North Cavan Students Work on Barn Quilt Trail Project

Students Mr.Heuval in Grade One class partnered with Mrs. Carvaggio’s grade 4/5 students in the development of blocks which will form the North Cavan Barn Quilt block

This was the group’s third work period, and this time students began to paint the 12” block which had been sanded and primed with the pattern outlined with painter’s tape.  Students chose between 12 traditional quilt patterns, including log cabin, flying geese and 9 squares, using a limited colour range provided by the volunteers from the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail group. The design and colour choice limits were introduced to manage some of the creativity in order to build a united quilt block display that will be both attractive and represent the quilting tradition in the area. The North Cavan School display will ultimately incorporate 20 panels painted by these students which will be mounted on the fence near the road to provide high visibility.

Having selected their quilt pattern and mounted it with paint tape on their blocks, students were moving on to painting their design. Lead volunteer Elaine Young offered painting tips to keep the results crisp, suggesting light brush strokes moving away from the taped edges, suggesting that some colours will require multiple coats, and of course that students paint only one colour at a time and allow each colour to dry before pressing on.

Described as one of the largest grassroots public art movement, Barn Quilt Trails are growing in popularity as tools to encourage tourism, promote and appreciate rural art, honour quilters and the textile arts, draw attention to heritage barns and other cultural resources and to tell stories about the community. They consist of large square painted wooden blocks installed on barns, heritage buildings, businesses, or on posts in front of homes, in parks, which find their design from traditional quilt patterns. Most trails are driven by local volunteers who create their own series of quilt panels out of a sense of local pride and to express appreciation for the history and way of life of their rural communities. The Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail group hopes to have our local trail connect the villages and hamlets throughout the township and the countryside between with images that celebrate agriculture and entrepreneurship in our community.

There are currently five completed panels around the township, at Home Hardware, at Wendy Gerolamy’s Yoga Studio on Tapley ¼ Line, on Bank Street in Millbrook and the two most recent installations, the Beechwood Schoolhouse on Sharpe Line and Maple Seasons on Sunset Drive.

For information about the Cavan Monaghan Barn quilt trail, visit, and to learn about other barn quilt trails in Ontario, visit .  KG

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