The Chamber office got a dandy new piece of artwork last week. If you've driven downtown, you've likely seen the barn quilt in the south window of the building here on the corner.
The barn quilt movement began on an Ohio farm in the early 2000's as Donna Sue Groves painted the first block to celebrate her mother, Maxine. She didn't know her artwork would eventually lead to a cross-country adventure, but that's essentially what has happened. Barn quilts have become the fastest growing grassroots art movement across the U.S. and Canada. Dawson County jumped into the barn quilt craze about three years ago, building a tour right here in Central Nebraska. There are well over 100 barn quilts mapped on the Barn Quilts of Dawson County website and lots of folks from other states plan their back-roads trips to see them all.
Just like traditional fabric quilts, barn quilt blocks each have their own unique story. They tie to an individual's interests or family heritage and some represent the significance of a business or a location.
The barn quilt in the Chamber window has a story too. The basic pattern is called the Swedish Weathervane. The Swedish part of the name makes an obvious choice for a quilt block in Gothenburg. Our city's settlers and our far-off friends in our sister city in Sweden would surely appreciate the reference. As for the weathervane design, the half-square triangles are similar to the points on a compass. Each point in the weathervane block symbolizes a different direction, helping you always find your way. The Chamber office is kind of the same thing ... a central spot for visitors and residents, as well as the best connecting point to get you where you're going.
Our barn quilt was painted by retired Chamber director Anne Anderson, who still serves on the Chamber's Ambassadors and the tourism committee. She is working on others that will hang around town. If you're interested in having one of your own, she may be able to help you out. She can also point you toward some classes if you want to try your hand at painting one yourself. If you contact the Chamber office, I can put you in touch.
And don't forget to drop by the Barn Quilts of Dawson County website at barnquiltsdc.com. There are enough beautiful pieces right here in your back yard to plan a day trip checking them out!