The Little River County Quilt Trail was developed by Roger and Debi Quilty. They are relatively new to Arkansas and immediately began looking for ways to contribute to their new community and county. Little River County is located on the southwest border of Arkansas, bordering a corner with Texas and Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,026. The county is separated from all other surrounding counties in the state by water (a characteristic shared only with neighboring Miller County). The Little River, Millwood Lake and the Red River form the boundaries of the county within the state. Other cities in the county are Foreman (Home of Tracy Lawrence), Winthrop, the towns of Wilton, and Ogden. The Little River County seat is Ashdown, with a population 4,370. Located within the Arkansas Timberlands between the Little River and the Red River, Ashdown’s economy and development have historically been tied to the timber industry, a trend that continues to this day. The town is located just 20 miles from Texarkana. Ashdown is home to the Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas. Millwood Lake and Millwood State Park are well known for trophy fishing contests and camping sites and sports facilities. The county courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it draws many tourists each Christmas season when the entire courthouse and its dome are covered in lights. Nine other properties are on the National Register, including the Hunter/Coulter House in Ashdown, the Will Reed House in Alleene, and the New Rocky Comfort House in Foreman. Ashdown is also home to the Two Rivers Museum which is a favorite tourist site, sponsored by the Little River County Historical Society. (Encyclopedia of Arkansas)
#21-1, Gemini, is a double feature on a log home, is at 186 Little River 40, Ashdown, Arkansas. The Gemini blocks are handcrafted from cedar and pine by home owner Amy Lovell. For an added bonus drive by at night and see the twin wooden stars illuminated on this rustic log cabin.
#21-2, Spinning Star, is located at 2283 Buck Wright Road, Ashdown at the home of Robert and Linda Bradley. Linda says, “Star quilts have always been a favorite of mine. When I first started quilting, I tended to make star quilt blocks. So, when I decided that I wanted to make a barn quilt, I naturally chose a star block. My first barn quilt was the Missouri Star. I didn’t have any experience making a barn quilt and I used the wrong paint and didn’t properly seal the edges of the wood, so unfortunately, that barn quilt showed lots of wear and tear after a few years. After researching and looking at lots of barn quilts and how they are made, I decided to try again. This barn quilt is 4’ by 4’ and hangs on our shed since we don’t have a barn. Quilt blocks can have many names and this one I made has been called a Pinwheel Star, a Spinning Star and a Double Aster. My love of barn quilts began when my husband and I were on several motorcycle trips and I noticed them as we traveled on country roads throughout the United States. Many members of my family were avid quilters, including several aunts and my mother-in-law. I am a life-long sewer and I have been making quilts for 30 years, along with clothes for myself and my daughters and granddaughters for many years before I started quilting. Below are two new blocks added to the same address. Please also take a look at the Missouri Star and the Cardinal.
#21-3, L R.C. Stars, is at 349 North 3rd Street, Ashdown. The artist, Deanna Sivley, says, “This quilt block came about because I enjoy seeing something unexpected. The name L. R. C. Stars came about because I have placed it on the front of the Little River County Election Center. Because of election I wanted red, white and blue, but did not want it to stand for a particular political party. I hope others will enjoy barn quilt squares as I do.”
#21-4, North Star, is located at 5 E. Main St., Ashdown, on the second floor of the south facing wall of the Two Rivers Museum. Anyone headed north on AR 71 in Ashdown can look up and see “The North Star” on the back wall of the museum. The Two Rivers Museum is located in the Bishop building in the Ashdown Commercial Historic District. The building is a renovated hundred-year-old storefront that was once a pharmacy and, more recently, an antique store. The Bishop building, built in 1908, is a two-story brick structure with a flat roof and a parapet. The structure was part of the American movement commercial style. A cornerstone is on the east façade. While the building has had multiple owners, it has maintained its original brickwork and frame. On May 20, 2008, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a part of the Ashdown Commercial Historic District. Encyclopedia of Arkansas.
#21-5, Sutton Square, is located at 102 Peacock Drive, Ashdown. The “Sutton Square” hangs proudly above the door of the Sutton’s barn, and helps bring the country into the “Town and Country” neighborhood. Formerly an eyesore of the neighborhood, the barn was refurbished in 2019 to match the new home of Mayor James and Bonnie Sutton.
#21-6, Dee’s Star, is located at 122 Little River 11 in Ashdown. The artist, Deanna Sivley says, “I had painted Dee’s Star before I knew anything about the Quilt Trail. I had seen several blocks when driving around. I painted because I would like for Little River County to be included in the Arkansas Quilt Trail. They remind me of country and that’s me through and through. I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I do.
#21-7, The Patriot, is at 206 Stephens St., Foreman, Arkansas. It’s located at the home of Little River County Quilt Trail coordinators Roger and Debi Quilty. Debi stated, “We love God, Our Country, Barn Quilts and old barns.” Roger, a 20-year retired USAF Master Sergeant, and Debi designed the quilt block to honor the country by using the stars and stripes and the letter of their last name – Quilty. ”When we got our block from the artist, Karen Owens, we asked our Facebook friends and family to name our block. Our good friend nailed it: “The Patriot”, which describes us perfectly. We started following Barn Quilt Trails when we lived in Tennessee and followed them in Kentucky. We have now lived for four years in Arkansas, and have followed trails here and in Texas and, most recently, New Mexico, when we visited our youngest grandson who is in the Air Force and was stationed at Clovis AFB.”
