The Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Community Tourism Committee, Quilting For You, Shepherds Home Hardware & Outdoor Living Centre, Tolko and volunteers are thrilled to introduce British Columbia’s first Barn Quilt Trail.
Barn Quilts tell stories of historical significance and act as a means of guiding visitors to rural areas and businesses.
Begun in Ohio in 1989, Donna Sue Groves had the idea of painting her Mother’s favourite quilt square pattern on their family barn. What started out as a tribute to the heritage of her Mother and her love of quilting has quickly spawned a grassroots following that spans across 48 US states and is spreading across Canada.
Canada’s barn quilt tradition first began in Ontario who introduced their first Barn Quilt Trail in 2009. Since then there have been more than 7000 barn quilts decorating the countryside in Canada and the US and the numbers are growing.
The rural landscape is changing, barns and farms are disappearing and people are choosing highways over rural roads. Barn quilts are a form of rural graffiti that honour our quilters and the textile arts as well as drawing attention to our important agricultural heritage and are an enticement for travelers to get off the highway and explore our beautiful rural areas.
Each quilt pattern is made up of blocks that form a colourful image. The images chosen are time honored patterns and each has a unique name and history. The patterns chosen for this phase include ‘Bear’s Paw’, ‘Basket’, Friendship’s Circle’, ‘Dove in the Window’, ‘Wreath’, ‘Storm at Sea’ and ‘Farmer’s Daughter’.
The Barn Quilts are hand painted on 4’x8’ or 8’x8’ plywood and mounted to a wooden frame which are then attached to the barn or outbuilding. Each quilt square design has been chosen by the host site for the significance to that site.
Armstrong Spallumcheen will be revealing the first phase of the North Okanagan Shuswap Barn Quilt Trail on May 15th, 2016 at Fieldstone Organics (one of the host sites), Come Taste the Valley Event. This is a self-guided trail and consists of 6 barn quilts with approximately 6 more scheduled for completion and unveiling in October 2016 at Armstrong’s annual Pumpkin Fest and approximately 17 more planned for unveiling to coincide with Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in 2017.
Barn Quilt projects draw attention to our rural arts, they celebrate our cultural pride and generate community excitement by bringing together a diverse group of people all working together towards a common goal.
‘We are very excited to reveal the first loop of the North Okanagan Shuswap Barn Quilt Trail’, Patti Noonan, Executive Director of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce. ‘This truly has been a community project. From donations of supplies, the design, painting and framing of the barn quilts to quilt hosts and promotion, we couldn’t have started this project without support of local businesses and residents’.
Visitors can pick up maps at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce or check out the North Okanagan Shuswap Barn Quilt Trail on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram feeds as well as www.aschamber.com .
For more information about the North Okanagan Shuswap Barn Quilt Trail contact the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre at 250-546-8155 or email email@example.com
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