Since I design and sell backyard barn quilts I really wanted to actually see a barn quilt in person. The closest trail is in the neighbouring province, Manitoba, and runs through the Interlake region around Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba.
This trail is extensive!! From Steep Rock in the north to Lockport in the south, this trail is 241 km long and includes 11 towns, villages, and farms. Today there are 51quilts on display. Driving from Saskatoon, Sk. this was a trip that would take more than a weekend. I invited my sister, who is also a passionate and talented quilter to help with navigation and be a companion. This road adventure was going to be full of meeting new people, seeing new quilt stores, and of course, enjoying the barn quilt beauties along the way.
We were so excited to see this distinctly Manitoba Wheat Stalk gracing the Friesen Family Barn by Arborg, Manitoba. Our first real barn quilt!!!
Since I had never driven through Manitoba I was suprised to see the different terrain when driving around and between the gigantic lake of Manitoba. I knew there would be agricultural land and thought as a prairie province the harvesting of grain crops would be in full swing. However, this part of Manitoba is cattle country: black cows, brown cows, white cows, spotted cows, etc. etc. And to feed all the cattle were fields of cattle corn and bales, and bales, and bales as far as the eye could see.
After a full day of driving we drove into Gimli to meet Karen Simpson deBraga who paints barn quilts to sell in this area. Look at her home address sign... a barn quilt! She was most gracious is showing her planning and process of painting the many sizes of barn quilts. Her family lived in Alabama a few years ago and there she saw many of these barn quilts around the area. When the family relocated to Gimli, and as a talented artist, she began her business Barn Quilts and More Manitoba. After sharing her art Karen offered to show us around this resort village on Lake Winnipeg. Here are a few more photos of what we saw! This area was settled by Icelandic folks and the iconic statue was a natural place to check out. And of course, the local quilt shop, Fabriculous, was a must see! Check out their sidewalk sign!
Next blog will share how this trail got started in 2015.
Remember... a quilt makes everything better!