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/

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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 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 1x1 & 3x3 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.







March 30, 2018
Article in the Millbrook Times

Another block quilt telling the story of the area has been installed at the home of Ray and Fran Lowery on 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 Lowery’s 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 Standardbred. 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.

By Glen Spurrell

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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 1x1 & 3x3 quilt blocks.
We sold 6 of them at our booth.

Sept, 2017

New Stops on the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail

Millbrook Times - Karen Graham

Momentum is picking up for the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail Committee.  Since the first Barn Quilt installation at Home Hardware last November, the group has added seven more block quilts and has another nine blocks in progress.

The objective of the group is to build 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 blocks are installed in locations throughout the community, connecting the villages and hamlets throughout the Township, highlighting the important role of agriculture in this community and incorporating the history of quilting which continues today.  The Barn Quilt trail is designed to connect the community with its past and present through large scale art installations that demonstrate local pride and enhance the appreciation for the history and natural beauty of our area for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists passing through.

The committee has succeeded in engaging community members across the community, including local businesses, volunteer organizations, schools and individuals as well as those with artistic and construction skills to create and install the blocks, including elementary school students who have created their signature barn quilts.

Last month a colourful block was mounted on the Legion building on King Street East.  Sponsored by the Business Improvement Area, the block portrays a stylized poppy, the well-known symbol of the national organization.   When approached by the Barn Quilt group about the idea, Millbrook Legion President Diann Corfe was delighted.  After scouring the internet for quilt images of poppies, she found the one that was used as the basis for their installation.  They hope to have a photo of this block included in their national organizations magazine this fall.

Along Tapley ¼ Line, the former location of a post office bears its own quilt block.  Homeowners Ted and Nancy Hodgkinson were eager to participate in the barn quilt project, and were particularly enthusiastic about the projects intention to tell tales of local history.  Entitled One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, their striking block features a postage stamp with the postal mark used here from 1909-1912.   The postage mark “Kel Mar” is a combination of the family names from the immediate area at the time, Kelly, Matchett and Richards.  The shoe reference relates to an earlier owner named Sarah Coe of the Staples family who owned the property during the 1840’s and earned a living making shoes.  A widow, she acquired the property through her brother who purchased it on her behalf to circumvent laws which at that time prevented women from owning real estate.

The trail continues to seek barn owners in the area who are interested having a block installed on their barn, and hope the beautiful block on the Hodgkinson barn inspires them to come forward with stories of their own.  For more information about this project, contact Lenka Petric at or visit . KG


July 21, 2017

“One, Two, Buckle my Shoe”
Hodgkinson Block
1312 Tapley 1/4 Line, Cavan, ON

This quilt block is both attractive and intriguing because it presents itself not only as a quilt block but also a postage stamp. Nancy and Ted Hodgkinson, the present owners of this property, wanted to honour and celebrate the history of their house, which was originally used as a cottage industry for making shoes and later became a rural post office. The traditional quilt pattern of “One, Two, Buckle my Shoe” alludes to the long ago manufacture of shoes; the scalloped edging, post mark and cancellation recall the days of the rural post office; and, the colours of green and blue are taken directly from one of the stamps used during the period the post office was in operation.

This property on Tapley 1/4 Line was a crown grant of 100 acres given to John Staples in 1831. That same year, John Staples sold this land to his widowed sister, Sarah Coe. The existing house was built some time later.

Essential for a widow with five children, Sarah Coe supplemented her income. And she did this by making shoes. During a recent renovation one of her shoe lasts was discovered behind a wall. A last is a wooden form in the shape of a human foot used in the manufacture and repair of shoes.

The barn on which the quilt block is installed is also a very old building but sadly no documents have come to light showing the date of construction.

Jumping forward in time to 1909, the kitchen of this house became a rural post office. The home owners and operators of the post office during that time were the Matchetts. The name you see on the quilt block’s post mark, “Kelmar”, is a combination of the names of three local families: Kelly, Matchett and Richardson. This rural post office was short-lived, however, and in 1913 it closed as mail delivery had begun for the rural population.

