Foothills Quilt Trail
Location: 15 Conn Rd., on Rt. 173
Geocode: 38.137341, -83.266054
Directions: From Morehead, go east on US60/KY32 (the Bypass) to signal light near Rodburn Elementary School. Turn right and go 9.4 miles on Christy Creek Rd. (Rt. 32E).Tthen at Wagoner's Corner, go right 2.5 miles on Rt. 173 to just past junction with Conn Road. Garage is at left near the road facing Rt. 173.
Building Owner: Bill &
Lois Conn Tackitt
Painted by: FQT Quilt Painting Team
Installed: October 11, 2009 by the Tackitt family
Sponsor: Lucy Conn Moore
Monkey Wrench is one of the few quilt blocks on the Foothills quilt Trail that is displayed on a building other than a barn. However, it does hang on a building with much character and history in the Elliottville community. The Monkey Wrench quilt block is appropriately exhibited on an old garage owned by the Cyril Conn family on Route 173.
The garage first opened for business in the late 40’s. It soon became known for more than auto repair as it became the “hangout” for many of the area residents. With a horseshoe pit out back, there was always a game in action and challengers awaiting their turn. Many dropped by just to sit and have a Pepsi or chat awhile. For a real treat, Cyril would empty a pack of peanuts in his ice cold Pepsi. Many fond memories were forged by members of the Elliottville community at the Conn garage. The garage remained in operation until the late 60’s when Cyril went to work at MSU. Sherman retired shortly thereafter.
Lucy Conn Moore purchased the block as a birthday gift for her sister Lois Conn Tackitt in September 2009. Lois loved the rich heritage associated with Foothills Quilt Trail and wanted a block of her own. However, the barn on the property was too far from the main highway. Thus, she began shifting her thinking so that she could still have a block. As she searched for patterns, she happened upon the Monkey Wrench and knew that was the perfect pattern for the garage. She applied to the FQT Committee but learned that criteria for a block specified that the block must be attached to a barn. She shared her disappointment with Lucy. Her heart was set on a block for the garage which sat right next to the highway beside her house. The original Monkey Wrench pattern inspired both sisters to honor their father Cyril and paternal grandfather, R.S. “Sherman” Conn. When Lucy learned of Lois’s efforts and disappointment, she took matters into her own hands. She contacted a friend on the FQT and bought a block to be painted as a surprise for her sister. Bound by secrecy, the FQT helped Lucy find an alternate Monkey Wrench pattern that had not previously been used. She chose shades of purple (Lois’s favorite color) and hunter green to compliment the trim on the house. It was decided that monkey wrenches would be used as to represent the fabric design in lieu of the flowers on the original pattern.
Under the ruse of needing to pick up boxes at the Morehead News office for the Rowan County Board of Education where they both work, Lucy surprised Lois with the block. Members of the committee and Morehead News staff helped with the plot and captured Lois’s surprise in photos as she realized the block she was admiring was her own.
After giving the garage a new coat of paint, Lois, her husband, Bill, and son, Josh, hung the quilt block on the garage in early October 2009.