Barn quilt tour in Oconto County

September 28, 2016



GILLETT (WLUK) -- Scenic barn quilts will take center stage this weekend in Oconto County.

It's part of a driving tour, celebrating the colorful work.

At the Stone Barn Park in the Town of Chase, a simple design called the pinwheel, commemorates Oconto County's first official barn quilt.

Just up the road, a dairy cow design surveys the Brock family farm below.

The very first Barn Quilts of Oconto County Scenic Road Rally is Saturday.

"We basically just wanted to come up with an idea for preserving the barns here in Oconto County, also generating tourism," said Kay Rankel, Barn Quilt Rally Organizer.

There are 50 quilts and counting.

"We're trying to stick with standard quilting blocks, so in other words if it's something that you can sew, it's what we're going to paint," said Rankel.

The barn quilts get their start at New View Industries in Gillett. Each eight by eight square is custom made.

It takes the workers about a month to design and paint one barn quilt.

"It's a great process. There's a ton of different levels for our clients which is a wonderful opportunity to get very many of them involved," said Lynn Jones, New View Industries Day Series Program.

Jones says New View is a training work center for developmentally disabled adults, and adults with barriers to employment.

"It wasn't that hard to paint, it was pretty easy," said Priscilla, New View Industries Client.

"I like to paint, barn quilts for Oconto County, because it's my favorite thing to do," said Andrew, New View Industries Client.

Meanwhile, the rally begins Saturday in Gillett, with a road map and a quiz.

"It's all about visiting these various communities, answering questions about history, seeing the countryside this great time of year, and just enjoying the whole barn quilt trail," said Rankel.

The barn quilts made at New Industries are for sale, with proceeds going to support the barn quilt program.

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