Welcome to the Pike County Quilt Trail. The volunteer coordinator of this trail is Marla Stewart. She painted several of the blocks herself and is grateful for all the other artists and contributors to the trail. Pike County is located in the southwest quarter of the state. Murfreesboro is the county seat and other towns/communities include Antoine, Daisy, Delight, Glenwood, and Kirby. You will see a few blocks that have an Amity, AR address (which is needed to find the location by GPS) but they are actually located in the Kirby community. Pike County has a wealth of natural attractions as noted by Encyclopedia of Arkansas: The area around Narrows Dam is known to be one of the best spots in Arkansas to hunt deer. Turkeys are plentiful, also. In the last few years, a few sightings of black bears have been noted in the area. Below the dam is a Rainbow Trout fish hatchery, which is stocked by the Arkansas Game & Fish from late fall until April. Fly fishing has grown to be a popular sport in this area. Daisy State Park, a popular tourist destination, is on the north shores of the 7,000-acre Lake Greeson, about six miles west of Kirby. The Daisy area is noted as a good fishing area to catch black and white bass, stripers, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. The county has three rivers. The Little Missouri enters at the northwest corner of the county, flows through the rocky Ouachita Mountains. As it travels south, it drops 1,035 feet before it runs into Lake Greeson above Daisy. This makes these upper waters excellent for experienced canoeists. The Caddo River is also a good river for floating and paddling. It flows out of the Ouachita Mountains, provides good rapids to navigate all the way to Glenwood. The Antoine River rises in the northeast part of the county, flows generally southeast past the town of Antoine. It follows the county east border, finally running into the Little Missouri River. All of these rivers are good fishing rivers, with bluegill, trout, catfish, crappie, bass, being just a few. Crater of Diamonds was made a state park in 1972, and 23,000 known diamonds have been found since then. This is the only place in North America where one can search for diamonds and keep one’s findings.
#8-01, Harvest Star was painted by Jerry Turner of Lodi several years ago. His interest in barn quilts began when he saw some on a photography site that he frequented. After researching barn quilts and traveling to see some in other states, he painted some himself. Jerry has been a carpenter and cabinetmaker in our area for many years. He is a hobbyist extraordinaire, dabbling in many creative ventures. Rhonda Harmon is the proud owner of Harvest Star. Her son, J.C. and wife Sonia, purchased it from Sonia’s Uncle Jerry for a Christmas gift. It hangs on a rustic log building on the property of another son and wife, Blake and Jessica. No information regarding the cabin could be found, but it must have been constructed in the early 1800’s. Rhonda and her husband Carl have three sons, six grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. They operate the Kirby Kwick Stop, a convenience store/gas station/grill. The Kwick Stop is a favorite place for locals as well as tourists on their way to Lake Greeson which is only a few miles away. “Lake Greeson is a man-made lake originally created as a flood control and hydropower project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1947-1950. It is 12 miles long and is surrounded by 15,842 acres of public lands. The wide variety of recreational opportunities available on and near the lake include boating, swimming, hiking, fishing, and camping.” Arkansas.com
#8-02, Fish on a Dish, at 100 Dillard Rd, Glenwood AR, was painted by Jackie Beck. Take the right turn before the white mailbox even though your GPS may tell you to go straight. Jackie shares the story, “I don’t remember my exact age when I first held a cane fishin’ pole, but my daddy was beside me helping jerk in the bright colored Sun Perch that had bitten the worm on my hook. I guess you could say that I was “hooked” from that day forward. Going fishing was a great treat for us. We did not get to go often, but for many years we would go camping for a week with my grandparents. Then as the years went by, just my dad, mom, sister and I would camp for a week at the lake. Every day we would get in our small red and white aluminum boat and set out with worms, crickets, minnows and a few jigs. My parents had to have the patience of Job to deal with all of the hang ups, losing bait, and mishaps that my sister and I caused! I remember one camping trip particularly well. I must have been eight or nine years old. We got up early one cool morning and set out to see what we could catch. The water was calm and the fog lay like a thick, wet blanket. It wasn’t long before we all started catching crappie as fast as we could throw out the line! Somehow, we had anchored right in the middle of the crappie bed. The memory of sitting in that boat with my family surrounded by fog and fish, cool air and the smells of the lake still bring a smile to my lips and joy in my heart. I treasure the time I spend sharing my love of fishing with my husband, son, daughter, and now my two grandsons. And there is nothing better than frying up a mess of fresh fish to enjoy with family!”
