There has never been a better time to enjoy Ashtabula County’s barn quilt trail than this spring and summer. Gas is cheap, the landscape is greening and all of us could use a respite from the house without violating the social-distancing guidelines that have been implemented during the pandemic.
Use our website to plan your outing and map a route that will take you on a journey along scenic byways and through charming small towns and villages. Roll down the windows, take a deep breath and allow the sunshine to evaporate your winter blues and news overload.
You can download a map of the county and its quilts from this site or seek out a printed map in the 2020 Ashtabula County Visitors Guide as tourism businesses reopen. Or request a guide/map at the Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau website.
Guests visiting the trail this spring and summer will not find Quilt 90 at Ashtabula Towne Square (Habitat for Humanity’s Restore). The store has closed and the quilt is no longer there. No. 90 will be reassigned to a future addition to our trail.
DVDs of “The Story Quilter’s Threads” are available from our BQT co-founder, Kathy McCarty, for a donation of $20 plus $3 shipping. Please send checks to Kathy McCarty, 1551 Ashwood Dr., Ashtabula OH 44004. Make check payable to the Ashtabula Arts Center, the trail’s fiscal agent, with “BQT DVD” in the memo line.
The documentary shares the stories behind the barn quilts and host farms in southern Ashtabula County. Along the way, viewers meet the artists who build and paint the barn quilts.
“The barn quilt trail’s success is largely due to having two very talented artists, Gary Tabor and Artistic Woodworks (Jeff & Rachel Scribben), who have worked with their clients to transform ideas, heritage and stories into barn quilts,” says filmmaker Carl E. Feather. “This film takes the viewer into the artist’s workshop and barns and covered bridges on the trail. These are moving stories told on static sign boards; once the viewer becomes familiar with the owner and stories behind the barn, he will never look at a barn the same way.”
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!
The Ashtabula Wave, an online newsletter, has a feature story about Jeff Scribben and his Artistic Woodworks business.
Jeff serves as technical adviser to the Steering Committee and has painted at least 10 of the quilts on the trail. His craftsmanship, hard work and willingness to take on some tough tasks, including hanging our first 8×8 foot quilt, have been a huge blessing to our steering committee.
Jeff and his wife, Rachel, have four children. They volunteer throughout the community in a number of ministries and nonprofits that are making a difference in Ashtabula County. He recently took the huge step of going into business full time, that is whatever time is left over from his volunteering work and part-time job with Habitat for Humanity.
The Ashtabula County 2015 Visitor’s Guide has just arrived, and it features a lovely Williamsfield Township barn sporting a new barn quilt!
The Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau, which publishes the guide, has included the county’s barn quilts on its covered bridges and wineries tour map. The Barn Quilts Steering Committee looks forward to working with tourists and the ACCVB this summer as we welcome our guests to this new tourist attraction.
The guides are available at the ACCVB office on Austinburg Road, and at participating members throughout the county.
Pierpont Township is once again the site of a new 8-by-8-foot barn quilt.
Douglas Moore raised the quilt on a metal barn earlier this months. The farm is located at 4963 Caine Road, Pierpont.
Doug’s wife, Lynn, painted the quilt with assistance from Chris Angerman, a trail co-finder.
Lynn Moore took up quilting in 2013, after retiring as a teacher. Her friend, Jerilyn Bell, gives her lessons. An Ashtabula Harbor native, Lynn has a family heritage of quilting. Her grandmother, Gussie Mevada Daily, made quilts and gave one of them to Lynn’s mother, Ellen Marie Updegraff, who willed the quilt to Lynn. The quilt is dated 3.14.1914 and there are initials “E.D.” on one corner, a reference to Lynn’s mother.
As with many former dairy farms in the county, Moore’s Farm once was a dairy farm and has been converted to grain. They grow hay for the horse farm market and store the bales in a Shenango Steel building.
A second farm building, which includes a small milkhouse, is used for storage. Lynn’s farm tasks included taking care of young cows, and she used the stalls in the Shenango Steel building for that purpose. A single window on the south side of the building dates to the summer of 1988. The summer was brutally hot and Lynn had her husband create the window so the animals would have some relief.