Quilt trail covers county
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor
Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:20
The connection between the local 4-H organization and quilting is on the rise. It is now on display with the Wood County 4-H Quilt Square Trail officially open.
|The Ohio Star Eastern Star is seen at Needle Hall at the Bowling Green City Park. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Many may ask: “What is a quilt square trail?” The answer is better seen than explained. However, in short, large wooden blocks are created and painted to replicate a traditional square which can be found on quilts.
Unlike traditional small fabric squares, these 20 quilt blocks are 8-foot wooden squares and placed on barns or other significant and/or historic buildings around the county. Each has its own design and story.
Jennifer Morlock, program assistant, for Ohio State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development in Wood County was one of the driving forces behind the creation and establishment of the county’s new trail.
Being a quilter, Morlock took a huge interest after learning about the Greene County 4-H’s creation of what Morlock says was the first 4-H trail in the nation.
She recruited the assistance of many people including Karen Kotula, another quilter and an adviser for the Dowling Stitch, Stir and Stock 4-H Club. Morlock also called her an “all-star quilt volunteer.”
The two ladies were a relentless force for organizing and executing the creation of the trail.
After getting the support from the Wood County Commissioners, the project was born in 2011.
4-H clubs across the county became involved, and sponsors were recruited to help fund the creation and installation of the squares.
The 4-H Quilters club and Kotula’s group created the first two squares which were displayed during the 2011 and 2012 Wood County Fair. The first square put in place was the signature block created by the 4-H Quilters and installed on the Home & Garden World Building at the Fairgrounds. To identify each of the blocks, there is a small replica of the signature block at the bottom corner of all 20 blocks, including the signature block, itself.
In addition to the sponsors, many of the squares were donated in memory of or to otherwise honor living people connected to the square.
“Each one is unique and special,” Morlock said.
Kotula said not only her club “was extremely excited to be part of it.”
Their block is located on a barn along Ohio 199 in rural Perrysburg. Like most of the blocks, there is a history connected to the block.
The club chose the “Friendship Square” for its block which Kotula says, “represents a big part of 4-H, Our group is very close and enjoyed working together on the project.”
It is placed on the Dustin Brown barn, but was placed in memory of Fred and Opal Kazmaier, who formerly owned the farm and barn. She was the founding adviser for the club.
“It is an extra special place to have it,” Kotula said.
Both Kotula and Morlock noted the cooperation of some 4-H clubs with Boy Scout Troops. The Boy Scouts built a few of the blocks with at least two of the blocks as Eagle projects for the Scouts.
“I find that really moving,” Morlock said.
“Two great youth organizations worked together to create those squares,” Kotula added. “It was wonderful.”
At this year’s Junior Fair Parade held on the first day of the Wood County Fair, there was a ceremonial ribbon cutting to open the trail.
On hand was a fabric quilt which included quilt squares of all 20 blocks. The quilt was made by Rita Trumbull, Morlock’s mother and a frequent volunteer for numerous 4-H quilting projects.
That quilt will be a traveling quilt to promote the trail and will visit various places around the county. It was featured at Quilt Day at the county fair and has been displayed at the Wood County Courthouse. This weekend it will be part of the Pemberville Fair quilt show.
There is one of the squares located in Pemberville on Beeker’s General Store.
Morlock says there are no current plans to expand the trail, but says others who want to create their own quilt square for a barn or public building can obtain logistical information from the Extension office.
The plan is to review the trail after five years to see how the squares are holding up. At that point, they will make decisions about it’s continuing or possible expansion.
“We don’t want them to become eyesores,” Morlock said.
In addition to various barns, other special locations for some of the squares include a school house in Perry Township near the intersection of Eagleville, Baird and Oil Center Roads; at the St. Louis School in Custar; at a gourd farm in North Baltimore; at the Wood County Historical Museum; at the OARDC Research Farm near Hoytville, on Needle Hall at City Park in Bowling Green.
The Needle Hall square recalls that was the site of many of the early Wood County Fairs.
Morlock loves how the trail has brought people together and will continue to do so. She also said there are many people who enjoy traveling the trails looking for all the squares which will also be a bonus for some tourists to visit the county.
“It’s like a scavenger hunt,” Morlock said. “It will be a good way for people (both residents and visitors) to see all the things we have to offer in Wood County.”
Quilt square trails originated in Adams County in the Appalachian region of Ohio. Additional trails have become very popular in southern Ohio.
Wood County’s 4-H trail is the third 4-H trail in Ohio and among the first of any kind in this part of the state. Henry County’s 4-H trail is scheduled to open soon.
The trail is outlined in a brochure which shows each of the squares and some details, along with a Wood County map showing where each block can be found.
The brochures are available at the fairgrounds, the Extension office, the Sentinel office and at the Pemberville Fair this weekend, to name a few sites.
A quilt square page on the Extension’s website is planned. http://wood.osu.edu.