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Vienna unveils new barn quilt after cook-off

Painted squares display history of township to promote tourism

VIENNA — This year the township unveiled more than just the township’s best chili at the annual chili cook-off: It also displayed Trumbull County’s newest barn quilt.

“We’ve done this close to 20 years,” said Michelle Garman, neighborhood watch president. “The barn quilt is new, but the fundraiser runs itself by now.”

Barn quilts are painted squares that are mounted on a barn or other building.

This quilt is located on the township’s maintenance barn on Youngstown-Kingsville Road and depicts the township’s history. The 8-by-8-foot quilt is made up of four pictures; a clock, coal miner picks, a dairy cow and a C-130 aircraft.

“Vienna was originally known for its wooden clocks, then for coal mines and dairy farms. Then we wanted something modern with the C-130,” said Trustee Phil Pegg. “It tells the history of Vienna Township.”

This project was a community effort. Resident Raymond Cline designed the outline of the block; Mathews High School alumni Carli Pratt and John Smith, both freshmen in college now, chose the forms, colors and patterns; and Gary Tabor, a local quilt block designer and painter, did the final painting.

“We wanted to bring in as many groups as possible when designing and creating the quilt,” Pegg said. “We believe this will bring more people to the community.”

The Vienna quilt is the eighth official quilt of the Trumbull County Barn Quilt Trail.

Pegg said people travel from all over just to see the quilts along the trail and hear the history behind them.

The idea for the quilt came about when Ashtabula County residents Harold and Betty Babb came to a Vienna Historical Society meeting to put on a presentation about the quilts in Ashtabula County.

“This is a way to promote tourism and history. Each quilt has a story and people will glady tell you their story,” said Harold Babb. “There aren’t many barns left anymore and we want to save those 200-plus year-old ones. If we paint a quilt on it, the people would be more likely to maintain it and keep it up.”

The chili cook-off in the fire department next to the maintenance building had 19 entries. Nancy McCullough won first in the mild category, and Michelle Garman won first in both the medium and hot categories.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will be split between the neighborhood watch and the fire department.

bshiller@tribtoday.com

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