#8-03, Olympic Shooter is located at 23 Stewart Farm Road, Amity AR. Although this is the GPS address, it is actually in the Kirby community. This quilt block in Pike County has special meaning. It was done by county coordinator Marla Stewart for her husband, Randy Stewart. Randy was in the Army, stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, while he served on the Army shooting team from 1978-86 as the Officer in Charge of the running target team. During that time, Randy won 23 national championships, 30 inter-service championships, and 13 international medals. In 1983, he won a bronze medal at the World Championships, the first American to medal in that event since 1968. At the 1983 Pan American Games, Randy won a team gold medal and an individual silver. He earned a place on the 1980 and 1984 Olympic teams. The US boycotted the 1980 games due to Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. In 1984, he placed 9th at the Olympic games in Los Angeles. Randy began his shooting career as a student at Henderson State University where he shot on the small-bore rifle team. He is a member of the Reddie Hall of Fame. In more recent years, he became a cattle farmer, high school teacher, and shotgun coach. He also taught concealed handgun classes for over 20 years. In 2007, he entered politics and was elected to the Arkansas State Legislature, winning re-election in 2009 and 2011.
#8-04, Hunter’s Star is located at 23 Stewart Farm Road, Amity AR. Marla Stewart chose this pattern for the family’s workshop located in Kirby (Pike County). The quilt is on a 5×5 board. Marla and her husband, Randy, come from hunting families. Their children grew up hunting, and now their two grandsons are excellent hunters. At 12 years of age, Noah has killed 12 deer. Evan, age 9, has killed 5. She chose red, white, and blue because the family is very patriotic. Her father served in WWII; Randy served 28 years in the army, and daughter Sara served six years in the Arkansas National Guard. This was Marla’s first barn quilt; she painted it in June 2018. Unfortunately, the family workshop and the barn quilt perished in a fire in February 2019. She repainted the Hunter’s Star on a 5×5 board in April 2020 and hung it near the Olympic quilt that she painted for her husband. Three cheers for Marla for repainting this one after the fire. We can all appreciate the double effort that went into that, while also developing a quilt trail for Pike County! We think you’ll enjoy seeing the Pike County Quilt Trail and appreciate the community spirit and work that went into developing it.
#8-05, Mother’s Favorite is located at 2552 Hwy 70 W, Amity, AR. Debi Arivett’s barn quilt is located in Kirby on the barn that her grandparents built around 1954. The pattern is “Mother’s Choice” and was painted by Jerry Turner of Lodi, a neighboring community. This was the first barn quilt that Jerry painted. J.C. and Willie Orrick built the barn by themselves while their daughter, Betty Zane and her husband Edwin were away in Indiana for the tomato harvest. The barn is located on Hwy 27 just north of Kirby. Even in 1954 the highway had a great deal of traffic. According to Betty Zane, the beautiful red barn received considerable attention as people stopped to admire it. The barn has a hay loft, a milking stall, and equipment rooms. Ms. Willie always had a good milk cow. She sold extra milk and often gave it away to families who couldn’t afford to pay for it. She was also well known for her vegetable and fruit gardens. Still today, there is evidence of her green thumb in the plants and shrubs around the house. The quilt block is a fitting tribute to their hard work to provide for their family and other families too. You’ll enjoy seeing the barn this block adorns and know a bit of the history behind it.
