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Visit Our Incredible Barn Quilt Trails

Welcome to the place where we appreciate and curate barn quilts in Canada. Explore this website and connect. Maps for the explorers. Instructions and videos for community organizers. Social media to show our appreciation for rural art. Enjoy..

Our stories

Meet the people behind the trails

Donna and Tim Prior

Priors blaze barn quilt trail ahead of IPM 2017

Tim and Donna Prior, the owners of Brussels Agri-Services and The Cowboy Loft put up $750 for the county’s best barn quilt and $250 for the fan favourite in a competition encouraging residents to spruce up their barns with a barn quilt. All part of the International Plowing Match 2017 in Huron County.

Tim and Donna Prior, sponsors of Huron County Barn Quilt Trail

The 150 plus barn quilts created for the IPM Sept 2017 are now the Huron County Barn Quilt.  Tim and Donna worked with  Gardiner’s Gate of Ilderton for their design, a Canadian flag, four maple leaves depicting the fall season and a mural of a Wagyu cow, the type of animal the Priors have on their home farm east of Brussels.

In an interview with The Citizen, Prior says that he first encountered a barn quilt when he was in the Glencoe area, travelling for work. He saw how the barn quilts could be a lasting reminder of the plowing match, beautifying the landscape for many years after the event.

Painted by Cheryl Gardiner, Gardiner’s Gate Custom Handcrafted BARN QUILTS

“We are very excited about this initiative, as these barn quilts will last for years after the match is complete,” said IPM Chair Jacquie Bishop. “When you see these barn quilts hanging three, four, five years down the road, you will think of the memories made at IPM 2017.”

 

Link to newspaper article written by SHAWN LOUGHLIN in The Citizen, published in north Huron County, Ontario, Canada. Also preserved here.

 

Donna and Tim Prior

Cheryl Gardiner and Lindsay McKay

Professional painters Lindsay McKay, at left, and her mother Cheryl Gardiner.

“I have retired from doing signs and concentrate now only on the barn quilts … I went from being called Cheryl’s Signs to Gardiner’s Gate Barn Quilts.”
Her daughter, Lindsay McKay, has joined the enterprise.

“Lindsay has the gift of being very artistic. I run the show but Lindsay handles the fancy stuff… painting pictures of customers’ dogs on quilts from a photo, peacock feathers, the Case tractor eagle. Anything quite intricate is her job.”

Gardiner’s quilts have “flown” to far-flung destinations. “I have shipped to Cape Breton University (Nova Scotia), Wisconsin, and Minnesota so far. These people have found us through Facebook. Several small ones have been bought by local buyers as gifts and shipped to several different states; New York was one I know for sure.”

Gardiner delights in telling the tale of her trans-Atlantic transplants via a woman from England. “She was visiting a quilter here who just had to bring her here to see what barn quilts are. I have a studio made up out of a used Hertz rent-all van body. It is stocked with ready-to-go barn quilts of all sizes, patterns, colours. She bought four small ones and packed them in her suitcase and she now has the first ones in England.”

Gardiner’s Gate Custom Handcrafted Barn Quilts is located at 16050 Ilderton Road, and can be contacted at 519-461-9344. Or visit them on Facebook.

— Special to the St. Marys Journal Argus, Aug 04, 2016.  Click here for entire article.

Cheryl Gardiner and Lindsay McKay

Chris Crawford

Service to Mankind Award 2017 awarded to Christine Crawford, Thamesville, Ontario by the Sertoma Club Ontario District Allegheny / Canada region.

 

Christine played an important role in one of the earliest barn quilts projects in Canada, the Longwoods Barn Quilt Trail, sister trail to the Native Women’s Trail of Tears Barn Quilt Trail. After that project was completed, Christine helped Chatham-Kent Quilters Guild extend the barn quilt trail through Chatham-Kent to the mouth of the Thames River on Lake St. Clair.
The Thames River Barn Quilt Trail officially opened June 11, 2016. Chris helped raise funds for this ambitious three year project, not to mention writing stories, painting, promoting, and presenting. Chris helped write the book, Thames River Barn Quilt Trail – People of the Thames 1750 – 1850.
“I have been pleasantly surprised and gratified by the reactions of the people in their community and those who have attended our many presentations. Their interest and curiosity in both the barn quilt designs and the stories they represent have convinced me this was a most worthwhile project.”  – Chris Crawford

 

Christine Crawford, Chatham Kent

Mary Simpson and Denise Corneil

Long-time friends satisfied with success of barn quilts in southwest Ontario

Ten years ago Denise Corneil and Mary Simpson came together to save the little town of Wardsville in southwest Middlesex County.  In doing so, they sparked one of the most defining motifs in modern small-town Ontario: barn quilts.

Denise Corneil and Mary Simpson, the Barn Quilt Ladies. Tireless promoters and determined to curate all of Canada’s barn quilts!

Corneil and Simpson grew up together many decades ago, across the street from one another between Woodgreen and Strathburn. Corneil was raised on a tobacco farm and Simpson a poultry farm, both with an affinity for small-town culture and camaraderie.

It was the camaraderie that brought them back together; it was the small-town culture they were trying to save.

What started as 30 barn quilts in Wardsville quickly became 60, and then over 100 as the provincial government picked up on the initiative. They helped fund this website, barnquilttrails.ca, a place to look up the many barn trails across Ontario. 

Full story.  Published in Chatham Daily News.  Story Written by Louis Pin, Postmedia Network.  Wednesday, April 26, 2017.  Many thanks to Louis:  lpin@postmedia.com 

Denise Corneil and Mary Simpson

Kevin Hryclik, Drone Pilot

I have been flying my drone for a little over 2 years. My initial focus was to capture interesting landscapes and cityscapes. In the summer of 2016, I discovered barn quilts. We had purchased our first barn quilt for our house porch in London. It was a 2-foot square that featured lilies in the design.

I had a chance to meet the designer, Gardiner’s Gate, a few weeks later and suggested it would be fun to fly over the barns where Cheryl had installed barn quilts. I flew seven locations and assembled the video compilations for her to use for business promotion.

This summer of 2017, we decided to fly and photograph the barn quilts in Huron County. Gardiner’s Gate had numerous barn quilt orders, thanks in part to the Barn Quilt Trail promotion and the 100th Anniversary of the International Plowing Match event.

I captured over 14 different farmsteads featuring barn quilts. I am now editing each one as a stand alone video so the owners will have their own short video. The new compilation of Gardiner’s Gate barn quilts was published September 2017.

If you have a barn quilt on your farm and you are not in a drone restricted area (call me I can determine) and would like a short fly over video that features your farmstead and barn quilt, give me a call. My drone flights are a hobby for me. I do not charge or ever plan to charge for this. I can be contacted via e-mail at: kevinhry@me.com.  Videos can be viewed at my You Tube Channel.

Note: Kevin shot the video on the front page of barnquilttrails.ca

Kevin Hryclik, Drone Pilot