Next Door Neighbour
Next Door Neighbour is derived from a period when the Thames River valley was sparsely settled, providing few villages, towns, and even roads. Visiting one’s neighbour was a rare treat for these isolated women, given the difficulty of travelling through the wilderness. Today, it’s easy to travel the roads of the Southwest Ontario Barn Quilt Trails, which includes this quilt pattern, hosted by Coleen and Marty Thody.
You can find this quilt at 2577 Gideon Drive, Delaware, Ontario.
Grandmother's Flower Garden
One of the best-loved and well-known quilt patterns of the area, this pattern, known as Grandmother’s Flower Garden, was brought to the country by early European settlers. It symbolized the beauty of their homeland and the gardens they had left behind. Now, the beautiful hexagon-print, once made from small scraps of fabric, adorns the barn of Anna and Peter Semowoniuk.
You can find this quilt at 5338 Longwoods Road, Appin, Ontario.
Tall Pine Tree
The spectacular stands of eastern white pine trees found in the area once yielded soft pale wood, which was considered highly valuable to the developing United States, the British Royal Navy, and of course, the local economy. Not only this, but the tall conifer also gave the area around Delaware its early name, “The Pinery,” and inspired this barn quilt, now hosted by Anne and Ron Carruthers.
You can find this quilt at 7004 Longwoods Road, Melbourne, Ontario.
In 1796, Joseph Kilbourne, his sons and their wives came to Delaware, Upper Canada from the United States. As prosperous millers and farmers, they were proud of the beautiful table settings they had brought with them. However, this quilt symbolizes the state of their belongings after the war came, as they were left with nothing but shards. Fittingly, the Hilltop Antique Flea Market hosts this barn quilt.
You can find it at 8898 Longwoods Road, Delaware, Ontario.
Although we usually think of quilts as being sewn with fabrics of different colours, the eye-catching patterns of the Southwest Ontario Barn Quilt Trail won't keep you warm and cozy. These quilt block patterns are generally painted on large pieces of signboard or plywood, which are mounted on a barn, building, or free-standing frame. Either derived from heritage quilt blocks, or individual patterns representing a family's history, these barn quilts are meant to highlight the beauty and historical significance of a period in a unique and interesting way.
Currently there are about 150 Barn Quilts installed along the Southwest Ontario Barn Quilt Trails, but there’s always more being created. We took a tour of Middlesex County to find just a few of hundreds scattered throughout the region. Check out the Southwest Ontario Barn Quilt Trail's website for more quilts, locations, historical tid-bits, and even to find out how to host a barn quilt of your own.
Peace & Plenty
A combination of British and European immigrants and American-born citizens who settled in the Thirteen Colonies were forced by Loyalty to Britain to leave their property and possessions behind and start over in Upper Canada's vast wilderness. Peace and Plenty represents the elusiveness of obtaining those very attributes, when the dream was once again put on hold due to the war of 1812.
You can find this barn quilt, host by Brenda and Bill Miller, at 3515 Longwoods Road, Glencoe, Ontario.