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Piece Quilters donate barn quilt to library

When Beth Tibbitts moved to Jessamine County a few years ago, she began wondering about the various quilt squares painted and hung on barns in the area, but had trouble finding any information.

She eventually learned that more than a decade ago, Eddie Clements and the Arts Depository of Nicholasville received a grant from the Jessamine County Fiscal Court, and together with the Jessamine County Extension Office, Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce and other volunteers, solicited quilt patterns and barn locations from county residents.

More than 20 barn quilts were painted and installed in the county from 2007-2008. Each square was a replica of an actual quilt, typically being installed on the farms of the family of the original quilter.

“These are family heirlooms that were recreated into these barn quilts,” Tibbitts said.

Tibbitts wanted to find a way to bring more attention to the beautiful quilt squares, so decided to bring the project to her local quilting group.

Over a year’s time the Jessamine Piece Quilters took turns creating replicas of the barn quilts. Those replicas were then pieced together to create one quilt.

“It’s really a quilt of a quilt of a quilt,” Tibbitts said Tuesday as the group celebrated donating the quilt to be hung at the Jessamine County Public Library.

The 25-square quilt now hangs in the main library where visitors entering can see it.

“It’s the community’s quilt now,” Tibbitts said.

Each year the group makes a quilt that is then auctioned with the proceeds benefiting the Kids Cancer Alliance.

“When this one was finished, we felt like we couldn’t give it away,” she said.

The quilt hung at other locations in the community, but they decided it was time to find a more permanent and prominent home.

“We decided it really belonged to the community,” Tibbitts said.

At the library, visitors can not only view the quilt, but find detailed information about where the barn quilt each square is based on is located and who quilted the original square.

More about the project can be found at jesspq.org/barn-quilts.

The Piece Quilters will also showcase more of their work later this year during the annual quilt show.

The show is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16 at Nicholasville Christian Church.

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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