The kickoff will welcome visitors to a celebration of McLean
County's agricultural heritage, quilting, local history and the
arts. The Barn Quilt Heritage Trail will feature 11 area barns or
other farm buildings in McLean County, each decorated with an
8-by-8-foot quilt square painted on plywood and mounted on the
building. The Carriage Barn on the Davis Mansion grounds is one of
Local poets Kathleen Kirk, Peg Kirk, Bill Morgan, Ginny
Nappi and M. Irene Taylor interviewed barn owners about their
families and farms and learned about quilts and quilt patterns. The
poets will read their poems in "Words on Quilts" at 10:30 a.m.
during the Oct. 13 event. The presentation is a production of the
Illinois Voices Theatre, a member of the Bloomington-based Illinois
Theatre Consortium, and is partially funded by the town of Normal's
Harmon Arts Grant program.
The kickoff event will also feature an auction of painted wooden
quilt squares at 11:15 a.m.; Zoo Lady face painting and
Funbelievable Balloons from 11 a.m. to noon; music by Don't Fret
from noon to 1 p.m.; and a barn dance featuring the Bloomington
Twirlers from 1 to 2 p.m. Food may be purchased from 11 a.m. to 1
p.m., and a display of heirloom quilts may be seen in the Visitor
Center during the entire event.
A group of local volunteers formed a committee and worked with
participating site owners to create quilt block designs that reflect
the heritage of their farms. Workers from Corn Belt Energy began
installing the barn quilts in May, and the installation was
completed Aug. 23.
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The quilt squares will remain on the buildings at least five
years, and a series of additional sites around McLean County will be
added during that period. The structures are visible from the road
or are a site that is frequently visited. Owners have contributed
toward the cost of construction and promotional expenses for the
Numerous volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, and many
businesses and organizations, have contributed to the effort to
"stitch" many elements together for a commemorative project that
will promote local tourism and highlight the arts and agriculture.
The official guidebooks with the quilt sites will be available at
noon Oct. 13 at the Davis Mansion's Visitor Center.
For more information about the barn quilt project, visit
www.mcleancountybarnquilts.com, or look for McLean County Barn
Quilts on Facebook.
The David Davis Mansion
State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic
Preservation Agency, was built in the 1870s for U.S. Supreme Court
Justice David Davis and his wife, Sarah. It is open for free public
[Text from file received from
the Illinois Historic