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Tiskilwa Historical Society Features Barn Quilts of Bureau County on September 11

In 2014, a small group of Bureau County women painted 8X8-foot quilt block patterns and installed these “quilts” on five barns to add a splash of color to the countryside as well as honor our county’s agricultural roots. Now, only three years later, well over 60 barn quilts decorate The Quilt Trail throughout our county.

On Monday evening, September 11, barn quilt enthusiast Valerie Jensen will share photographs and stories of the wonderful diversity of quilts in our area in her presentation, “Barn Quilts of Bureau County.” The program begins at 7:00 in the community room of Tisklwa’s Museum on Main.

When it local group started, it was picking up on movement that began 16 years ago in Adams County, Ohio, and has become a nation-wide public arts phenomenon. Beyond the traditional quilt patterns, family heritage or special interests are often incorporated into designs. As an added bonus, the Barn Quilt Trail promotes agri-tourism by showcasing our rural areas while at the same time it encourages a sense of community pride.

Presented with her trademark enthusiasm, Valerie will reveal special tips for happy [quilt] trails to you and distribute maps for self-guided tours. This program promises to hold something of interest for an visitors of every age and all community members are welcomed to attend this free program, followed by refreshments in the museum galleries.

Plans are also in the works for future programs, include a road trip to the Wright Family farm, where they’ll host an event on Sunday afternoon, October 8, beginning at 4:00 p.m. We’ve asked them to give a walking tour of their livestock, buildings, and equipment. In November, the society is working on re-staging an indoor version of “Voices from Mount Bloom.” And it’s already time to mark calendars for Tiskilwa’s annual Country Christmas event, all day on Saturday, December 9.

T-H-S charter member Eleanor West Sapp, Princeton, displays the Windihill pattern on her cotton quilt as well as on the quilt block painted on plywood and mounted at her family farm in the Providence area west of Tiskilwa.

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