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4' Barn Quilt Spotlight - Crossed Kayaks


Barb was the first person not on the Agricultural Society to come and help paint barn quilts. We constructed this concept from a Crossed Canoe pattern. She has a detailed story about where this idea came from, check it out below!


This block is known by several names, most notably “TippeCanoe”, “Crossed Canoes”, or “Crossed Kayaks”. Other names include “Dragonfly” and “Twinkling Star”. It took us a while to decide on a quilt block that would represent our life story. We are both outdoor enthusiasts and have been canoe tripping since our younger days at camp. Living on the shores of Georgian Bay we have migrated to kayaking where the swells can get quite high in short order. In both canoeing and kayaking, the idea of crossing the boats represents the manner in which a deep water rescue is executed. This entails drawing one boat across the other in order to empty the water, flip it upright, then sliding it back into the water to allow the dumped paddler to crawl back into the dry safe boat while the other braces the kayak alongside theirs. We have learned many life lessons from our paddling adventures and this represents the way we support each other in life, side by side and when one falters the other is at the ready for a rescue. The colours reflect the many shades of blue that we see on our travels through many lakes, rivers and Lake Huron/Georgian Bay. Water is life and a precious resource to be treasured. The green represents the forests and plant life that produce the oxygen we need to breath and the food we eat. And the yellow is that of the sun that nurtures all life on our planet with its glowing rays. Barbara came by her love of quilts as a child while watching her Grandmother, Freda Wilkinson, from Rocklyn, stitching and sewing her quilts. A sixth generation resident of Grey and Bruce Counties, Barbara returned to retire in Thornbury where she followed the family tradition of quilting. Her Grandma and Great Aunt Lilly Crabtree were accomplished quilters in the communities of Temple Hill, Wiarton and Meaford where they lived while her Grandfather was a United Church Minister in the early 1900’s. Barb and Chuck treasure the quilts she has from her ancestors and Barbara continues to quilt herself, exploring the many facets of fabric arts in between canoe and kayak adventures. So when the opportunity arose to participate in the “For the Love of Grey Barn Quilt Trail” we immediately signed up. It has been a delight to work with such an enthusiastic and talented team whose ongoing commitment to this growing project continues to help beautify and bring our communities together.