Take a drive on an East Tennessee back road and you’ll find beauty that looks like it was made lovingly one stitch at a time. East Tennessee’s barn quilts are a breathtaking part of the country scenery. Painted on huge wooden squares and placed above barn doors, the barn quilts you’ll find on Tennessee country roads form the Tennessee Quilt Trail. These barns and their quilt squares represent Appalachian arts.
Tennessee Quilt Trail History
The history of the Tennessee Quilt Trail dates back to when early Appalachian settlers made quilts for use in their homes. These quilts were lovingly made one stitch at a time and were often passed down generation to generation. The early Appalachian settlers were a resilient people and handcrafted most of what they needed to survive and enjoy life in the hills. Tennessee barn quilts represent this culture.
The Tennessee Quilt Trail started in 2004 in Northeast Tennessee. In the years since, the trend has headed south. Today you’ll find barn quilts in Knox County, Washington County, Greene County, Blount County and even right here in Sevier County.
Today many of the barn quilts on the Tennessee Quilt Trail are based on the history of the family that owns the barn. Some might represent an heirloom quilt in the family, others might have tie-ins to the family crest. The barn quilts are part of the community culture of Appalachia. With names like Bear’s Paw, Sunburst and Country Decision, it is easy to see the deep roots associated with Tennessee’s barn quilts.
Traveling The Tennessee Quilt Trail
The Tennessee Quilt Trail in East Tennessee stretches from the far reaches of the Great Smoky Mountains all the way to the Cumberland Plateau and back through the Tennessee River Valley. There are literally hundreds of barn quilts to see across East Tennessee and traveling back roads to scope out the beauty and wonder of these barn quilts can be an enjoyable part of your Smoky Mountain vacation.
Appalachian Quilts at Lid'l Dolly's
Lid’l Dolly’s in Pigeon Forge has been charming Pigeon Forge visitors since it opened doors years ago. Known for their darling dresses, Lid’l Dolly’s also will let you take home a piece of Appalachian quilt culture. Their vast selection of quilts will let you pick out the perfect memento of your time on the Tennessee Quilt Trail.
Lid’s Dolly’s is located on the Pigeon Forge Parkway at Traffic Light # 4, 2870 Parkway. Call Lid’l Dolly’s at (865) 429-4867 for additional information.
You’ll find that the Tennessee Quilt Trail has two stops in Sevier County. These barn quilts are located on country roads in Seymour, just a short ride from the hustle and bustle of Pigeon Forge. Let the Tennessee Quilt Trail take you to:
- Exquisite Quilting: 12917 Chapman Highway, Suite A and B in Seymour, Tennessee
- Wade Family Barn: Corner of Chapman Highway and N. Rogers Road in Seymour, Tennessee
You can find other stops along the Tennessee Quilt Trail in counties surrounding Pigeon Forge at the Barn Quilts Info site.
With back roads beauty and strong connections to Appalachian culture, the Tennessee Quilt Trail is a can’t-miss way to take in local flavor. Make traveling the Tennessee Quilt Trail part of your next Smoky Mountain vacation. Browse Pigeon Forge hotels, cabins and more.