The Sheldon Raiders Homemaker's Club is dedicated to making their corner of Vermont a better place to live. They have been involved in lots of different kinds of civic projects, but their latest effort has really blanketed the community for all to see.
Sheldon is home to rolling hills, family farms and cornfields. But if you look closely, there is something more -- splashes of color -- barn quilt designs painted on plywood squares.
"The community loves them. We have had lots of tourists who stop by and tell us they have seen them advertised or just happen to drive by and see them and inquire about them. We are happy to give them a hand out of the trail so they can find all of them and we have been very pleased with the response," said Fern Mercure, with the Sheldon Barn Quilt Tour.
Mercure got the idea after seeing a similar project in Indiana. So she got the members of her Homemaker's Club to start their own Barn Quilt project. Each member picked and painted their favorite quilt design -- there are 12 in all. "This is Blazing Star, Friendship Star, Variation, Galaxy, Evening Star we named this one. That is what is interesting about these blocks, that they have many names," Mercure said.
The purpose of this project is simple, it's just for the sheer enjoyment of looking at quilts. And the idea is catching on. Carol Willey learned about Barn Quilts from Mercure and wants to start a project in her community of Richford. "We have such beautiful architecture in Richford that it could be a great way to showcase the architecture and such beautiful scenery, beautiful views of the mountains. And people could come to Richford not only to see the quilts but see really what a beautiful place Richford is," Willey said.
It took a total of six weeks to finish the project. The quilts were hung this spring. They may be taken down in winter, but a decision has not been made yet. "We were thinking we would leave them up from May to October which is what they did in Indiana, but a lot of our members want to leave them up through the winter. We think it would be a nice contrast to the snow, so I am thinking they will stay up and we are hoping they will last five years or more," Mercure said.
It's a project that has attracted visitors and brought the community together, through pieces of a quilt.
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