National Quilt Trail Gathering Set For Aug. 10-13 In Greeneville

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Greeneville/Greene County will be hosting the 2016 National Quilt Trail Gathering from Aug.10-13, bringing with it a tapestry of events related to quilting arts and quilt inspiration, open to the public. The full schedule of events can be found at

When Donna Sue Groves painted a bright green pattern inspired by a “Snail Trail” quilt, on her mother’s barn in rural Ohio, little did she know she would be founding what would become a national folk art phenomenon. The Quilt Trail movement has spread to 45+ states (including east Tennesee and western NC) and into Canada. All independent grass roots projects, each trail has its own goals and unique artwork and approaches. And, organized by the Appalachian RC&D Council (, they are coming to Tennessee to learn from each other and present their best practices. Tennessee is home to hundreds of quilt barns and downtown quilt blocks.  The website shows most of the quilt blocks across the state.

During the Gathering, the public is invited to the world premiere of the documentary Pieced Together, with Peabody-award winning Director/Producer Julianne Donofrio ( The film tells the story of Donna Sue Groves, and how, according to Donofrio, “one woman’s love for her mother changed the American landscape and saved her own life while battling with cancer.” The film will screen at the Capitol Theatre, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m. ($10, includes dessert bar).

The following presentations are also open to the public, at the General Morgan Inn in downtown Greeneville: Merikay Waldvogel, of Knoxville, a published quilt historian, member of the national Quilters Halls of Fame, and one of the key players in the late 20th century quilt history revival, will be the keynote speaker on Friday Aug. 12, at 9 a.m. ($10). Nationally celebrated storyteller, Elizabeth Ellis will use her “voice like buttermilk” to perform her family’s quilt stories on Thursday, Aug. 11, at 9 a.m. ($10). Patricia Mink, director of the Fibers Art program at East Tennessee State University, will give an artist talk on her contemporary quilt work, Thursday Aug. 11, at 3:30 p.m. ($10).  Artspace4 Gallery is showing her work for the month of August (free). The Greeneville-Greene County History Museum is also showing a special antique quilt exhibit from their collection for the month of August for a small fee.

Ohio hosted the first gathering of Quilt Trails from across the county in 2011 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Donna Sue Groves’ first quilt barn and the founding of the Adams County, Ohio, Quilt Trail.

“A national gathering has not happened since then,” according to organizer, Emily Bidgood of the Appalachian RC&D Council, “so it is a real honor for Tennessee to host. We have trails coming from Nebraska, California, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, South Carolina, to name a few.”

The four-day long celebration is sponsored by the Appalachian RC&D Council, Tennessee Quilts Jonesborough, Greeneville/Greene County Tourism, the General Morgan Inn, the Greeneville-Greene County History Museum, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Mary G.K. Fox Foundation.

A full schedule and registration for the Gathering are found online at:, and is on social media at Contact the Appalachian RC&D Council at 423-979-2581 for more information.

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