Trail featured in Lake Erie Living

The May 2016 issue of Lake Erie Living has a story and photos about Ashtabula County’s Barn Quilt Trail.

http://www.lakeerieliving.com/Main/Articles/A_Patchwork_of_Pride_751.aspx

Be sure to share the link with your family and friends, and don’t forget to head to the newsstand and pick up a magazine or two!

One of the photos from the Lake Erie Magazine article on the Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail.
One of the photos from the Lake Erie Magazine article on the Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail.

New quilt ready for Benetka Road

A barn quilt will go up on the Benetka Road covered bridge the morning of April 25, 2016.

The Ashtabula County Engineers Office and volunteers from the Barn Quilt Steering Committee will raise the 8-by-8-foot barn quilt on the bridge starting around 8 a.m.

The quilt, painted by Jeffrey Scribben of Artistic Woodworks, is a custom design.

Tour the bridges with quilts

Tours of Ashtabula County Covered Bridges will depart from The Lodge and Conference Center 8:30 a.m. every Wednesday in May.

These tours will include stops at several of the covered bridges that have barn quilts on them. Learn about our covered bridges heritage and the barn quilts as you enjoy the spring countryside from the comfort of a Lodge shuttle bus.

Seating is limited and reservations are required. Cost is $40 per person. Call 440-466-7100 to register.header image Ashtabula County barn quilt trail

Giddings barn quilt dedication

Giddings 3-1The barn quilt at the Giddings Law Office in Jefferson will be dedicated 10 a.m. June 18.

The freestanding quilt was sponsored by Rep. John Patterson.

The Giddings Law Office is on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by the Ashtabula County Historical Society.

Tours of the office will be led by Mr. Giddings’ expert imposter!

Parron-Smith program is May 10

With the April 15 release of the new book, “Following the Barn Quilt Trail,” Ashtabula County’s Barn Quilt Trail will receive additional exposure and recognition for its quilts on covered bridges.

689@2x-1Suzi Parron Smith, author of the book, interviewed local barn quilt trail co-founders Chris Angerman and Kathy McCarty for her second book on the subject. She also requested high resolution images of the county’s most stunning barn quilts. The committee submitted the Benson’s Bridge barn quilt on the Graham Road Covered Bridge.

Smith will be in Ashtabula on May 10 to talk about her adventures following barn quilt trails around the nation. Her program is sponsored by Ashtabula Friendly Quilters and is free. The First Church of the Nazarene, 1820 South Ridge West, is hosting the event.

Smith’s program gets under way at 6:30 p.m. She will sell and sign her new book following the presentation. The Ashtabula Quilters will offer refreshments and plenty of time for the quilting community to meet and talk.

Following Parron’s visit on Tuesday evening, the Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva on the Lake will offer a special Barns and Bridges tour of Ashtabula County starting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 11. This tour will last three hours and will visit several of the county’s covered bridges, including those with barn quilts, and a several other barn quilt locations. The tour leaves from and returns to The Lodge and Conference Center.

Reservations for this tour must be made in advance; call the lodge front desk, 466-7100, to hold a spot on the tour. There is a charge for this tour, which will be led by Carl E. Feather, a barn quilt steering committee member and author of “The Covered Bridges of Ashtabula County.”

The Lodge and Conference Center is the official lodging host for Barn Quilt Trail visitors and the Parron-Smith event.

Getting the ball rolling

Less than three years ago, Suzi Parron – she was unmarried then – came to this very church to talk about the barn quilt movement. At that time there were only a few barn quilts scattered around the county, most of them only 2-by-2 feet and none of them on a formal “trail.” A barn quilt trail sets standards for the quilts so they will remain attractive for years to come. Having a trail with committee oversight also ensures that only those quilts that can be seen from the highway are included.

Gary Tabor built this covered bridge from discarded lumber. A monkey wrench-pattern barn quilt is on the bridge.

Gary Tabor built this covered bridge from discarded lumber. A monkey wrench-pattern barn quilt is on the bridge. Although not on the trail, Tabor’s 8-by-8-foot barn quilt on his toy museum in Williamsfield Township is on the trail.

