The Greenback Heritage Museum is hosting its 9th Annual Quilt Show from Sept. 5-7, but this year, there’s a new twist: an additional category, giving local craftspeople and collectors another way to earn bragging rights.

Barbara Davis, museum volunteer and a member of the Quilt Show Committee, explained the twist.

“This year, we made three categories: New quilts, old quilts and miscellaneous,” she said. “The miscellaneous category will be things like table toppers, table runners, crocheted items, pillows and cross-stitch.”

Quilts made after 2000 will be considered “new,” while those made in prior years will be in the “old” category, Davis said.

In keeping with the museum’s tradition, cash prizes will be awarded to the top three entries in each category as determined by “piggy bank votes.” Each quilt is assigned a number, and the public can vote for their favorites by putting pennies in the appropriate piggy bank.

Cindy Benefield, also a museum volunteer, said, “People really get a kick out of the piggy banks!”

Variety of entries

Benefield, a descendant of the McCollum family of Greenback, is planning to enter several of the historic quilts, coverlets and other items in her collection.

Some were handmade on the McCollum farm where her late grandparents, Sam and Ruth McCollum, lived and worked.

Benefield now lives in the restored farmhouse, which was built before the Civil War.

Among the treasures Benefield has is a brown and beige wool coverlet.

She said sheep were raised on the farm, and the wool was carded, loomed and woven into the coverlet on-site.

“It was given to me by Karen Ogle, who was given it by her grandmother, Lou Kerr Anderson,” she said. “My second cousin told me it needed to come home to the place where it was made. It’s in impeccable shape.”

One of the quilts to be displayed was provided by Benefield’s cousin, Dotty Neslen, from a pattern by internationally known quilter Judy Martin. “She’s carried on the family tradition of quilting,” Benefield said. Neslen also has loaned one of Martin’s books to the museum. “When people bring quilts in, we try to help identify them if they don’t know what the pattern is,” Benefield said.

Anita McCollum is entering several quilts, some cross-stitched and others pieced. “One of the quilts is from my great-grandmother Sally Walker Fox, who was born in 1772 and died in 1872,” McCollum said. “She was 100 when she died. She was mostly blind, but she still crocheted and did those pieced tops.”


McCollum also will enter a crocheted afghan in a ripple, or chevron, pattern made by her grandmother, the late Archie Ennis Reed King, and a pair of curtains with embroidered edges.

The embroidery originally was done by her mother, the late Jo King, on pillow cases that won first prize at the 1962 Tennessee Valley Agricultural & Industrial Fair in Knoxville. “I made curtains out of them because the pillow cases were full of moth holes,” McCollum said.

Davis, an accomplished quilter and crafter, showed several items that can be considered in the “miscellaneous” category. These include table toppers, table runners and a crocheted doll.

The quilt show will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 5-7 at the Greenback Heritage Museum, 6725 Morganton Road, Greenback.

Admission is free. Entries will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 27, 30 and 31, at the museum. There is no entry fee.

The annual quilt show is a way to introduce the community to the holdings of the Greenback Heritage Museum, which includes documents, books, pictures, farm tools, household items, telephones, antique radios and business equipment from the 1800s and early 1900s.

The Greenback Heritage Scrapbook, a compilation of documents, pictures, newspaper clippings and articles covering the history of the area from around 1800 until recent times, also is available.

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