Tumbling blocks

A barn quilt on Steve Kelzer’s family farm in Chaska.

The Barn Quilts of Carver County offers support during COVID-19.

What began in 2011 as a community-wide, public art project — continues as one during this unprecedented time. This year, the project celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Throughout this time, barn quilts have represented Carver County’s heritage and families.

While the 10-year celebration has been postponed due to COVID-19, the project has stepped up to help our community: families, teachers and students. Janet Fahey, Suzanne Thiesfeld and myself, all original members of the barn quilt project, have come together to offer unique ways to stay connected — yet apart.

We invite you to see the barn quilts from different perspectives:

Field trip: A self-guided barn quilt tour. Go to our website, www.barnquiltsofccmn.com, click on Resources and download the map (it contains all the original barn quilts in the county) and the tour preparation sheet. Gas is cheap. Country air is fresh. Load up the car. Enjoy.

Curriculum for Independent Study. Ideas have been compiled in the following areas: Art, literature, history, math and agriculture. These sheets are available to download under Resources. Other downloads include a barn quilt project, how to make a barn quilt, either as a class or family, or as an individual. Barn quilt coloring sheets are available, too. All free.

Teachers, please, explore the study options, and, if you are intrigued, contact me and a complimentary copy of a barn quilt coloring book will be sent to you. It has the graphics for each barn quilt and a related page of prompts for creativity. Copies may be made for student use only.

Fellow citizens, stay-at-home folks, please, browse the ideas — something may spark research interest for you, too.

Please share. Students of all ages, we’d love to post your work on our website and in the Arts Consortium of Carver County newsletter, ArtMatters. (The consortium, a nonprofit, was the fiscal agent for Barn Quilts of Carver County MN.)

Submit your photos, artwork, essays, poems, research & memoirs, etc. to independentstudy@barnquiltsofccmn.com. Include your name, school name and grade. Non-students, your name and town, please. Deadline to submit is midnight, Aug. 1.

If you’d like a barn quilt, but prefer purchasing rather than creating your own, connect with artist Suzanne Thiesfeld on the website or through her email at suzannethiesfeld@icloud.com.

While on our website, check out the Barn Quilt Shop. You’ll find new products and a huge sale for the next three months.

Stay safe!

Barb Hone is an Arts Consortium of Carver County volunteer. She can be reached at treasuresbyBarb@barnquiltsofccmn.com.


Unsie Zuege is an award-winning multimedia journalist, who enjoys community journalism, bibimbop, Netflix, Trivia Mafia and snuggling tiny dogs, not necessarily in that order.


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