Invitation to launch May 22, 2013 in Strathroy, ON
The concept began in Ohio ten years ago. In 2009, a small group of women in Temiskaming Ontario painted 100 barn quilts as part of the 2009 International Plowing Match. Wardsville Ontario stitched a quilt and installed 30 barn quilts for their 2010 Bicentennial. Five counties across South Central Ontario Region supported trails with the Sand Plains Community Development Fund in 2012.
Now, in 2013, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) has granted a one-year grant to help establish ‘barn quilt trails’ across Ontario to celebrate heritage traditions in rural communities. The goal of the new Trillium-funded Ontario Barn Quilt Trails project is to support and promote barn quilt trails throughout Ontario as a way to tell community stories.
There will be a conference in October to share best practices and tools for implementing community barn quilt projects. The project will provide seed funding to a few communities to demonstrate how a project is put together. The barn quilt phenomenon keeps spreading and this new project funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation will keep it going: connecting communities across the Ontario by honouring the textile arts.
On May 22nd, three local story quilts will be displayed, which are the foundation of the existing Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail, the Chippewa Women’s Trail of Tears, and the Wardsville Barn Quilt Trail. “These quilts start up the creative juices”, says Denise Corneil, the barn quilt champion whose vision it was to take barn quilts from Wardsville across the province. “If quilters design a quilt which tells the community’s story, then the rest of the community can take it from there: painting, siting, installing, and blogging about the 8 foot square paintings of the individual quilt blocks. But that is ambitious – anyone can paint a quilt block on their barn!”
The Ontario Trillium Foundation will support a powerful on-line map where (1) communities can register their barn quilts, (2) where appreciators can discover and read the stories that go with the barn quilts (and plan their trip to visit them), and (3) where businesses and organizations can help promote barn quilt trails.