#8-06, The Arkansas Star is located at 400 E. Broadway, Ste B, Glenwood AR. It was painted by Pike County coordinator Marla Stewart. While searching for new and interesting patterns, she noticed that several states have their own stars. This pattern is what she found as she searched for an Arkansas star. She decided to paint it red, white, and blue to match the colors of the Arkansas state flag which signify that Arkansas is one of the United States having been admitted to the union in 1836. The barn quilt resides in Glenwood, a small and friendly town in southwest Arkansas. Glenwood is nestled in the foothills of the Ouachitas and on the banks of the Caddo River. Timber, farming, and tourism are the principal businesses in the area. Many people who have visited the area on vacation have relocated here permanently. Dr. Terry and Kathy Hutson own the building where the quilt hangs. They purchased the building at 400 E. Broadway in 2003 that had been Wright’s Food Center and Cash Saver as well as the American Legion. Presently, the building houses Glenwood Family Chiropractic Clinic, Paradise Tanning, Caddo River Signs and Designs, and McKinney Tax Service. The Hutsons and their three children moved to Glenwood in 1998. They have 8 grandchildren who live in various places in the U.S. due to their military service. The patriotism of this incredible family makes the color choices even more relevant. Terry’s dad and Kathy’s dad were in the Navy. Their son and two sons-in-law are or have been in the Air Force. Terry and Kathy feel very blessed to have taken care of their patients for the last 21 years in Glenwood and have enjoyed living near the Caddo River and supporting Glenwood, AR.
#8-07, This Carolina Lily barn quilt hangs on the front of the home of David and Anne Butcher at 413 Bear Creek Road in Kirby, just up the road from the Bear Creek Campground on Lake Greeson. You’ll likely encounter the family dogs, but their bark is accompanied by a wagging tail. Anne is an avid quilter and is particularly drawn to lily blocks. She says that having something so bright and pretty hanging in such a prominent place just makes her feel good, and it’s her way of letting everyone know how much she loves quilts and quilting. She believes it makes their place look homey and inviting. This barn quilt was painted by Rylee Chambers of Chambers Handmade LLC, near Texarkana. Lake Greeson is a reservoir on the Little Missouri River, in Pike County, Arkansas. According to Encyclopedia of Arkansas, it was created in 1950 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers placed a dam on the Little Missouri River some six miles north of Murfreesboro (Pike County). The lake was created for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. Famous for its scenery and recreation, it is surrounded by 15 parks that offer opportunities for camping, fishing, boating, biking, and swimming and just enjoying nature.
#8-08, Mandala at 413 Bear Creek Rd, Kirby AR. The Butchers’ second barn quilt that was painted by Rylee Chambers is on the gable end of their carport that faces Bear Creek Road. So far as Anne knows there isn’t a name for this quilt block but was created from a sketch she made. It’s a little similar to an orange peel or a Joseph’s Coat pattern. The contrast between the colors and the black background are striking. She calls it Mandala. Anne grew up calling Kirby Landing (Marina) her home. It’s about 2 miles down the lake from the place she now calls her own home at 413 Bear Creek Road. She learned to love fabric, sewing and needlework from her grandmother, Edna Crump. At least once a week beginning at about age 8 until she was a teen, she traveled two miles by boat between Kirby Landing and Bear Creek where Grandma Crump lived and often they talked about and worked on sewing and quilting projects. This property with its barn quilts is near the popular, well-traveled Bear Creek cycle trail and just a short, pleasant walk from the Bear Creek Campground. For information on Bear Creek Campground, visit www.arkansas.com/amity/sports-recreation/bear-creek-recreation-area-campground. Lots of things to explore!
