Hardin Park joins Watauga Barn Quilt Trail

Article Published: Jun. 10, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Hardin Park joins Watauga Barn Quilt Trail

Hardin Park fifth-grader Jack Tucker won the design competition for his barn quilt to be displayed on the school.

Photo by Melanie Marshall

Hardin Park Elementary will become the first school to be listed on the Watauga Arts Council's Barn Quilt Trail.

The idea was conceived by Hardin parent Erika Hubbard, and the school held a design competition in April.

Fifth grader Jack Tucker won the competition for his design titled "100% Rhombus."

"There are many reasons to appreciate the simple beauty of a barn quilt," Hubbard said. "In the midst of widening roads and other development coming to Boone, Jack Tucker's barn quilt design serves as a reminder of our rural heritage and community values."

Tucker said he used his Fractiles puzzle to come up with multiple designs before settling on one to enter into the competition. More than 100 students entered a barn quilt design.

At the ceremony to name the winner, Tucker said his classmates, Rose Trew and Elizabeth Armas, gave him a run for first place.

"I thought one of them would win," he said. "They were both really good."

Hardin parent Jess McNiel took Tucker's paper drawing and created the 16 square foot barn quilt to hang on the school. McNiel said he had a lot of help from his children, Morgan NcNiel-Hatley, Thomas McNiel and Alex McNiel, all Hardin Park students, in creating the quilt.

School maintenance crews hung the quilt on the side of the building facing U.S. 421 Tuesday morning.
"I feel kind of famous," Tucker said. "Everyone on 421 can see it when they drive by."

The quilt is visible from the section of U.S. 421 above and behind New Market Centre in Boone.
The Watauga Arts Council is willing to include "100% Rhombus" in the Barn Quilt Trail, provided Hardin Park Elementary leave the quilt on display at least two years.

The quilt trail project was launched in 2007 with support of Handmade in America. A self-guiding trails map is available through the Watauga Arts Council website to direct sightseers along the highways and back roads to view the icons of tradition. The website is http://www.watauga-arts.org, and a printed copy is available at the Jones House Community Center in downtown Boone.

Tucker's design is the 12th quilt to be added to the Watauga trail. Hubbard hopes other schools in the area will follow with barn quilts of their own.

Alfredo Alvarez, whose children also attend Hardin Park, donated $250 toward the cost of materials, which include primer, paint MDO board and framing supplies. Perry Yates of New River Building Supply donated some items, and the Southern Appalachian Historical Association donated the space for construction and painting of the quilt.

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