Admiring this quilt block inspires one to reflect on the past and the people dwelling in or visiting this place-- making shoes, coming to have shoes made or repaired, handling mail and receiving or sending parcels and letters.

Block designed by: Bonnie McQuarrie, Kate DeKlerck and Debra Jackson

Block painted by: Jeanne Moran and Maya DeMaria

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June 9,10 2017

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our CMBQT booth at the Millbrook Fair this weekend.

Record attendance at the fair meant we had lots of people visiting the Exhibit building to see various vendors and our team of quilters working on the Canada 150 Quilt.

See you all at Ladies Night in August.

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June 27, 2017

Something exciting to celebrate! These unique blocks were designed and painted by a class of grade 4 students last year. Many people made this a reality.

Thank you to the dedicated group of ladies from The Needlers Quilt Guild for working with the students. And thank you to teacher, Emily Sturgeon and principal, Sheryl Hunter for the support and dedication.

Much thanks to Pat Taylor for the acknowledgement decal and to Karl Klarer for assembling the blocks, and for making them a roof for protection!

The blocks being displayed add a great deal to our trail, the school and our community.

Great work everyone!

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May 9, 2017

The Home Hardware in Millbrook has a colorful addition to their building.

Click on the link to take a look at how our design team brought an idea to life!

Home Hardware Quilt Block Video

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May 4, 2017

Millbrook Times;
by Deborah Carew

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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December 2, 2016

Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail (CMBQT) celebrated the installation of their first Barn Quilt

Millbrook Times;
by Deborah Carew and Karen Graham


After more than a year since it began, the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail (CMBQT) celebrated the installation of their first Barn Quilt on Tuesday, November 22nd outside the Millbrook Home Hardware store.

This business was selected for the first of three barn quilts sponsored by the Millbrook Business Improvement Area (BIA) as it has been an enthusiastic supporter of the project.

In addition to hosting a barn quilt, Home Hardware is supporting this project with in- kind donations of supplies.

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 series of barn quilt will be dispersed throughout the community, connecting the villages and hamlets throughout the Township and highlighting the important role of agriculture in this community. The use of quilts as a story- telling tool also pays tribute to the history of this domestic craft which continues today through the efforts of many talented quilters in our community and the local businesses that support them.

Dave Britton, manager of our local Home Hardware, and his organization vocalized early support for this project and were eager to participate. As host, Britton also had a hand in the quilt design. He asked that it communicate three elements into the quilt; Home Hardware’s Canadian identity; its central role in the communities in which it operates; and the nature of the business. Quilt designers Kate DeKlerk, Bonnie McQuarrie and Debra Jackson translated Home Hardware’s story into a colourful and meaningful quilt design incorporating the three components requested. The Maple Leaf block in the centre of the quilt reflects the Canadian heritage of the business. The stylized house design in Home Hardware colours reflects the community focus of the business, and the carpenter wheel surrounding the house reinforces the nature of the business- home improvement tools and supplies for the homeowner.

Barn Quilt Tours are gaining popularity in Ontario as a unique tourism experience generating economic activity for local communities. The BIA recognizes that this trail will provide an opportunity for increasing visitor traffic to Downtown Millbrook, and undertook the sponsorship of three quilt blocks within the BIA Boundaries.

The CMBQT Committee is currently seeking applications from BIA members as well as other township residents who are interested in hosting and/or sponsoring a block quilt for their business, barn or historical residence. All barn quilt hosts will ultimately own and display a unique piece of rural art, while joining a community project that celebrates the rural culture and heritage of our Township. Hosts have input into their quilt, and work with both a quilter/designer to select or create their block, and a writer to tell their story. All blocks on this trail and their corresponding story will be posted on the Committee’s website and featured in the trail’s brochure. Interested parties should contact the committee through its website at, through Facebook at or by contacting Lenka Petric, Chair of the CMBQT Committee at KG

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November 18, 2016

Unveiling of First Barn Quilt for Downtown Millbrook

The Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail (CMBQT) Committee would like to invite you to the unveiling of the first Quilt Block for Downtown Millbrook, Tuesday November 22nd, 2016 at 12pm at the Millbrook Home Hardware.

