A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting our Barn Quilt

briar boyceUncategorized

Barn quilts tell stories.

Quilters, through the masterpieces they create, lovingly bridge the past with the future. How many of us have had a quilt passed down to us from another generation? Or have fallen into slumber beneath one’s comforting pattern?

Just as fabric quilts have their own unique history, so do barn quilts. While cloth quilts are usually made up of a series of the same design placed together, a barn quilt is a single pattern square.

And now we have one at the front our much loved hospital, just in time to unwrap for the holidays.

We know you’ve all seen them while driving or cycling along our County roads. Maybe you’ve spotted them on a Sunday drive to see a show at Mt. Tabor or when entering the County via the Loyalist Parkway in Carrying Place or off the Glenora Ferry. Today, hundreds of beautiful barns and buildings proudly host a quilt, each telling its own story.

Let us tell the story of ours.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Getting a Barn Quilt.

It all started with wanting to have a little bit of fun. It was also about giving something back to our staff and volunteers whose commitment to our County hospital never waivers. And then Briar Boyce, our communications co-ordinator picked up a brochure at Picton Home Hardware that was filled with tiny quilt squares and started to craft an idea for a hospital barn quilt. This resulted in a partnership with the Prince Edward Barn Quilt Trails, a not-for-profit group in the County led by Pat Dubyk and her team of artists, Audrey Tomick, Trish Hornsby, Gail Henderson, Ginny Klein and Sandra Norval who paint these stunning geometric squares that bring a sense of energy and excitement rejuvenating County spaces.

Our quilt block is called Points for Care. It’s a “geographical hug” recognizing the uniqueness of this County from Long Point to Green Point to Smokes Point to Point Petre and all the connecting points in between. We are both a hospital and a local community of care through staff, volunteers, friends and family.

Then the question of how we were going to pay for this quilt without using funds designated for medical equipment purchases arose.

Cue curtain call for The Marysburgh Mummers, patrons of our hospital!

Support for this project was pieced together with the proceeds of the 50/50 sales from the Marysburgh Mummers recent show, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum directed by Carlotta Rutledge. Foundation staff members Briar Boyce and Penny Rolinski, PECMH patient services manager, Lisa Mowbray and Foundation Chair, Monica Alyea also contributed to this arts initiative ensuring no donor dollars were used. Quinte Health Care gave us the wall space and Tom Belch and Sons Building Contractors volunteered the installation. A big thank you is extended to Matt Taylor, Josh Nicholson and Dave Bryden from Tom Belch’s crew who spent an entire day at PECMH installing the quilt while braving the elements. We couldn’t have installed it without them.

A quilt is a treasure which follows its family through time; we anticipate transporting this treasure to our new hospital one day!

For the PECMH Foundation, we’re hoping our quilt resonates with our beloved community. The PEC Barn Quilt Trail consists of many barn quilts mapped together and visited. Those following the trail receive a map of all the quilts marked and drive along to see all the blocks. Often barn quilts are replicas of traditional cloth quilts, designs cherished within a family or reflecting the family business. The barn quilt trail inspires to bring our community closer together one brush stroke at a time.

With the holidays just around the corner, we’re sending our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones and hope you’ll take a drive past the hospital to see our quilt. On behalf of all of us here at the PECM Hospital Foundation, thank you so much for your commitment to advancing health care for our patients and the people of Prince Edward County. We have an incredible donor family. We’re so grateful for all of our staff, volunteers and friends — during this season of giving and all year round. Please note that the Foundation office will be open and accepting donations through until Friday, December 23, but will be closed afterward until we reopen on Wednesday, January 3, 2017.

Colour block meanings of Points for Care barn quilt at PECMH:
Blue: a symbol for protection, peace, calmness and spirituality
Green: a symbol for growth and fertility
White: a symbol for purity, power of the body and mind, love, energy flowing freely
Brown: a symbol for earth, friendship and strength
Black: protection and binding together
Yellow: health in body and mind, love of man and the sun

Cast members from the Marysburgh Mummers production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum