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It Started with a Bright Idea…

Recently, Jacksonville High School and White Oak High School were awarded a Bright Ideas Grant for a collaborative art project involving students from both schools from the Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corporation. The project is designed to create Onslow County’s first Barn Quilts and install them at designated locations across Onslow County.

The grant was intiated by husband and wife, Bernie and Tami Rosage, who teach at JHS and WOHS respectively. Tami Rosage and her students are selecting barn quilt sites and creating the marketing materials for the project. Bernie Rosage, Kenny Kellum, and JHS students are building and painting the barn quilt panels.  Six (6) panels will be a painted quilt square design that is 8 feet by 8 feet in size.

What is a Barn Quilt?

 “Quilt trails are created by quilt guilds, civic groups, local arts councils, 4-H clubs, school groups, and other organizations. Most are a countywide effort, which allows for a distinct trail in a single area and creates local pride in the project. This simple idea has spread to 48 states and to Canada, and the trail continues to grow. Over 7000 quilts are part of organized trails; dozens more are scattered through the countryside waiting to be discovered.” — barquiltinfo.com,

Barn quilt trails are nothing new to the United States or Western Carolina.  However, these Onslow County high school students are pioneering the first known Barn Quilt Trail in Eastern North Carolina.

What is a Barn Quilt Trail?

A quilt trail is a collection of quilt blocks mounted on various locations throughout a community or county.  The quilt blocks do not have to be on barns; many are on buildings or mounted on posts in public places.  Since a quilt trail is intended for a driving or walking tour, a quilt trail will include a map–either printed or electronic–of the locations so that travelers can locate the quilts. Some are elaborate brochures or books, others are a simple paper map.

When will we see the Trail?

It is our hope that residents and tourists experience the heritage, hospitality, and beauty of Onslow County as they visit each barn or building on the Barn Quilt Trail.  The project is currently underway and the 6 initial panels created during the project should be in place by Spring of 2017.

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