Sunday, April 11, 2010

A $15,000 federal grant has been awarded to the Upper Cumberland Quilt Trail to support expansion, publicity and a new Web site to draw visitors and business to Putnam County. The Upper Cumberland Quilt Trail began last year as a collection of six barns near Algood that displayed large paintings of quilt patterns traditional to the region. Since then, interest in the project has expanded across the Upper Cumberland. According to project coordinator Kathy Daugherty, the trail now has 79 applications from host farms in the area interested in being officially included on the trail. Forty of those have already painted their barns, some with help from Cookeville High School student volunteers. The grant will be put toward the purchase of promotional materials for the trail, including brochures, maps, road signs and a new Web site. Supporters say increased visitors to the trail will bring customers to businesses in remote parts of the county. In addition, many host farms have set up farm stands selling produce, crafts and antiques. And one farm will be opening up a restaurant for Quilt Trail visitors.