 

 

Parron’s presentation lit a fire in the hearts of McCarty and Angerman, who were soon joined by those in the tourism development, arts and agriculture community to establish a trail. About nine months after Parron’s visit, volunteer firefighters from Plymouth Township raised quilt number one on the Ashtabula County Barn Quilts Trail. A modified log cabin design, the barn quilt is on the Blakeslee Log Cabin’s barn.

That 4-by-4-foot barn quilt has much company, with more than five dozen barn quilts on the trail. With support from the Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau, a map to the barn quilts, covered bridges and wineries of the county appears inside the 2016 Visitors Guide. The guides are available from the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau office on Austinburg Road, as well as at many restaurants, hotels and government offices.

Amir Garakouei, Ashtabula County Highway Department superintendent, watches as a new barn quilt is added to the Mechanicsville covered bridge the morning of July 16, 2015.

Amir Garakouei, Ashtabula County Highway Department superintendent, watches as a new barn quilt is added to the Mechanicsville covered bridge the morning of July 16, 2015.

The steering committee’s first barn quilt on a covered bridge, Graham Road, came in the fall of 2014. Since then, barn quilts have been added to the bridges at Mechanicsville and South Denmark. Slated for a barn quilt this year are the bridges at Benetka Road, Giddings Road and Doyle Road.

The Civic Development Corporation became involved in the project in 2015 and funded a number of 8-by-8-foot barn quilts on heritage farms and public properties. The CDC’s grant also will assist the City of Geneva in their massive 16-by-16-foot barn quilt on a downtown building. Painting of this quilt got under way last weekend with a group of volunteers assembling in the Geneva Rec Center to draw the patterns on the 16 individual “blocks,” or barn quilts. Painting of the patterns began Thursday evening.

When the barn quilt is unveiled in July, it will be, to the best of the local committee’s knowledge, the largest barn quilt in Ohio.

All of this was sparked by the visit from Parron in September 2013. Imagine what could come out her visit May 10!

For more information on Parron-Smith’s presentation, send an email to mckatquilts@gmail.com. Visit the local barn quilt trail at barnquiltsashtabulacounty.com. And find out more about the new book at barnquiltinfo.com.

Happy New Year

2015 was a good year for the Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail.

Backed by a grant from the Civic Development Corporation, the steering committee accomplished its goal of adding more large, 8-by-8-foot quilts to legacy barns and covered bridges. The last of these went up as the year came to a close, on the Smolen Engineering Barn in Jefferson Township.

Our 2016 map, which is part of the Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau visitor’s guide, will soon be printed. We are running out of room on the map, with more than 60 barn quilts on the trail. Two years ago, there were none.

This spring, we’ll welcome Suzi Parron back to our county as she does a presentation and book signing at the Ashtabula First Church of the Nazarene. Suzi’s first presentation in the county, more than two years ago, got the ball rolling for us to start  the trail; imagine what her second visit will do!

We already know that her new book will include a  photograph of the Graham Road Covered Bridge decked out in its new barn quilt. Earlier this year, the trail got a visit from Neil Zurcher, who featured it on his One Tank Trip segment. And we’re told that Cleveland Magazine has slated a story about the trail for its May 2016 issue.

All these good things have come about through the dedication of our volunteer steering committee and property owners who are part of the trail. We are grateful for every barn owner who has taken the time and resources to pursue this amenity. And we welcome those who are still sitting on the rail fence to make the move in 2016 and become part of the trail.

During 2016 we hope to bring our focus back to the county’s farmers and their iconic barns. We too often forget the personal sacrifices that farmers make in producing our food. A recent story in The Ashtabula Wave about the Brinker family, which has a barn quilt, will serve as a reminder of the sacrifices. Be sure to check it out!

Brinker story.

Flag waves at Freedom Farm

A new barn quilt, installed on Veterans Day 2015, celebrates the freedom that is endemic to living in the “country.”

The 8-by-8-foot barn quilt was painted by Jeff Scribben of Artistic Woodworks and features a fluttering American flag in a geometric pattern.

The 1857 Freedom Farm barn on Route 84 West, Ashtabula, is home to the quilt. The barn is located across from the entrance to Lakeside High School.