Millbrook Home Hardware has been a valuable supporter in the development of the trail and, as such, was selected as the recipient of the first of three barn quilts sponsored by the Millbrook Business Improvement Area (BIA).

The CMBQT Committee is actively building a trail of barn quilts telling the story of our community that captures the people, history and culture of the Township.  The trail will connect the villages and hamlets throughout the Township and recognize the importance of agriculture in this community.

Barn Quilt Tours are gaining popularity in Ontario as a unique tourism experience generating economic activity for local communities.  Recognizing an opportunity for increasing visitor traffic to Downtown Millbrook, the BIA recently sponsored the placement of three barn quilts in Downtown Millbrook, within the BIA Boundaries.

The CMBQT Committee is seeking applications from BIA members to host the remaining two barn quilts provided for in the sponsorship.  Successful applicants will be selected by the Committee’s Design Team who will assess each location for appropriate size and placement for each quilt block.  As a host, not only will you own and display a unique piece of rural art, but you will be joining a community project that celebrates the rural culture and heritage of our Township.  You will have the opportunity to work with both a quilter/designer to select or create your block, and a writer to tell your story.  Your block and corresponding story will be posted on the Committee’s website and featured in the trail’s brochure.

If you would like to be considered for the two remaining sponsored quilt blocks or for more information on either becoming a host business or sponsoring a quilt block please visit our website at, find us on Facebook or contact Lenka Petric, Chair of the CMBQT Committee at

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September 19, 2016

Boards are Primed!

We've had 4 sessions of preparing and priming and now have 5 4'x4' boards and 12 4'x8' boards ready for designs!
Many thanks to our Design and Painting crew for all their work getting the boards ready and primed.

Special thanks to the Millbrook Agricultural Society for providing us with the space to get this crucial work done!



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July 28, 2016
The Millbrook Times
By Celia Hunter

Host a Quilt Block That Tells a Story


Quilt block designers involved with the local Barn Quilt Trail project are hard at work with a number of homeowners, businesses and landowners, creating unique images that reflect the story each host wants to tell. Several of the quilt blocks are at the painting stage, and volunteer painters are transferring the designs, layer by layer, onto the specially prepared wooden panels.

More than a year in the planning, the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trails group is now actively seeking hosts who are interested in being a part of this intriguing trail. Barn quilts are painted wooden blocks installed on barns, heritage buildings, businesses or on posts in front of homes. They can be as large as 8 feet by 8 feet, or, when the space available suits a smaller block, 4 feet by 4 feet. The designs are based on quilt patterns, and they each tell a story. The aim of the barn quilt trail committee is for the quilt blocks to reflect the people, the history and the culture of our township. The group has a website, that includes information on hosting. Members of the committee are happy to answer any questions about hosting; Lenka Petric leads the group, 705-944-5996.

It is the group’s goal to have the trails network connect the villages and hamlets throughout the township and the countryside between. In particular, they are excited about recognizing the importance of agriculture and entrepreneurship here in our community.

Barn Quilt Trails have been described as one of the largest grassroots public art movements in history. People from many walks of life with a variety of skills and experience are working together on this initiative, and as the project grows, so it seems do the number of interested volunteers. They all see this as a way to promote the area and recognize the values, the creativity and the skills of its residents. They anticipate the trails network becoming, in a fairly short time, a source of pride and connectedness for those who live here, and an enjoyable and stimulating way for cyclists, drivers and walkers to learn about and appreciate all our rural community has to offer. For information about other barn quilt trails in Ontario, visit

By Celia Hunter

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May 5, 2016

The Millbrook Times
By Karen Graham

Barn Quilt Trail Project Begins with Students at Millbrook South Cavan School

On Monday, six volunteers from the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail Project joined Mrs. Sturgeon’s Barn-Quilt-project-2-640x514-300x241Grade 4 class to introduce them to the local project.

