The Ashtabula County Barn Quilt Trail Steering Committee will mark the installation of a barn quilt at the 100th location with a celebration and premiere of a documentary film about the trail.
The event is 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20, at The Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva-On-The-Lake. Volunteers and contributors to the trail will be recognized, followed by a screening of “The Story Quilter’s Threads.” The hour-long documentary tells the story of the county’s barn quilt trail and individual quilts. A trail founder, artists and owners provide their stories against a backdrop of beautiful rural scenery.
“The barn quilt trail is itself a great story, considering that it was created by two fabric quilters passionate about their art and heritage,” says filmmaker Carl E. Feather. “Their enthusiasm for creating a trail resulted in a grassroots effort that has motivated dozens of property owners to either make or commission a quilt. Many of these people are not quilters and had never heard of barn quilts until Kathy McCarty and the late Christine Angerman sold them on the idea.”
All of this has happened in just four years and with volunteers. Funding for the project has been through donations and the Civic Development Corporation of Ashtabula County.
Feather began filming the project in March and worked on it throughout the spring and summer.
“The film’s focus is on southern Ashtabula County, where we have the greatest concentration of barn quilts on barns,” he says. “As I delved into the stories behind the old farms, I discovered a heritage of both quilting and farming that lends itself to documentary filmmaking.
Featured in the film is the story of an art teacher’s peacocks, Lavern and Shirley, who inspired a barn quilt, and the barn of a horse farm that provides a retirement community for horses. Several barn quilt artists are interviewed and seen masking and painting barn quilts.
“You don’t have to be a quilter to enjoy and appreciate barn quilts,” Feather says. “Ashtabula County has a strong quilting heritage, and in Andover, fabric quilters who meet weekly at the congregational church took the next step and helped create a barn quilt for the Andover Public Library.”
The Lodge and Conference Center will host, in its lobby, a barn quilt and exhibit of photos from the trail beginning Nov. 20 and running through early April. The film will play alongside the exhibit, which is open to the public.
The film will be available on DVD at the celebration. Cost is $20 each and is a fundraiser for the trail. A trailer for the film is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbEeLZj0fao.
Coffee and cookies will be served at the celebration; there is no admission charge, but donations to the trail are greatly appreciated.