It's official! We are now part of the Haywood County and Western North Carolina Quilt Trail! The Quilt Trails project got its start in Ohio when Donna Sue Groves put a block on her barn to honor her mother. From that simple act, the project has spread to 30 states and Canada!
It took us some time to select a quilt pattern that told a story about our home, but after we did, we couldn't image a better pattern for our bed and breakfast here in Waynesville.
We selected “The Four Little Birds” pattern for several reasons. If you've ever been here, you know that we have tried to create an outdoor sanctuary, not only for our bed and breakfast guests, but also for the variety of Western North Carolina birds that contribute to our guests' experience and the beauty of our gardens. In particular, we think we may have the bird of prey, the Kestrel which is a member of the falcon family, on our property (we're trying to get some verification on this). When doing research of the house's history, the only missing link was why the Howell's called the house Windover. All we do know from the Howell's granddaughter is that there was an additional letter in the word Windover when it was initially selected. In researching the history of the word Windover, we came across a poem written in the 19th century about the Kestrel, known in England at that time as the Windhover. Although we don't know how Windover got its name, we feel initially selecting it for a bird that may have hovered over the property and was prevalent in the Smoky Mountains, and then shortening it to signify the winds it would ride over the property fits perfectly! Finally, as the fourth owners of The Windover Inn Bed & Breakfast, we thought the pattern was very symbolic of how all four of us are connected by the history and preservation of our lovely home.
Here's the poem we found. It was written on May 30, 1877, by a Jesuit priest named Gerard Manley Hopkins. Dedicated “to Christ our Lord”, he called “The Windhover” “the best thing [he] ever wrote”.
I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin,
dapple-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstacy! Then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend; the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wing. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valor and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! And the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it; sheer plod makes plow down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
Along with our quilt square, there are 24 other locations in Clyde,
and Waynesville that are part of the Haywood County Quilt Trail, and the larger Western North Carolina Quilt Trail. The quilt squares are all painted on wooden frames and installed on barns, public structures,
shops, and other appropriate buildings around the community and each has its own story. The website www.haywoodquilttrails.org provides
block names, locations, photos and short stories about each block, and we have brochures here with the information so you can see all of the beautiful quilt trail squares for yourself! Maggie Valley