The farm was purchased last year by two Cleveland-area couples, who are rebuilding and replanting. Read the full story of the quilt and barn in the Ashtabula WaveFreedom Farm 1-6-3.

2016 map finalized

The new barn quilt at the Joshua Giddings Law Office in Jefferson was recently installed, thanks to a gift from State Rep. John Patterson of Jefferson.
The new barn quilt at the Joshua Giddings Law Office in Jefferson was recently installed, thanks to a gift from State Rep. John Patterson of Jefferson.

After weeks of hard work by Jacklyn Krysna of the Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau, trail co-founder Kathy McCarty and designer Linda Natco, our 2016 barn quilt trail map is ready for the printer.

This map, which shows the location of barn quilts, wineries and covered bridges, will be inserted into every 2016 Ashtabula County Visitors Guide. The ACCVB typically has a press run of 80,000 guides, which are printed in January.

You don’t have to wait until then to see the map. It is offered as a download that you can view online or print.  Please keep in mind that this map anticipates what quilts will be up as of June 2016, so some that are listed on the map won’t be completed and installed until then.

The steering committee is particularly pleased to have at least two sites pertaining to Joshua Giddings sporting barn quilts. His law office in Jefferson has a quilt that is installed on posts, and the Giddings Road Covered Bridge will have a barn quilt on the portal. The former barn quilt was made possible by a generous donation from State Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson. The Ashtabula County Historical Society funded the installation. Gary Tabor of Williamsfield Township painted and installed the quilt with assistance from Dave Martin, also of the society.

These sites are expected to be popular spots during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next year; having barn quilts at these Gidding landmarks will add another layer of interest for tourists.

 

 

Parron visit planned for 2016

Suzi Parron, author of “Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement,” will return to Ashtabula County May 10, 2016, to present a free program about the American Barn Quilt Trail Movement.

The Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail and Ashtabula Friendly Quilters Guild will sponsor the event, to be held at First Church of the Nazarene, 1820 South Ridge Road, Ashtabula. The program will get under way at 6:30 p.m.

The barn quilt trail movement was born in Adams County, in 2001. The movement has spread to 44 states and more than 4,000 barn quilts celebrate America’s rich quilting heritage. There are more than 60 barn quilts on Ashtabula County’s trail.

Parron has written a second book on the barn quilt trail and will discuss that book during her presentation on May 10. Her barnquiltinfo.com website is a resource for quilters and travelers to find trails and information.

For more information about Parron’s upcoming 2016 visit to Ashtabula County, call 440-536-4003.

Committee to host events at Graham Road

Graham Road, the center piece of an Ashtabula County Metro Park, sports an 8X8 barn quilt that honors the Benson family, which donated the land the covered bridge rests upon.
Graham Road, the center piece of an Ashtabula County Metro Park, sports an 8X8 barn quilt that honors the Benson family, which donated the land the covered bridge rests upon.

During the Covered Bridge Festival (Oct. 10 & 11), volunteers from the Barn Quilt Steering Committee will be at the Graham Road, Pierpont Township, covered bridge to sell covered bridge souvenirs, answer questions about barn quilts and provide entertainment, education and snacks.

The committee will have cold cider from Cold Springs Orchard, hot chocolate and cookies and other baked goodies. These items will be available for a donation; all donations help support the barn quilt trail.

There will be live music both days, with hay-bale seating for our guests! Music will be inside the bridge, so come out and enjoy rain or shine.

On Saturday, Bob Turner, who signs Bob Dylan and other folk songs, will be our guest performer. On Sunday, Andre Debevc and son will perform.

Our bridge also will host informational sessions on barn quilts and the county’s covered bridges. These sessions begin at 4 p.m. each day and will feature Power Points presentations with local author Carl E. Feather, “Covered Bridges of Ashtabula County” and “Hidden History of Ashtabula County” speaking. His books will be available for sale during the event at our bridge.

The bridge events get under way at noon each day; events wrap up at 5 p.m. daily.

Graham Road bridge is special to the committee because it was the first of the county’s covered bridges to get a barn quilt. The quilt honors the Benson family, whose story has been intertwined with the bridge for more than a century, when Bob Benson’s grandfather helped build it!