Eleanor Blain, Susan Ellis and Denise Corneil have created a 30-block quilt to commemorate the life of George and Margaret Ward. Double Irish Chain, Indian Paintbrush, Farmer’s Wife, Old Country Church and George Wards’ Inn are just few of the quilt blocks selected for this “storytelling” quilt.
The Quilt Team chose key words such as soldier, canoe, wagon tracks, and grist mill to select the quilt block designs that would best represent the exciting tales of Mr. Ward’s life.
“We’ve had great fun selecting the blocks. Now we piece the fabric together”, Corneil says. “Fabricland Canada believed in our project and sponsored material for the quilt block top.” The Quilting Team hopes to show the commemorative quilt at the 2010 International Plowing Match to be held in St Thomas this October.
The George Ward Commemorative quilt has a double life. Identical block designs will be painted on special plywood in the same vibrant colours as the fabric blocks – except they will be eight feet square and visible for miles when hung on the side of a barn or building. Rick Sommer (Made on Earth outdoor art gallery) will lead this eye catching rural Outdoor Art Project.
There are over 2000 barn quilt murals in the U.S. and numerous barn quilt trails. They are a huge hit with tourists and a special source of pride in rural communities.
The George Ward Commemorative Barn Quilt Trail will be the first Barn Quilt “Story” Trail in North America. Corneil has talked to Suzi Parron, teacher, writer and barn quilt lover from Stone Mountain, Georgia who is writing a book about barn quilts. The idea of linking the quilts to a historical theme and telling a story has never been done before.
Wardsville hopes to inspire the continuation of a barn quilt trail that will stretch from Amherstburg to Niagara, linking War of 1812-14 heritage sites to the stories and history.