The Quilt Trails is a Franklin County Arts Council project that captures the history of our community through the display of quilt blocks on historic buildings and structures in Franklin and surrounding counties. While traveling through Central and Eastern North Carolina to view the quilt blocks, travelers can enjoy the area’s art, history, agriculture, and scenic byways. What began as a local endeavor has spread from Franklin County to 7 counties with plans to follow the Tar and Roanoke River basins to the coast covering Eastern North Carolina.

The Tar River Quilt Trail was launched by Theresa Brown and Stephen Filarsky in September 2011 as a moneymaking project for Franklin County Arts Council and a way to set Franklin County apart to attract visitors to the county.  Theresa and Stephen turned the Quilt Trail project over to Charles Powell and a dedicated team of Art Council volunteers.  Charles has been instrumental in the growth of the Quilt Trail; and, with growth and expansion into surrounding counties, this resulted in changing the name to Quilt Trails of the Tar & Roanoke Rivers.  The Quilt Trail is patterned after the successful Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina. Our trail is the only official trail in Eastern North Carolina and has a priority to bring tourist to the area to explore our rural heritage. Each block has a different story to tell about the owners and their location. Proceeds from the sale of Quilt Blocks supports local art projects and local artist.    

Members of Franklin County Arts Council put in many hours building, priming, and painting the quilt patterns onto the wooden blocks. The blocks are square, wooden blocks sold in 2'x2', 3'x3', 4'x4', 6'x6' or 8'x8' sizes and are painted with a single quilt block pattern.

Visitors may pick up maps from the Franklin County Arts Council (99 Bickett Blvd. Louisburg NC), NC Visitor Centers, and The Broken Needle Quilt Shop in Bunn NC. 

Volunteer - Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers need volunteers with carpentry skills to help hang Quilt Trail Blocks. The Arts Council will provide materials and instructions for hanging the blocks. Contact Ellen Queen at or 919-815-1614.


Question & Answer

Become a part of the Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers

Q: Who can Join Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke River?

To have a quilt block the property must be in Eastern North Carolina.

Q: How can I become part of the Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke River?

Anyone interested in joining the trails should contact Franklin County Arts Council by calling 919-497-6910 or email the arts council at

Q: What is the advantage in joining the Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers?

Being a member of the Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers means you are sharing your area's history and culture and helping bring tourist dollars into your county. If your block is for your place of business you are bringing those dollars right to your front door. The Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers Guide will mark the locations of authentic quilt blocks and offer historical details about the family or the building and the significance of the block pattern. The arts council’s website provides a link to follow us on Facebook, and an application for those wishing to buy a quilt block and be added to the trail. Each block is featured in the map brochure and a booklet with the story behind the chosen blocks.

To download our contract, which includes prices, click:   Quilt Trail Contract >>

Quilt Trail Map and Brochure

Quilt Trail Map and Brochure

What started in 2013 as “Quilt Blocks of the Tar River” with 6 quilt blocks donated to the major towns and historic structures in Franklin County has grown into Quilt Trails of the Tar and Roanoke Rivers.

It now includes seven counties: Franklin, Wake, Vance, Granville, Nash, Pitt, and Martin and the number of blocks has grown from 6 to 66…and still growing

Follow the trail while learning the history and culture of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Visitors may pick up maps from the Franklin County Arts Council (99 Bickett Blvd., Louisburg, NC), The Broken Needle Quilt Shop in Bunn NC, and NC Visitor Centers.

Click to download a printer friendly version of the Quilt Trail Map Brochure >>

Quilt Blocks of the Tar & Roanoke Rivers Quide

Quilt Block Guide (click here)


New Quilt Blocks added since the latest brochure was printed. 

  • Tree of LIfe - Spring Green Primitive Baptist Church
    1074 Spring Green Rd Williamston NC 27892
  • Rocky Glen - Variation 3

105 Normandy Rd, Louisburg NC 27549



99 South Bickett Blvd.Louisburg NC 27549




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