#21-8, Sign of Spring, is above the mail box of the residence at 206 Stephens St., Foreman. Debi says, “Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year. The season of renewal. This is my first attempt in painting a Barn Quilt Block and wanted it to reflect my love for Spring and for Folk Art, where everything that God put on this earth is renewed and blooming!! We love sitting on our front porch watching all the beauty of Spring and seeing our Barn Quilt Block hanging above our mailbox, so we and others can enjoy it.
#21-9, Sign of Fall, is on the other side of the mail box at 206 Stephens St., Foreman. The artist and homeowner, Debi Quilty, says, “I love Fall!! It is one of my favorite seasons. The colors of Fall are gorgeous, God is the ultimate artist. Sunflowers are my favorite flower. My quilt block is hanging on our mailbox where myself, and others, walking or driving by, can reflect on this glorious time of the year, no matter what season we are in. Enjoy!!”
#21-10, Central Perk, is located at 521 Tracy Lawrence Ave, Foreman. Owner Jeanie says, “This quilt block hangs on my coffee shop, a family owned and operated business since 2013. My husband drove by this old, abandoned gas station every day going to work. He considered it an eyesore that needed to be torn down, but over time fell in love with the architecture of the old Mobil Gas Station. He came home and told me he wanted to buy it, not sure what we would do with it, but feeling compelled to do something. Over a period of time, haggling with the owner, we purchased it. We rented it out as a mechanic shop for a short time, but ended up deciding to renovate it and put in a coffee shop. My husband had the vision and put in the hard work to make it what you see today. Then he handed me the keys and our daughters and I started the coffee shop. It has become a staple in our little town, and we love meeting all the people who come through the doors.
#21-11, Momma’s Flower Garden, is located at 1011 High Street, Winthrop, Arkansas. The artist, Karen Owens says, “In the Spring of 2010, my mother took on the task of making quilts for all of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. That first year she made four quilts, one for each of her children, three girls and a boy, and gave them as Christmas gifts. These were truly a gift beyond measure!! The next year, 2011, she took on the task of making quilts for her ten grandchildren, again giving them as Christmas gifts. Then in 2012 it was a total of thirteen quilts for her great grandchildren. Then as new babies were born, she would make a quilt and give it at Christmas. She made a quilt for her newest great grandchild born in the late summer of 2021. By Christmas of 2021 it was a total of thirty quilts that my mother has loving made and given to her family. Mother is no longer able to as much of the work herself, due to diabetic neurotrophy, but between her design, my sewing help, and a friend that helps quilt, she still gives this truly precious and timeless gift of love. In the Fall of 2016, I was trying to think of a meaningful gift to give my mother for Christmas. That’s when the inspiration to do a barn quilt was born. I used the pattern of Grandmother’s Flower Garden since to me it represented the love a person shows for their family. The beautiful fabrics intertwined like the branches of a family tree. There are three hummingbirds and then a quilter’s sewing label which in total represents her four children. My mother proudly displays her barn quilt block on her front porch so that she, along with everyone else, can enjoy it. LOL, I thought she would hang it on the side of the old smokehouse. It is a 4ft x 4ft wooden barn quilt. I proudly call this barn quilt “Momma’s Flower Garden”.
#21-12, Unlock Your Imagination, is located on the Winthrop Public Library, 720 High Street, Winthrop. Here is the story about “Unlock Your Imagination.” When you walk through the door at a library, you can smell the old and new books, feel the peace of silence and think of all the places the books can carry you to. For the adults, it can be a far-off romance getaway to a beach or horseback riding adventure at a ranch. Help unlock the mystery in a thriller or mystery book, the story will take a roller coaster ride, up and down, around a curve and when you think you have figured it out, a twist is thrown in there. Pick up a western book, go back in time to a gunfight on a dust street in front of a saloon. Go on a ride through the mountains on an adventure with a game warden or get into a buggy and take a ride with the Amish. For the children and young adults, oh, the stories that awaits you. Take a journey with Harry Potter and magic places, find out what happens next for the kids in Boxcar Children Books, let your imagination go as you read the Wimpy Kid Books, or a Disney Book about princesses, Jungles and many more. There are so many books to read, and very cool places to explore in books. As you pick out a book, or two, you can get a snack, curl up in a cozy chair, turn on a lamp and start reading until you get lost in the book. For me, I love to read. Through books I have traveled around the world, helped solve mysteries, I have laughed and cried. Books are magical. On this quilt block, you will see five authors names that live here in our town and a few miles from town: Mary May (aka MaryBeth Heath), Kacy Hart (Shelli Delayne), Amanda Heath, John Frady and Duane Ivey. Also, you will see a little camper, his name is Trip. I started this camper project that people could check out Trip and take him on vacation with them, then send me pictures and tell me all about their adventure. It’s been a fun activity. Everyone loves Trip.
#21-13, Honored Heritage, is located at 515 South Street, Winthrop. The owners have lived many years in Winthrop, Arkansas. The Mrs. is 16% Cherokee Indian and wanted their quilt block to reflect her Indian heritage. Their home is near the “Trail of Tears” in Southwest, AR. While they were creating their garden, they found artifacts of Indian marbles and arrowheads.