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Barn Quilt Spotlight - Eleanor's Colonial Girl

This quilt is very special, not only is it one of the few we have that hangs on a diamond, but it has multiple significant and sentimental elements that make it one of a kind. When first working with Lorie Smith (nee Saunders) she shared with me samples of her mothers work. Among these samples were a few colonial girls and some dresden plates. I wanted to incorporate both of these patterns into the Barn Quilt design because of they were her favourite. The plaid was an interesting feat on this quilt also, after a lot of time and attention it came out perfectly. I did not know Eleanor well, but I did have the opportunity to spend some time with Ed before he passed. Ed was a stand up man, kind hearted, gentle, loved to have a chat and laugh with you over a "hammerhead". He was a wealth of stories of times gone by, local history and farming. This tribute quilt puts a smile on my face every time I drive by it. You can enjoy Eleanor's Colonial girl on the top of Spring Hill on Grey Road 40 between Chatsworth and Walters Falls. For now you can enjoy this amazing story behind this tribute quilt.

The late Ed Saunders and his family, are delighted to be able to honour the memory of his wife Eleanor Saunders (nee Lemon) with this beautiful barn quilt.  This barn quilt is a fitting tribute, as it unites two of her passions, quilting and farming.  It hangs on the old bank barn at Spruce Lane Farms.  Ed and Eleanor worked hand in hand to establish and build this thriving farm.
Eleanor, following in her Mother’s footsteps, was an avid quilter!  She created her first quilt at the age of 8, creating a red and white nursery rhyme quilt.  She embroidered all of the blocks herself, with the addition of a cow’s udder embroidered by her brother Jack.  Like every quilt that she worked on throughout her life, every stitch was placed with precision and care.
The old wooden quilt frames, when fully extended, would fill the dining room.  One would have to crawl under the quilt in order to navigate to the kitchen.  When the quilt went in, that is where you would find Eleanor, when she was not at the barn milking, feeding calves, or in the fields.  Quilting was not always a solo activity.  It was also an opportunity to gather with the neighbor ladies.  Many an afternoon was whiled away with stitches, laughter, tea and goodies.
Eleanor created a great number of lovely quilts.  She was always up to the challenge of creating something new.  Unlike today’s quilts, with careful nods to colour palettes, most of her quilts were pieced with scraps from clothes that Mom had sewn.  That made the quilts even more special as they brought back memories of the events when those items were worn.  Eleanor made quilts with patterns of appliqued butterflies, leaves; and common blocks like Dresden Plate, Double Wedding Ring, and many more.  Probably the most frequent pattern that came out of the frames was the Colonial Girl.  There were 2 versions – one with an umbrella, and one with posies.  Everyone in the family has one of these colonial girl quilts handmade by Eleanor, and we treasure them as a testament to her outstanding creative abilities.
Eleanor put a lot of love into her quilts.  This barn quilt hangs to acknowledge our deep love for her, her role in the establishment of this farm, and the memories that we will treasure forever.
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