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Barn quilt mural quickly becomes a new attraction in Mount Ulla

MOUNT ULLA — Somewhere tucked within the 504-square-foot Community Barn Quilt Mural, a quarter-size “Little Kitty” is hidden away.

Can you find it?

Elsie Bennett, chief organizer and artist behind the mural — now thought to be the country’s biggest community barn quilt — compares it to a version of “Where’s Waldo?”

The mural, which took all day Monday to install, takes up the whole Graham Road side of West Rowan Farm, Home & Garden, owned by Elsie and her husband, Brian.

The store is at the intersection of N.C. 801 and Graham Road.

The volunteers who put up all the painted plywood quilt squares making up the mural finished about 9 Monday night. Elsie Bennett said when the mural was completed, it looked to be missing a square at the top, next to the squares that spell out Mount Ulla.

Becky Edwards, secretary at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, earlier had mentioned to her daughter, Julie, that she wished someone had done a church design on one of the squares.

Elsie Bennett agreed. She already had included a Christian flag in the mural, “because, to sum it all up, the community project has been a God thing.”

“It is much bigger than we are, and it’s a testament to the love in our community,” she explained.

So when the suggestion came for a church square, Bennett was all in. One of her chief volunteers, Susan Owen, told Elsie to draw it up and she would paint it that night.

The final square, featuring a church, went up Wednesday and pushed the mural’s overall size from 500 square feet to 504 square feet.

Meanwhile, the “Little Kitty” comes courtesy of Tara Lowrance. Tara had painted a quilt square in memory of her mother, Violet Lowrance.

“After she was done,” Elsie said, “she asked if she could add a little kitty for her sister, Sharon. Sharon’s beloved 16-year-old cat, Lucky, had passed away, and she was having a hard time with it.

“I thought it would be great — and fun.”

The mural is the latest addition to the Rowan County Barn Quilt Trail.

“I told Elsie I think this is going to be a lot bigger and more popular than even we anticipate,” said Adele Goodman, one of the trail’s founders.

Meanwhile, Elsie reports that a new barn quilt — an 8-foot-square one she painted for St. Luke’s Lutheran Church — will go up this weekend and should be in place for the congregation’s Sunday service.

The “Luther Rose” barn quilt is part of the church’s 150th anniversary celebration.

Information about the barn quilt trail and Rowan Barn Quilt Trail Association calendars is available at West Rowan Farm, Home & Garden.

The store has a cruise-in for cars from 5 to 8 Friday nights, a ride-in every Saturday and a Summer Sunday Nights Bluegrass Musician Jam from 5 to 8. The store’s Community Ice Cream Socials are held Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the summer and fall.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.





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