Tag Archives: Ashtabula County

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.

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.

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.