The volunteers, many of whom are former teachers, were there to help students design their own block which might eventually be incorporated into a quilt on the trail. These students are the first group to begin the actual preparation of blocks for the quilt trail project. Volunteer Elaine Young introduced students to their task, showing them an actual fabric quilt and reading a book entitled Oma’s Quilt, which illustrates the emotional power of a quilt. They also reviewed the websites of other quilt trail projects to get an idea of how their blocks would be displayed. Students were asked to design a quilt block using images with meaning to them, their families or their community.

The first step in the block creation is planning. Students were given large sheets of graph paper to plan their project, as well as books and illustrations to provide inspiration for their own unique design. Some students dove right in to their task, choosing images of video game characters, flowers, pets or geometric designs. Others were more cautious, reviewing material and sketching out the 12” square that would accommodate their design.

The volunteers will return to the class next week with 12” square blocks that are sanded and primed and ready to go. Students will paint their design on their blocks one colour at a time, using tape to separate the colours. The most difficult task will come after the blocks are complete- choosing which ones will be displayed and how they will be configured in their ultimate position of prominence somewhere in our community.

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March 18, 2016

By Deborah Carew: Millbrook BIA Contributes $1500 to Barn Quilt Project


At the Millbrook Downtown BIA Breakfast held Wednesday, March 10, Lance Nachoff (at left) presented a cheque on behalf of the BIA to the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail project. On hand to accept the cheque were volunteers Susan Rice, Glen Spurrell, Lenka Petric, Celia Hunter, Kate de Klerk, Bruce Gazley, Bonnie McQuarrie and (not shown) Brigid Ayotte.

Several members of the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail Committee were on hand to receive a contribution from the Millbrook BIA at the association’s recent Community Breakfast held Thursday March 10th, 2016 at the Millbrook Legion. The BIA donated $1500 to the Barn Quilt Committee for the development of a trail within the Township.

The Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Committee is a local group of quilters, artists, businesses and residents who are developing a trail of artistic beauty that will tell visitors the story of the Township. A barn quilt is wooden painted replica of actual fabric quilt blocks that will be installed on barns, heritage buildings, and businesses. With over 7000 quilt blocks mounted as part of various organized trail systems throughout Canada and the United States, the establishment of barn quilt trails represents one of the largest grassroots public arts movements in history.

“The development of this trail showcases the rich artistic talent we have in this Community. The BIA wanted to be one of the first supporters of this initiative as it reflects the people, the history and the culture of our Township” says Nancy Fallis, Chair of the Millbrook BIA.

“On behalf of the community volunteers involved in the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail initiative, I would like to sincerely thank the BIA for their contribution today,” said Lenka Petric, Chair of the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Committee. “This project will tell the unique story of our township and will serve as a source of community pride to be shared with visitors to the area for years to come.”

Millbrook Business Improvement Area is an association of businesses that joined together to promote mutual interests, increase sales and profits, promote a more successful and active business environment, create a more beautiful community and encourage a sense of civic pride.

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January 30, 2016

Article in the Millbrook Times provides an update on the committees activities:


At this week’s Council meeting, Lenka Petric of the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail Project presented an overview of the status of this impressive community project. With a current target of 30 barn quilts on the table, Petric outlined the vision of the group, which includes a wide range of members with a wide variety of skills, including artists, quilters, farmers, historians, gardeners, business and community leaders.

Considered by some to be the largest grass-roots public art movement, a Barn Quilt trail consists of the installation of a series of large square wooden blocks painted with traditional quilt patterns or custom designs to reflect a theme along a specific route. It is designed to be enjoyed as a trail, for cyclists, drivers and in some places, walkers. The trail envisioned by the local group will have installations on local barns, public buildings and parks, private homes and businesses connecting the local hamlets of Bailieboro, South Monaghan, Fraserville, Cavan, Ida, Mount Pleasant, Springville, Five Mile Turn and the Village of Millbrook. They hope to design a series of images that accent local history and tell the story of our community, its people and its aspirations. They have engaged the help of Crestwood High school students to help in the design of their social media outlets, and have established committees to address a wide array of tasks including block design, site selection, painting, carpentry and installation, finance and fundraising, to name a few.

