Where it all began

Barn quilts began with a wish to honour a mother. Donna Sue Groves paid tribute to her Mom, Maxine, and her Appalachian heritage by painting a quilt block on her barn. With the help of friends and community members in 2001, Donna Sue’s vision grew to a trail of 20 quilt barns in Adams County, Ohio. Now, there are over 3000 barn quilts trailing across rural America.

Inspired by the American movement, the village of Wardsville decided to paint barn quilts to celebrate their bi-centennial. Located in the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex, Wardsville depicted the story of the village’s founders in a fabric quilt and 30 quilt blocks.

Realizing the potential of barn quilts, community organizers Denise Corneil and Mary Simpson, documented the community experience on-line using social media. They displayed the quilt at quilt shows and promoted the idea to local tourism and museum organizations. Tourism Middlesex immediately caught the bug as did “EON”, the Elgin Oxford Norfolk Association of Museum Curators.

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