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Montgomery County works toward a spot on Arkansas Quilt Trail

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY/dewayne@mcnews.online
MOUNT IDA – Montgomery County Extension Agent Amy Monk promoted Montgomery County’s attempt to join the Arkansas Quilt Trail with the Ouachita Artist Gallery and Studio Monday during their monthly meeting.
Monk is the chairperson of the ARCO in Action committee working to get Montgomery County added to the state Quilt Trail.
The Arkansas Quilt Trail is a fun way for people to combine their love for quilts and driving the roads and highways in Arkansas. The trail began with local trails in five counties and has grown to include 14 county trails. Neighboring Pike County is a part of the trail with 15 quilt blocks scattered throughout the county. Other county trails include: Stone, Searcy, Van Buren, Perry, Baxter, Washington, Logan, Izard, Independence, Jefferson, Franklin, Benton and Newton counties.
Montgomery County needs 12 quilt blocks on display to qualify for the state trail. There are currently two quilt blocks approved located at the Heritage House Museum and the Ouachita Artist Gallery. Monk stated that quilt blocks have been submitted by the Caddo Gap Boarding House and Caddo Gap Baptist Church. There are also at least 10 others in the process of joining the county trail.
Amy shared that its fairly easy to join the trail.
You must first select a place to display your quilt block. The state quilt trail suggests you choose a structure that is old and/or historic, but it can be any structure you choose. It must be on a road that is accessible year round, visible from the road, or driveway, and the owner must be willing to allow gawkers and photographers access to the block. Once you select a location just take a photo of the site and submit it for approval.
Next, you need to design a quilt block. You can create an original design, or you can use an existing design as long as it isn’t copyrighted. It can’t be a duplicate of a quilt block already on the quilt trail. Ideally the quilt block would have a cultural or historical significance for the area it is displayed. Once again, once you have a design, snap a photo and submit it for approval.
You must write a story. The story can explain the significance of the quilts to the location, why the block was selected, it may include relevant family history, or location history, or it can share a memory about quilts, or the artist who pained it. It must consist of approximately 140-1,000 words and must include the location and instructions for viewing the block.
Amy strongly recommended getting your location and quilt block approved before painting your quilt block. Photos of your location and quilt block and story will be submitted along with a quilt block owner agreement. The photo of your quilt block must be in color.
Once you have all of this ready submit it to Amy Monk by email at amonk@uada.edu, or you can call her for more information at (870) 867-2311.
Once your application is approved you can paint your quilt block and hang it. Amy stated that she has a list of supplies needed. She added that the cost of a quilt block should be no more than $200. You should make sure the quilt block is the appropriate size for the structure with most being around 4 feet by 4 feet. The state quilt trail committee prefers you paint the quilt block, but you can use vinyl printing. Amy shared that Mount Ida Print Shop prepared the quilt block at the museum while the artist gallery’s quilt block was painted by members.
When you quilt block is hung just take a photo and submit it to Amy so she can send it to the Quilt Trail committee. You are asked to submit a clear photo as it will be used in the state quilt trail brochure and on their website..
Once 12 quilt blocks are hung Montgomery County can join the statewide trail.
Amy explained that the quilt trail would provide another activity for visitors to Montgomery County who have come to enjoy the outdoors. It can also attract new visitors who enjoy driving the quilt trails. She added that she would like to see quilts in the county bear a QR Code that would allow visitors to scan the code and view a video explaining the quilt block.

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