Thursday, July 30, 2015

Barn Quilts in Essex County

I don't think there's a one amongst us who doesn't love spotting barn quilts; even non-quilters get a kick out of seeing a quilt block on a beautiful old barn.  There are several in Essex County.  Here are just three I grabbed a photo of this month.

I looked through two of my quilt block books, one by Nancy J. Martin and Judy Hopkins, and another by Marsha McCloskey, for a total of 221 blocks, and I cannot find this one.  This block is just barely out of town, kitty corner to the Kingsville Arena and Sports Complex, where our guild meetings are held.  Do any of you recognize this? Sans pig, obviously, I find that central rectangle intriguing!

The sun was not at a good angle when I took this photo, as it caused quite a glare.
This is a log cabin block, but unusual in its assymetry; is there a specific name?
The log cabin block is on Heritage Road, a beautiful drive that takes one along the shore of Lake Erie, and along which you will find several wineries, some with excellent lunch and supper offerings, and fabulous views of the lake.  Here is Sprucewood Winery, taken in May when my mum was here:
View of the front of the winery that faces the lake
View of Lake Erie from the step
Weddings and other functions are held here.

There is a lavender farm along this road, several orchards, boutiques, some eclectic, others antique, historic homesteads, many mom and pop restaurants, as well as B&B's, and the proverbial roadside fruit and veggie stands where you drop your money into the lockbox (when we lived here in the 80s, it was usually a Mason jar) for your produce; most of these are on the honour system.  Here is a 1-year-old business, Find Your Green, and Tourist Info for the Harrow and Colchester area, both located in an old gas station.  My mum and I helped support this business, wink.
I love it when buildings are repurposed!
But back to another barn quilt, probably my favourite.

This is another one on Heritage Road.  Lake Erie is behind their trees.  I wanted to capture the stone fence, more Kingsville stone, as it is known around here.  I could almost think I'd gone back in time looking at the fence, the gateposts, that driveway!
Zoomed in so you can see the block a bit better; you can see the lake a bit to the right of the barn
It looks like a Sawtooth Star with an elaborate surrounding and cornerstones.  I might have to drive up their driveway one day and get a better look, maybe find out the story on this!

Donna Sue Groves, of Adams County, Ohio, who wrote Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement, was the one who started this way of beautifying an old barn, or adding that je ne sais quoi to a new one, and promoting tourism as a result.  Last year our guild had a gentleman come to the guild meeting to talk about Barn Quilts but he discussed those to the north of us, closer to London and up near Toronto.  He was unaware of those in Essex county, so perhaps I'll have to get some better photos, talk to these owners, and send him the information for his website.

I know of a corn block along this road as well, but didn't get a photo.  It's not exactly a true quilt block I don't think, but worth a photo regardless.

Explore the Shore was last weekend, July 25 and 26, and wow was it crazy busy along this road!  I rounded a bend and thought I really had gone back in time when a pioneer woman, complete to the Quaker-style hat waved at me from right on the side of the road!  She was beckoning passersby into the antique store or flea market business there.  Should've got her picture for this post!  Gifted with afterthought, as my mum would say...

Here is another one of the 17 or 18 wineries in our county, Viewpointe Winery.  Apparently, and judging by the mouth-watering aromas emanating from the kitchen, it's true, this place has very good food.  I still haven't been, but I intend to remedy that this summer.
Love the approach to the outdoor lakeview eating area

And where am I in my projects?  Bento Box is next on the piecing list, that and a border for Dayna's quilt.  Somehow, the past couple of days I've been drawn to fairly mindless, but so peaceful and gratifying, cutting and piecing more offset log cabins, Cynthia's Scrap-a-Palooza #16 that I've been picking away at over the past month.  I played a bit with the blocks yesterday, and came up with this wave, or wings effect.

Still not sure what the final layout will be, and I do need two more blocks.  I'm thinking mauves and pale greens.  There are many memories attached to these many many scraps, so this baby is staying with me once it's done.

Linking up with NTT at My Quilt Infatuation.


  1. Love your curved log cabin blocks! The layout is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the barn blocks!

  2. Hunting down barn quilts and wineries are two of my favorite occupations! We happened to find a barn quilt trail in Tillamook, Oregon, when we were there this summer, and there is another one in New York State along Lake Ontario that we are planning on checking out when we go on our Fall (retired teacher celebration) trip at the end of September. Also looking forward to visiting the Finger Lakes wineries in that trip! Thanks for sharing the barn quilts and wineries near you; I'd better put that destination on my list!

  3. (I live in the Finger Lakes - you'll have lots of choices of wineries!)
    Love your log cabins - they look like tulips to me!

  4. I wish we had more barn quilts in my area, but to my knowledge we do not. The first block almost looks like a Carpenter Star, only a square in the middle not a star. I love your curved log cabins. They instantly made me think of butterflies.

  5. Love your log cabins they look like tulips to me too!

  6. The barn quilts are fabulous. We've just heard about some barn quilts here in Nova Scotia. Can't wait to get out to see them.

  7. I am very intrigued by barn quilt blocks and have a little dream of having one put on our own barns here in eastern Ontario. Essex looks so beautiful in the summer...I miss southern Ontario. I grew up near London.

  8. That first barn quilt is fun and intriguing. The waves are cute, but the first thing I saw was tulips.

  9. There are barn quilts in our area also, love seeing all the different ones. I would like one on the house but I don't know that DH would like that!! Always fun seeing what other fun things you have in your neck of the woods :-0

  10. I really love how fun it is to play with the layout of log cabin blocks. Yours are looking great and it will be fun to see what you decide to do with them!

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  12. Great informative post! I recall some of those pics you sent me when Mum was there!
    Barn quilts - had never heard of them til you texted a pic of one on one of your drives up from Florida! This speaker at your guild meeting was the one who told you the barn quilts were also part of the way that slaves were led to freedom? By following certain predetermined barn quilts methinks you told me? How fascinating!
    Ooooo, love those wings/waves/inchworms! :p

  13. I like your blocks - I thought they were tulips. The rest of this post is so interesting - especially the barn quilt pictures.

  14. I love your log cabin blocks. They are so pretty. I would love to just move in to the winery by the lake. It is simply gorgeous. We have 51 different barn quilts in our county here in Iowa so far since it started in 2007. I have always wanted one. We do have one large barn that it could go on and would be seen from the blacktop. Hubby and FIL were never too receptive to helping attach a 8 foot square wooden frame to the side of the barn. My sister inlaws bought my MIL a 2 foot square Dresden Plate barn quilt and it is attached to their garage.

  15. Barn quilts are a fantastic thing . I've only ever seen photos though
    I love how your take on log cabin is coming along , looks great

  16. Barn quilts? I've seen a million barns on farms in my life, but I've never seen one with a quilt on the side! That must be a Northern thing. So... I Googled it. Sure enough, barns have quilts on the sides! Who knew! But I have to tell you... none of those barns look like they are home to cows and pigs and mules and chickens and spiders and tractors and plows and hay and farmers...
    Pretty though!