#8-09, Foshee Family Flock is at 210 Palestine Rd., Amity AR which is in the Kirby community. Foshee Family Flock is a whimsical representation of Mark, Pam and their children Logan and Shelby. The artist, Jackie Beck, shares, “I have been blessed for many years with their friendship. The barn quilt is just a small token of my appreciation of that friendship with all the laughter, tears, and Christian fellowship we have shared rolled into one. I hope Foshee Family Flock brings a smile to your face and joy in your heart as much as the Foshee family has brought to mine.” Pam Foshee shares, “Foshee Farms was established in 1983. We are just one of many chicken and cattle growers in Pike County. We have 8 broiler houses with 25,000 chickens per house. Logan and Shelby began learning about farming while very young. As they grew, we began to give them small jobs and naturally they learned to do more and more. One year we were blessed to have an exchange son from Belgium that learned about the workings of the farm. All three of our children have become responsible young adults from the lessons they learned growing up on the farm.” According to Arkansas Farm Bureau, Arkansas leads the nation in poultry production. The most common poultry in Arkansas are chickens and turkeys. Poultry production accounts for 1 in 4 agricultural jobs in Arkansas. Companies that produce and process chicken in Arkansas employee as many as 37,260 people across the state and generate an additional 70,739 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries.
#8-10, Pike County 4-H is located at the Pike County Fairgrounds at 510 N. First Street in Glenwood. It’s located on the last building on the right if you are at the fairground entrance. It can be seen from the street. Pike County trail coordinator Marla Stewart painted and donated this barn quilt in honor of Pike County 4-H. It was sealed with a clear coat by Mark Ligon of Mark’s Auto Body in Kirby. Marla painted the barn quilt to honor the members, alumni, staff, and volunteers of the 4-H community. Through 4-H programs, young people learn new skills in many areas of life such as citizenship, leadership, healthy living, agriculture, and STEM. 4-Hers are known “To make the Best Better.” With the help of inspiring and hard-working volunteers, they develop a greater sense of self-confidence and become more responsible as they develop soft skills used for life. The quilt hangs on the Crawford Building at the Pike County fairgrounds in Glenwood. The building is used to house some of the many exhibits at the Pike County Fair, especially the educational booths prepared by 4-H members who share information about their project areas. “Red” Crawford donated some of the land for the fairgrounds thus the name Crawford Building.
#8-11, The Murfreesboro Diamond hangs in the front window of Ceba Gas, at 19 Courthouse Square, in Murfreesboro. Owners Neil and Lauren Priddy asked Marla Stewart to paint the diamond. Marla grew up in Murfreesboro and wanted to promote the town and the Crater of Diamonds. Diamonds were first discovered in the area in 1906. Individuals as well as commercial mining companies have owned the property. The state purchased the land in 1972 and opened the Crater of Diamonds State Park. The search area is around 37 acres. Hunting for diamonds here is a truly unique experience. The park is the only diamond mine in the world where the public can hunt for diamonds and keep whatever they find. Visitors to the park find over 600 diamonds per year. The barn quilt is 3’ by 3’ and boasts the colors red, white, and blue to represent the company colors of Ceba Gas, Inc. The diamond is superimposed at the center of the quilt. The diamond was cut by Marla’s friend Ryan Brady. He also constructed the frame. Ceba Gas is a three-generation family owned propane business that has enjoyed being part of the Murfreesboro community for over 50 years. It was started by Bobby and Sue Carroll as part of Carroll Building and Appliance in the 60’s. It then transitioned in ‘94 to Ceba Gas, under the ownership of Tom and Margaret Byrd. Recently, Neil and Lauren Priddy purchased the company and plan to continue serving the residential, agricultural, and commercial propane customers of Southwest Arkansas for years to come. Ceba Gas headquarters is located on the Murfreesboro square, which has a rich heritage of its own, and is why the Murfreesboro Diamond was chosen as the design to be displayed.
