McFarland Home joins the county’s barn quilt trail

From left, McFarland Home food service supervisor Joe Chapman, PEC Barn Quilt Trails co-ordinator Pat Dubyk, McFarland Home maintenance employee Brian Westervelt, volunteer Chris Cloudsdale, and administrator Kim Mauro unveil one of the new quilts. (Submitted photo)

H.J. McFarland Memorial Home has joined Prince Edward County’s Barn Quilt Trails.

The municipality issued a news release Monday announcing three new quilts have been installed on the exterior of the long-term care facility.

Two of the quilts hang on the side of the building while a third hangs on the H.J. McFarland sign next to County Rd. 49.

Administrator Kim Mauro says it’s a welcome addition to the building.

“We are honoured to feature this wonderful artwork on our building,” says Mauro. “I am sure the quilts will brighten the day for our residents when they are out on their walks and the quilts will certainly make H.J. McFarland even more welcoming for visitors and the public.”

The home purchased two barn quilts last fall — one for the building and one for the sign. The release says a third was acquired when a local business could no longer accommodate its quilt and the home agreed to install the artwork on the building.

PEC Barn Quilt Trails co-ordinator Pat Dubyk says it’s good to see McFarland Home join the many local businesses and private residences displaying the artwork across the municipality.

“I am thrilled that staff and residents at H.J. McFarland have enthusiastically embraced the barn quilt movement,” says Dubyk. “I have enjoyed seeing the quilts appear on a variety of different buildings, not just barns. It’s really a testament to the incredible community of Prince Edward County.”

The “quilts” are decorated with colourful quilt-like patterns and are typically made up of several plywood squares. One difference is that while quilts are often made up of a series of the same pattern sewn together, barn quilts are usually a single pattern square.

The barn quilt movement appears to be catching on. Their popularity has been rising across the United States and Canada since beginning in Ohio in the early 2000s. Inspired by the Ohio trail, residents of Tamiskaming, Ontario spearheaded their own barn quilt trail beginning in 2007. Wardsville, Ontario followed in 2009 and Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Norfolk, and Brant counties joined the initiative in 2011. A collaborative partnership funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation became the Ontario Barn Quilt Trails network in 2013. A few years ago local community members decided to get involved and formed the PEC Barn Quilt Trails to organize a trail for the county. Today, that trail sports more than 200 pieces.

Members of the public can view the quilts at McFarland Home any time, but Mauro is encouraging the community to come out on Saturday, June 16 to see the artwork during the facility’s open house. Several activities are planned for that date, including a free barbecue and live entertainment. The open house takes place from 12–4 p.m. at the home, 603 County Rd. 49.