The CMBQT Committee is actively building a trail of barn quilts designed to tell the story of our community
in a way that captures the people, history and culture of the Township
The Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail Contacts:
In this section you will find past and present media coverage of the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trails initiative
You can also follow us on Facebook! CMBarnQuiltTrails/
Feb. 10, 2018
Introducing our newest quilt block on the Trail!
Ray & Fran Lowery, County Rd #21 West
This traditional quilt pattern is the oddly named “Spinning Star”; and its origins are unclear. However, with only a little imagination the rays of the spinning star become the spokes of wheels of the farm machinery and, especially for Ray Lowery, the spokes of the sulky’s wheels. You see, Ray’s passion is standard-bred horse racing. Look closely to see the green of the jockey’s outfit. This was the colour that Ray was pleased to wear when he jockeyed. The colours of the quilt pattern were chosen to compliment the green of the barn on which the block is mounted. But equally importantly the red, orange and yellow echo the plumage of the laying hens that Fran Lowery keeps. She proudly continues the long tradition of farmers’ wives keeping chickens for eggs: food for the family and a source of income.
Lowerys were early settlers in this Township; the first was Maria Lowery in 1824. The historic 1861 map of this Township (Tremaine) clearly shows this land being owned by Ray’s great-grandfather, William. The historic 1878 map (Belden) shows the same property as Lowerys’ but divided: Ray’s grandfather, Reid, having bought half. Because farming goes back a long way in the Lowery history, there have been a succession of barns on the property. The green barn that displays the quilt was built in 1982.
Alongside farming, Ray was and is an enthusiastic horseman, raising and racing horses. And he comes by this passion honestly from his father and his uncles before him! The type of horse Ray is especially keen on is the standard-bred. This is the kind you race with sulkies, hence the silhouette on this barn quilt. In fact in 1986 Ray built a half-size racetrack on his property. Ray also has the distinction of being a founding member of the Kawartha Downs racetrack in nearby Fraserville. Kawartha Downs subsequently expanded to include Ontario Lottery and Gaming slot machines. This facility employed many people and attracted visitors from a wide area. The Lowery farm manages to maintain a balance between the hard work of farming and the leisure and enjoyment of horse racing.
Design by: Debra Jackson and Kate DeKlerk
Painting by: Jeanne Moran and Maya DeMaria
Nov. 14, 2017
Take a look at our new promotional video on How to Get Your Own Quilt Block!
Interaction map of the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trails initiative:
April 3, 2018
Plan to visit some of our local producers during Maple Festivities on April 8th from 10am – 4pm
Enjoy pancakes at Squirrel Creek Farm and stop by our CMBQT booth inside at
Country Charm @ the Barn.
Visit www.cmbqt.com for the story behind our Maple Sugar inspired Quilt Block “Maple Seasons” and read about other Barn Quilt Blocks on the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail.
The “Maple Seasons” quilt block is owner Pat Barr’s unique design that reflects the importance of the Maple Tree both in the lives of Pat and her husband David, and also in this community and beyond. The colours represent the changing seasons that are so distinctive and evident to those who live among the maples. Pat and David Barr bought this 13 acre parcel in 2004 after a four year search in the area for a retirement property where they could pursue the small, home-based hobby that was seasonal, rewarding and out in the fresh air: making maple syrup was the obvious choice for them!
Making maple syrup was part of David’s experience growing up on a farm in the Ottawa Valley, and it had also been a hobby of Pat’s Dad, who passed along to them all the equipment to get started.
The sugaring process usually begins early in March and can extend well into April depending on Mother Nature. Cool nights below zero, followed by days with above zero temperatures, are required to allow the sap to expand up from the roots and into the trunk and branches. The trees are tapped, spiles are placed in the holes and metal buckets are hung on the spiles. Then the wait for the dripping begins! It’s very rewarding going out to collect the sap and finding the buckets full! The sap is boiled over an outdoor fire, then filtered and finished in the house. Theirs is only have a small operation (60-100 trees), but they are able to supply friends and family with some of the best syrup around! Their syrup has travelled across Canada, and overseas to England, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Japan and Australia.
Dec. 9, 2017
Once again Christmas in the Village was a lovely event.
Thank you to all our volunteers for creating such a fantastic display, rounding up volunteers, braving the cold and promoting our project, and for creating beautiful 1×1 & 3×3 quilt blocks.
We sold 6 of them at our booth.
Aug 3, 2017
Thanks to everyone who stopped by our CMBQT booth at on Ladies Night last week.
Record attendance on the street meant we had lots of people stopping by to chat
about our Barn Quilt Trail.
Volunteers in Action
Volunteer Profile: Carolyn Brackenridge
As a child, Carolyn Brackenridge would watch intently as her aunts and mother would set up quilts on wooden frames in the dining room. This sparked her initial interest in quilting.
More recently in the quilting front, Carolyn became involved in the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail project; joining the initiative right from the get-go when some early members of the Committee drove to Prince Edward County to look at the local barn quilt blocks.
As a key member of the Site Selection Committee, Carolyn scopes out potential quilt block sites in the township, speaks to the property owners and helps interested owners select the right spot to display their block. Beyond site selection, Carolyn helps the CMBQT project in a number of other ways including priming boards and setting up and staffing booths at events to promote the trail.
Carolyn has lived in the south end of the Township since 1970, when she and her husband David relocated here from Lambton County with their young son Steven. In the fall of that year, the new Cavan Monaghan residents welcomed their second son Mark. A daughter, Karen, was born five years later.
In 1980, the Brackenridge family launched a feed business which eventually spanned three stores; one at their farm in the township, as well as locations in Hastings and Port Hope. Carolyn managed the store in Port Hope for a time, followed by the Hastings location. When her eldest son Steven joined the family business, the Brackenridge’s moved the entire operation back to their home base at the farm in order to better serve the needs of their growing business.
In addition to the family business and the CMBQT Committee, over the years Carolyn has been involved in the community through 4 H projects (teaching everything from sewing to bread making), being a minor hockey and figure skating mom, supporting initiatives for local youth, and helping with events at her church.
When she (mostly) retired from the feed business two years ago, she channelled her combined passions of farm life and store ownership by reimagining an unused room in the Brackenridge barn into a lovely shop selling a variety of home décor items and gifts. Co-owned with her friend Diane Anderson, Country Charm at the Barn is a seasonal store, open September to the end of December from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.
Retirement has been good to Carolyn. In addition to her fulfilling work in the community, she is enjoying her time with her five beautiful granddaughters and one amazing grandson (whom she likes to tell is her “favourite” grandson). This year, the Brackenridge clan also added a special little girl to the mix, with the arrival of a great granddaughter, Josie.