#8-12, Little Farmer Boy & Girl. Owner Sherie Grant writes, “For my first barn quilt I chose the Little Farmer Boy & Girl in celebration of my Grandchildren Ian, Jainie, Nora, Leigha, Amos David, Zeke, Sam, and Hadassah. It was painted in memory of my Great Granny, my Grandmama, and my husband’s Mamaw who all made beautiful quilts that have covered my family for many years. I still remember my Great Granny having a quilting frame in her living room. This barn quilt was also painted in honor of my mother who is an amazing seamstress and who has also made some amazing quilts. The image in the center block is a part of the Grant Family Crest. It consists of a green rock and flame and our family’s motto “Stand Fast.” The flames coming from the green rock represent the warning fires that were set on the mountain to warn against approaching danger. The colors in the borders also match the Grant Plaid. There is a little green heart on the center block in representation of the many foster children who have lived and been loved in the home of my son and daughter in law and also a red heart for the newest foster baby to bless their home during the painting of this quilt.” Thanks to the Grant Family for sharing a bit of their family legacy through this quilt block!
#8-13, Fractured Heart of America. The quilt block is on an old horse barn on Bill and Avonne Petty’s farm in the Delight area of Pike County. Avonne shares the story behind it. This red, white, and blue block depicts the fractured heart of America of 2020. The nation faced many challenges in 2020 and the year will be remembered as the “Year of the Face Mask.” This display is located on the right side of State highway 301, fifteen miles east of the Crater of Diamonds State Park. (2.5 miles past the crossroads of Highway 195 at the Blue Mailbox.) The pandemic of Covid 19 took over the year with millions of people testing positive for the disease and hundreds of thousands dying from it. Families and friends could not socialize together even for funerals of loved ones. Schools were forced to close. The economy was hampered with businesses closing, many to never re-open. Jobs were lost and thousands were on unemployment. There were shortages of many necessary items including food in some places. Looting and destruction in several major cities erupted. Mother Nature challenged the country with floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes across the nation. Hurricanes destroyed property and crops in the South while wildfires burned millions of acres in the West. Being very community spirited, Avonne made and donated hundreds of face masks. She felt this block reflects the turmoil of America during 2020 and the masks worn by everyone. This block is adapted from an Add Fireworks pattern by Denise Russell featured in the July 2020 issue of the American Quilter magazine.
#8-14, “It’s a Colorful Life” is seen from Highway 26 in the Highland area between Murfreesboro and Nashville, Arkansas. Although it has a Nashville address, it’s located in Pike County. The block sits at the entry of the home of Neil and Lauren Priddy and was commissioned as a birthday gift from Lauren’s mother, Sandra Byrd. Like the Priddy Family, the quilt came from Texas, and was designed and created by Kenzie Cornett, owner of Travelin’ Trinkets. The quilt has five colors, representing the Priddy’s five children who keep things exciting and make life colorful. The quilt is busy and beautiful and very much resembles the life God has given them to enjoy in southwest Arkansas. This is the second quilt the Priddys have added to the quilt trail. The first is the quilt block that is displayed at their family-Owned propane company, Ceba Gas, in Murfreesboro. In addition to the propane business, the Priddy family appreciates their time spent together raising and showing the children’s livestock. They raise registered and commercial cattle and sheep. When the Priddy Family moved from Texas to Arkansas, they purchased the “Stillmeadow” homestead that was previously owned and managed by Clarence and Benny Sue Anthony. It has an ample history as a stop on the Arkansas political campaign trail and has hosted the former president and other political figures. There are over 25 pecan trees on the property that were planted by the Anthonys and are now being enjoyed by the children and livestock on the Priddy Farm, much like the rest of the improvements that were made 40 years ago.
#8-15, Welcome Home, was painted by Pike County coordinator Marla Stewart to hang on their new workshop located near their house at 23 Stewart Farm Rd, Amity (actually in Kirby). Marla chose warm fall colors for this quilt because the fall is her favorite time of year. The colors are also incorporated in her house and the workshop. The Stewarts’ home is surrounded by various types of oaks, dogwoods, hickories, and pines. The changing colors of the leaves is a joy to watch from their back porch which overlooks a small creek that eventually empties into nearby Lake Greeson. Fall is a favorite time for many people in Pike County due to the 5th season of the year, deer hunting. In the early fall, deer hunters can be seen bush hogging and planting food plots, trimming limbs near their stands, and getting all their gear ready for deer camp. The Stewarts have a deer cabin several miles away that is off the grid. However, they have killed more deer near their home. The word “home” evokes warm feelings for most of us. For Marla, home is a place of refuge where everyone is always welcomed, loved, and accepted. She wants everyone, family, friends, or strangers to feel at home in her house. Randy and Marla have 3 children: their daughter lives across the pasture with her husband and 2 sons, one son lives in Salt Lake City, and another son lives in the Washington D.C. area. Distance prevents the sons from visiting very often, but they are always a welcome sight. Marla enjoys preparing everyone’s favorite foods when they visit. Her mother was a fabulous cook, and she continues that tradition.
