Such trails are already popular in other parts of the United States and that is where Kay Henrichs and Karen Gottlieb, committee co-chairs and Bloomington residents, got the idea.
Henrichs says, “We’re a big agricultural community and we need to highlight our barns and treasures.”
When Erin Campbell, Director of Communication at Corn Belt Energy in Bloomington, met with Henrichs and Gottlieb, she was impressed with their project and thought it was a good fit for the co-op. “Most of these are cooperative members. A couple of these quilts are going up in places of business,” says Campbell. “So it’s folks we work with on a business or residential level.”
The first quilt installed, at Ropp Jersey Cheese in Normal, features an orange, blue and white triangle pattern with the head of a Jersey cow in the center to endorse the farm.
With one quilt up already and two more nearly ready to go, the group plans to have 10 quilt patterns up by September to begin tours of the trail.
Smaller quilt patterns are also being made for display across the county in the windows of businesses to help promote the tour.
Look online for a complete feature on the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail in McLean County written by Kayla Rollins, Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives.