Category Archives: trail news

The Story Quilter’s Threads

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.”

Barn Quilt Trail celebration is Nov. 20

The Steering Committee of the Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail in conjunction with The Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva-On-The-Lake will host a celebration to mark the 100th location with a barn quilt in Ashtabula County.

The celebration is 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 20 at The Lodge and Conference Center. Light refreshments will be served.

At this event, the premiere showing of a new documentary about the trail, “The Story Quilter’s Threads,” will be shown and DVD copies made available for purchase. The documentary shares moving stories about the lives and farms behind the county’s barn quilts.

The event is free and no registration is required. It will be held in the Lodge Ballroom.

98th barn quilt installed

The 98th barn quilt location on the Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail is the Finnish-American Heritage Association’s museum and headquarters at the corner of Joseph Avenue and West 8th Street in Ashtabula’s historic Harbor.

This log cabin/Finnish flag barn quilt was painted by Gary Tabor of Williamsfield Township. It is a 4×4-foot barn quilt and features the Finnish flag at its center.

Installing the barn quilt were Mike Brenneman and Pete and Jeff Forinash, who used only ladders and their great strength to install the barn quilt.

Welcome to the trail FAHA!

Andover Library barn quilt honors Chris Angerman

The Andover Public Library’s Reading Garden has always been an inviting place to soak in some sunshine and inhale floral-scented air while nourishing the mind with prose.  Thanks to an anonymous donor and the library’s Friends group, it’s also a great place to curl up with a quilt.

On June 28 the library officially dedicated the first 8-by-8 barn quilt on Andover Square. The barn quilt is on the east side of the library building, facing the Reading Garden and visible from The Square. The pattern is Ohio Rose, tweaked by artist Venie Hinson, who supervised painting the barn quilt in the library’s meeting room.

Hinson was assisted by Jennifer Martin, Nancy Logan, Barbara de Villiers, Sandy John and Joan Chapman.

The late Christina Angerman, co-founder of the Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail, piqued interest in a library barn quilt at least two years ago, says Susan Hill, the library’s executive director. Chris held a barn quilt workshop at the library and trained Friends of the Library members in taping and painting techniques.

“Chris trained not only our Friends with a workshop, we all did 2-by-2-foot panels, but also attended a meeting of the Steeple Stitchers quilting group at the First Congregational Church, which Venie attends,” Hill says.

When funding became available for a full-size barn quilt, Venie organized volunteers to assist with the project. Chris, who died while the barn quilt was being planned, provided input and advice right up until the last week of her life, Hill says.

“She was thrilled with the idea of the quilt in the Reading Garden of our library,” Hill says.

The artists adopted the techniques and paint specifications of the Barn Quilt Trail Steering Committee so the work would qualify for inclusion on the trail and last at least a decade.

The floral design is one of the most challenging to paint, and Venie Hinson developed some novel approaches to taping off the successive layers of color. For several weeks in May, volunteer artists visited the library almost daily to add another layer of paint to the quilt inside the masked-off areas.

The barn quilt was raised on June 11 after weeks of planning and research. Hill says the original plan was to secure the barn quilt to posts rather than the building.

“Mike Dzera, our problem-solving custodian, figured out how to attach the quilt without driving any holes through it,” Hill says. “He planned out the frame, how we would push it up against the wall in order to fasten it securely, how many people it would take to hold it, what adhesive would work best,” Hill says. “Fortunately, he has extensive experience and knew how to manage the brick surface.”

His crew consisted of Henri de Villiers, Dan and Pete Hill, Don Eyring, Joan Stiedl and Nancy Logan, Barbara de Villiers, Sandy John and Susan Hill.

The official dedication of the art was 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Hill dedicated the quilt to the memory of Chris Angerman. The library plans to place a small plaque recognizing Chris next to the quilt.

The Reading Garden is open even when the library is closed. Hill says security cameras monitor and record activity in the garden.

Simons Road barn quilt on calendar

For the second year in a row, a barn quilt on an Ashtabula County building has been selected for inclusion in the international Barn Quilts calendar.

The calendar is published by barnquiltinfo.com, the premiere barn quilt web site. Photos are selected by Suzi Parron, who publishes the calendar and is the author of the two definitive books on the American barn quilt movement, “Following the Barn Quilt Trail” and “Barn Quilts and The American Quilt Trail Movement.”

The calendars are for sale on the barnquiltinfo.com website.

For 2017 the Geneva Community Sampler barn quilt, which was conceived and executed by Amanda White, was selected for the January photo. The barn quilt, Ohio’s largest, is made up of 16 individual blocks, each one sponsored by a Geneva business or organization. The barn quilt is on the side of a Route 20 building, just east of Route 534.

The 2018 calendar features a photo of the Windhorse Star barn quilt, which is installed on the farm of Dale and Meg Toukonen, Simons Road South, Williamsfield Township. The photo was selected for the November 2018 calendar page. The Toukonen’s run a horse farm for retired horses, such as those used in circus acts or racing. Two horses stand in front of the barn for the image, made shortly after the barn quilt was installed. The custom-designed barn quilt was painted and installed by Jeff Scribben and his wife Rachel of Artistic Woodworks, Pierpont.

The Toukonen’s barn is one of several Simons Road South barns that have 8-by-8-foot barn quilts. The road is quickly becoming known as Ashtabula County’s “barn quilt alley” and is the subject of a feature documentary that is in production with a release date of August 2017. The area is rich in Finnish immigrant farming heritage.

Parron got the barn quilt trail idea rolling in Ashtabula County with her visit and presentation back in 2013. The trail was founded by Kathy McCarty and the late Chris Angerman shortly thereafter. Parron returned to the area last year to sign her latest book, which includes narrative and a photo of an Ashtabula County barn quilt on a covered bridge.

Photographer for both calendar entries was Geneva resident Carl E. Feather, The Feather Cottage Media.

Fuller Farm gets 8×8

The big red barn at the Fuller Farm on County Line Road in Williamsfield Township sports a new International Harvester barn quilt on its west-facing side.

The barn quilt features the International Harvester logo on an 8×8-foot background. Artist was Gary Tabor, whose nephew, Dale Fuller, owns the farm and works the land.

The late Charles and Lucile Cole owned and operated the dairy farm for many years. Tabor worked for Coles in his early adulthood years. Charlie Cole was famous for his cheese shop in the basement of the house; it got started when the milk prices took a plunge and the farmers in the area banded together and had their milk made into cheese.

Fuller works the land as a grain farmer and has the house up for sale. The quilt is one of several on farms along Simons Road South off Route 322.

Co-founder Chris Angerman passes

Christina Angerman, the co-founder of the Ashtabula County Barn Quilts Trail, died at her home in Conneaut on March 10, 2017.

Christina and Kathy McCarty started the BQT in 2014, after hearing a presentation by Suzi Parron in Ashtabula. Chris was an avid quilter and took her passion for barn quilts to the Conneaut Art Center, where she taught classes in painting barn quilts. Dozens of barn quilts made by Chris and her students adorn the homes of Ashtabula County residents.

Chris also painted or contributed to several of the barn quilts on the Ashtabula County Barn Quilts Trail, most notably the Mariner’s Star on the Octagonal Building at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds.

She was born Sept. 16, 1944, in Dayton. Christina was the daughter of the late Otto and Wanetta Campbell Urban. She married Douglas Angerman in 1970.

Christina graduated from Ohio State University with degrees from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Pharmacy.

She is survived by her husband, two sons and their families.

A graveside service is March 15 at Foxfield Preserve, a nature preserve cemetery, in Wilmot.

The steering committee of the Ashtabula County Barn Quilts Trail extends its gratitude to Chris for her vision and dedication to this effort and our sympathies to the family for their great loss.Christina Angerman (right) watches as the first barn quilt on the Ashtabula County Barn Quilts Trail is raised on the Blakeslee Log Cabin Barn in Plymouth Township, June 2014. Christina and Kathy McCarty (left) are co-founders of the trail.

Schoolhouse barn quilt dedication set

A dedication of the 8×8-foot brick schoolhouse barn quilt will be held 2 p.m. Nov. 5, 2016, at Geneva Township Park, Austin Road and Route 531, GOTL.

This barn quilt is being painted by Artistic Woodworks. The CDC of Ashtabula County provided the funding for the quilt.

An open house is being held in conjunction with this quilt dedication. The purpose of the open house is to acquaint the public with the century building and receive input on plans to use it as a museum/learning center for the area.

Video presentations will run throughout the afternoon and Jack Sargent, GOTL native, will give a presentation on growing up on The Strip (3 p.m.).

Please join us for this dedication!

2017 Barn Quilt Trail map closed

Applications for inclusion on the 2017 Barn Quilt Trail map are no longer being accepted.

The Barn Quilt Trail has closed out the year with 81 barn quilts. Our gallery will be updated this fall to provide information on the latest barn quilts to join the trail.

If you are thinking about painting a barn quilt or having one painted for installation in 2017, please download the application here.