#8-16, Dush-toh. 71 US-70, Glenwood, AR. On the side of Vik’s Flea Market in Glenwood resides a barn quilt painted directly onto the brick by Jackie Beck and Marla Stewart. The quilt is 4’ by 4’ and is a replica of a dush-toh, a Caddo lady’s hair decoration worn for dances. This piece was shaped like an hour glass and would have had ribbons attached that flowed the entire length of the lady’s heighth. The dush-toh was chosen as the subject of the quilt to honor the influence of the Caddo Indians in southwest Arkansas. In nearby Caddo Gap is a statue erected in 1936 to pay respect to the Caddo Tribe. It is built on an ancient Caddo burial site. The Caddo were farmers, hunters, and craftsmen. The chronicles of Hernando de Soto tell of his team’s entering Caddo country on June 20, 1542. However, de Soto died a month prior to that date. His successor was Luis de Moscosco. Ka-Do-Ha Village is located in Murfreesboro, the county seat. The Caddo are known as mound builders. This is the only open mound in the United States. Visitors can pay a small fee to view the mound, a museum, and gift shop. To learn more about the Caddo Tribe in Arkansas, go to encyclopediaofarkansas.net.
#8-17, Diamond in the Rough, at 71 US-70, Glenwood AR, was painted by Jackie Beck and Marla Stewart on the side of Vic’s Flea Market in Glenwood. It measures 4’ by 4’. Due to the high cost of lumber at the time, they chose to paint directly on the brick. Proving to be much more challenging than painting on wood, their efforts also required more time. Vic’s Flea Market has around 100 booths available and contains a wide assortment of antiques, collectibles, and treasures. The building was once the Glenwood High School gymnasium, built in the early 1970’s on land that was previously a dairy farm. In 1995, Glenwood and Amity schools merged to form the Centerpoint School District. The school is now located in the Rosboro community. The quilt block was inspired by the Crater of Diamonds State Park located near Murfreesboro (also in Pike County). This is the only diamond mine in North America that allows you to hunt diamonds and keep whatever you find. According to ArkansasStateParks.com, “more than 33,100 diamonds have been found by park visitors since the Crater of Diamonds became an Arkansas state park in 1972.” Lake Greeson is also in this area. It is a Corps of Engineers man-made lake that spans 12 miles from Murfreesboro to Kirby and Daisy. Opportunities for camping and water sports abound here as well as hunting, fishing, and cycling.
#8-18, Life on the Caddo, at 71 US-70, Glenwood AR, measuring 7 ½ feet square was painted by Jackie Beck and Marla Stewart. The quilt was inspired by the town of Glenwood and its people. Glenwood is a small town in Pike County of approximately 2000 people. The town supports many outlying areas for work, school, worship, and shopping. The Caddo River is named for the Caddo Indian Tribe who once inhabited the area. The river has helped to support the timber industry and sawmills since the town was founded in 1908. It is noted for its clear water from cold water springs originating in the Ouachita Mountains. Its cool waters are widely known as a great place for family float trips as well as fishing. Glenwood has numerous cabin rentals on the river and companies that rent canoes, kayaks, rafts, and tubes. There are facilities for camping and RV parking near the river. The town boasts of numerous top quality restaurants, a large grocery store with a wide variety of products, an award winning 18-hole golf course, a hardware store with everything you could possibly need, and many other amenities. The timber industry is still one of the largest professions in the area along with cattle and chicken farming. Even though the area has these tremendous resources and more, we still consider our people to be our greatest resource.