The actual construction and installation costs of the project are expected to reach over $16,000, or $525 per block. Additional funds will be required for marketing and promotion.

There are 14 established trails already operating in five Canadian provinces including Ontario, as well as in 48 states south of the border. A study conducted on the impact of the original trail, launched in Ohio, reported a number of benefits to the host community. It enjoyed economic benefits stemming from increased tourist activity, the strengthening of community networks and partnerships, and an increase in community pride through the recognition of local history, culture and achievements.

The Cavan Monaghan group intends to focus the block content the story of our area: our history, our agricultural heritage, the natural beauty of the area, and the skills and creativity of our residents. Through a network of volunteers, the project will engage residents from every demographic in the community who will be working together to build a tangible and long lasting trail to showcase who we are.

They hope to have the first few blocks completed and installed this spring, with more blocks popping up until the project completion in the spring of 2017. While the current target is 30 blocks, the number is not limited to 30. The number of blocks in the closest trail in Prince Edward County has now reached 120. The success of the project will be determined by the energy and will of the community. The group is currently recruiting volunteers to get the project moving. Volunteers for all of our sub-committees are welcome, all and skill levels can help. Some of the committees include: Quilt Block Design, Painting, Site Selection, Carpentry and Installation, Fundraising, Website and Social Media, Promotion, School and youth liaison. The biggest need at the moment is in the Painting sub-committee and Carpentry/Installation sub-committee, and leadership skills will help these committees meet their goals.

The painting committee is seeking volunteers with planning skills to help them organize painting workdays, selecting and booking venues, procuring supplies, and ultimately painting the quilt blocks. The Carpentry/Installation committee will be primarily responsible for installing the quilt blocks on barns/buildings or on posts, ensuring that equipment required for installation is available and that proper installation procedures are followed. For more information or to volunteer, contact Lenka Petric at 705-944-5996 or through email at

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December 01, 2015

Peterborough This Week:

Barn Quilt Trail Project hoped to draw in tourists to Cavan Monaghan


A new, artistic initiative aiming to help tell Cavan Monaghan Township’s story is tapping into the creativity of area residents.

A group of volunteers has put the wheels in motion to create a barn quilt trail spanning across the township.

It would showcase a series of quilt designs painted onto wooden blocks and mounted on barns and other historical buildings across Cavan Monaghan.

While the volunteers who are already working behind the scenes on the project say it’s a nice way to bring the community together and to share the history of local farming families, the trail is also an opportunity to draw in some tourists.When the trail is up and ready for viewing, the group will have a map to help guide pedestrians, cyclists and drivers who are touring the trail. A corresponding digital component will match the barn quilts with their stories, posted to the trail website.

In several other communities across Ontario, including Muskoka and Prince Edward County — which recently put up its 100th barn quilt, the initiative is proving to be a popular activity for visitors.

According to one organizer, Lenka Petric, the trail is planned to launch in 2017, although it’s hoped some barn quilts will be up by this summer.

Right now,  organizers are getting the word out about the volunteer-driven initiative — and there’s no shortage of people who want to get involved.

There are several quilting groups already involved, and the project is also bringing together painters, writers, and is soon hoped to involve some students from Crestwood Secondary School, who have indicated they could help with website design as well as painting.

The concepts for the barn quilts are a collaboration between barn owners and quilters, who work together to come up with a quilt design.

From there, painters — add their own artistic flare to help the design come to life.

“We want to tell the story of our community,” Ms Petric says. “One block at a time.”

Ms Petric is envisioning painting parties to bring volunteers together to work on the boards.

Carol Jenkins, with the Millbrook Needlers Quilt Guild, says she and other members have joined the initiative as advisors, and will be helping to find quilt squares appropriate for specific farm buildings or to a family’s history.

