog concert, Celtic entertainment and the bear festivals. About 800 people participate in the 5-mile race known as the bear. A torch light ceremony allows representatives of 16 societies and 100 clans to highlight their participation in the games, which is a sign of unity among the tribes. Another test of resilience, the 45th Grandfather Mountain Marathon occurs on Sunday.
If you are planning to attend the whole event or perhaps part of it, you need to know the day that carries the game that suits you. Often, Friday, Saturdays, and Sunday comes with numerous events such as bagpipe and parades, harp contests, Highland dancing concerts and Scottish athletic events. As if not enough, the sheep herding shows by the collies and Celtic music concerts keep the mountain towns in NC blissful.
Central to the athletic ceremonies are the old heavyweight contests namely the “Tossing the Sheaf” and “Turning the Caber”. Also, you cannot miss other olden tests of strength such as the highland wrestling, hammer throw, putting the stone and other forms of weight throws. On Friday night, visitors are treated to the ancient and modern Celtic music with Saturday night playing the Celtic rock genre. Additionally, the Scottish country dance Gala conducted on Friday evening between 8 p.m. and 12. A.m. keeps you engaged for the better part of the night. Dancers have to part with $30 with spectators paying $10 for admission.
Other than the concerts and contests, the popular open-air market next to the parade grounds allows you to buy tartan items, Gaelic gifts, and meat pies among others. In case you need to know much about the Scottish heritage, you need to visit a tent that offers comprehensive coverage about the same. You may consider taking a four-day ticket pass that costs $75 for adults and $20 for kids, or subscribe to daily tickets costing $15 on Thursday, $20 on Friday, $30 on Saturday and $ 15 on Sunday.
A visit to Grandfather Mountain brings close to the intermittent blend and natural wonders. The state park in Blowing Rock is only 30 minutes from The Coves Mountain River Club, our 3,600 acre gated community bordering the Johns River connecting to Wilson Creek. Amenities at The Coves include 39 miles of hiking, biking and horse riding trails, four community parks, cascading waterfalls, an infinity-view saline swimming pool, fitness center and full service equestrian center. Folks searching for mountain property will find a diverse selection of property to chose from such as riverfront property, private wooded estates, equestrian land parcels or mountaintop homesites with stellar long range views. Approximately 100 homes are built to date to give you a variety of design ideas. HOA fees are low at less than $1,000 a year.
Make your way to The Coves Mountain River Club during the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and see why folks are choosing the foothills over Blowing Rock real estate.
If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 84 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which will provide more information about the foothills.
Round Mountain Ranch 4-H Horse Camp
Summer is almost here and Caldwell County is excited to remind folks about its 4-H Nature camps for kids and youth. The North Carolina 4-H Horsemanship Camp is held every June. The camp teaches children and youth how to enhance their horseback riding skills and improve their riding technique. The camp is situated amongst North Carolina equestrian communities where North Carolina mountain homes and attractive horse property lay the perfect backdrop for riding lessons, trail rides, and western gaming styles alike.Read More »