#8-19, Finch Braid, at 100 Dillard Rd., Glenwood AR is painted on a 3’x3’ plywood board. Jackie Beck shares: it hangs on our metal shop building along with my Fish on a Dish barn quilt. The love of bird watching has been passed down through several generations. My maternal grandmother had a large double window that faced her backyard where we would enjoy watching the many varieties of birds feeding. It was exciting to see how many different species of birds visited her feeders throughout the year. My mother, sister, aunt, as well as my daughter have set up feeding stations where the birds are well fed and loved. I am amazed at my two older grandsons that can name so many of the birds. The boys get as excited about seeing a new bird as the adults! The American Gold Finch was chosen for my barn quilt simply because it is beautiful. The bright yellow, black and a touch of white in the male is so vibrant in the winter months. I am blessed to have an abundance of them in my area for my husband and me to enjoy. My grandmothers taught me the love of sewing. My maternal grandmother was a true seamstress. She not only pieced quilt tops and hand quilted them, but she sewed clothing and did alterations from hemming garments to constructing wedding gowns for the community. My parental grandmother pieced a plethora of quilts by hand with any scraps she could get while sitting in her wooden rocking chair. My sweet mother-in-law inspired me to learn to quilt when I watched her give so much of herself with each quilt she made and in turn, gave away. This particular braid pattern was chosen in honor of a special friend now deceased. I did not start piecing quilts until in my 40’s. Jan Martin guided me through the learning process of quilt piecing. The French Braid Quilt pattern was the first quilt I made where I had to “fussy cut.” Jan was there with her tips and tricks to ensure I had a successful quilt. I will ever be indebted to the women in my life for sharing their passion of sewing, quilting and their knowledge of this art with me.
#8-20, Nana’s Retreat, is painted on an old metal sign purchased at Amity Trade Days. It measures 18” by 24” and was painted by Marla Stewart, AKA Nana, for her garden at 23 Stewart Farm Rd in the community of Kirby. This is the fourth barn quilt she has painted for her property. She created the design herself using only triangles and diamonds. After retiring from teaching, Marla became active volunteering for several community organizations. Her husband was diagnosed with FTD, frontotemporal degeneration, a non-curable progressive disease of younger men and women that leads to dementia. For more information on this disease, please visit aftd.org. Realizing that she needed to be at home more to help her husband, Marla decided that she would spend more time gardening. Her garden serves not only to produce nourishing food but also as a place to retreat from the concerns of life. Her garden is a no-till garden that limits digging and hoeing and helps develop a healthier ecosystem. She states, “When I was growing up, my dad planted a huge garden. I couldn’t understand how he could work full-time and put that much work into a garden. Of course, we had a large family and a limited income, so we needed the food. Yet, he seemed to enjoy the garden and even find it relaxing. I’m finally beginning to understand that a garden is not just about work.”
#8-21, Tops and Bottoms, is at 21 Donnie Buck Road, Amity, AR. This block is in the Kirby community. It was painted on an old metal sign by Marla Stewart. She gifted Carina Tolleson this barn quilt as a thank you for being her “garden guru”. As most good gardeners do, Carina has shared plants and advice on growing them. She grows most of the family’s vegetables and some fruit as well, starting them indoors with seeds she has harvested through the years. She dehydrates, freezes, and cans much of her bounty for eating during the winter. Carina’s garden is a no-till variety. Gardening without tilling prevents most weeds and is easier on the back. Her chickens enjoy some of the garden’s produce also. Now that Carina is retired from teaching, she hopes to expand her garden space. She also mills various grains to make her own homemade bread. Carina’s husband Bill is an avid fisherman and hunter. Together they offer a wide array of yummy foods for their family of three children, their spouses, and eight grandchildren.