“It would be nice to beautify the community and perk up interest in our history,” she says.

Jeanne Moran, a quilter in Millbrook, is also involved in the project. She created a barn quilt of her own to get a sense of what the trail is all about.

“I just thought it would be a fun thing to do,” she says.

The finished product is a design featuring an owl — an appropriate appliqué pattern for the quilt since the group of residents who meet in her barn twice monthly to quilt are known as the Barn Owls.

Susan Rice, who’s been a woodcrafter since 1990 is also on board, and is excited to get painting.

She has tested out a quilt design on a two-foot by two-foot board.

The barn quilts made for area barns will be eight feet by eight feet squares.

Ms Petric says it hasn’t taken long for the concept for the barn quilt trail to snowball.

“We’ve gotten interest from all sorts of groups,” she says. “We’re even throwing around the idea of an audio tour.”

The various committee launched to start working on the trail are still in need of volunteers and sponsors. To get involved, contact Ms Petric at or call 705-944-5996.

To learn more about the Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail search CM Barn Quilt Trail on Facebook. Information about other barn quilt trails across the province can be found at


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November 08, 2015

Millbrook Times: Sarah Sobanski - Historic opportunity is built with quilting blocks


There’s a project set to make history in our township and everyone is invited to participate.

The Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail is coming to a neighbourhood near you, but it’s not what you might think – there won’t be a stitch of material in sight.

Jeanne Moran loves everything quilting and paid homage to her quilting group the Barn Owls who has been donating quilts to Quilts for Cancer and meeting since 1996.

Barn quilts are eight by eight foot boards of MDO wood, a paintable weather- resistant plywood popular for building outdoor signs, painted using quilting patterns to appear like quilts. Each pattern and block is chosen with care to represent a story of the community. Whether that story is as big as the history of the place where the quilt is hung, or as small as the story of the person who hung the quilt, depends on many different factors including the ambition of volunteers.

The project is operated entirely by volunteers, and is open to anyone who wants to get involved. Once the quilts are painted, they’re hung in a trail-like fashion with links to the stories they tell, on site and on their website. It’s all about making and recording the history from every nook and cranny of our township.

Take Jeanne Moran, for example, who recently hung a smaller barn quilt with the pattern ’Hole in the Barn Door’ in preparation for the trail. After taking a quilting class between teaching folk art classes in the 1970s, Moran fell in love with quilting. She remembers the hobby as being less popular back then, and having to travel to find quality fabrics. Today, she quilts almost every day and sews bi-weekly with a group in her barn to donate to Quilts for Cancer – the group fondly calls themselves the Barn Owls. Moran is just one member of the ever-growing committee gathering support for a barn quilt trail.

Susan Rice says the rolling hills of our township inspired her to paint the bargello wave pattern - blue is for the sky, green is for the grass and pink is for the flowers.

Lenka Petric of Ida first had the idea after visiting a small town in the USA. Petric then contacted Bonnie McQuarrie and together they started inviting all kinds of people to participate; because people from web designers, to writers, to space owners (not all of the quilts have to be hung on barns), to painters of all ages are needed. From quilting veterans like Quilter’s Bolt owner Kate DeKlerck, who plans to lend expertise and advice aspiring trail quilters, to Susan Rice, who recently tried her hand at her second quilt ever, and chose the ambitious bargello wave pattern for her barn quilt – it reminds her of the beautiful rolling hills of our landscape.

Committee members have also visited other trails like the one in Prince Edward County which just recently hung its hundredth quilt in Picton. They are making presentations around the township seeking community grants, sponsors, donations and volunteers to start hanging for next summer. There is even talk of a QR Code Tracker so quilts can be scanned at their sites to directly link to their stories on electronic devices. It’s an ambitious project that will need, every hand in the community to be achieved.

“The creativity is inspiring,” says Petric of what she’s seen from the community so far. “Highlighting that is leading to the discovery of the artists, crafts people and the beauty of our township.”

Those looking to lend a hand can get involved at the community Facebook page; Cavan Monaghan Barn Quilt Trail.

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