Barn Quilt Trail blossoms around Ottawa County

Jan 27, 2021 | Around Ottawa County, Featured | 1 comment

Members of the Ottawa County Barn Quilt Trail, and barn owner Norma Kihlken of Danbury Township, proudly display the latest of 27 barn quilts that now adorn rural barns all around Ottawa County. (Photo by D’Arcy Patrick Egan)


With a great deal of volunteer help, barn quilts are popping up all around Ottawa County this winter. One of the latest to appear, thanks to prolific artist Rhonda Biedlingermaier of Oak Harbor, is her “Sunbonnet Sue” barn quilt which was attached to Norma Kihlken’s barn at 1450 S. Danbury Road in Danbury Township last weekend. (Photo by D’Arcy Patrick Egan)

There are special splashes of color all around Ottawa County these days, with 27 original barn quilts adorning rural barns. They are the result of local artists and sponsors, as well as appreciative barn owners, who have teamed up to present the unique Ottawa County Barn Quilt Trail.

Some of the barn quilts are easy to find. The “Sunbonnet Sue” barn quilt was attached to Norma Kihlken’s barn at 1450 S. Danbury Road in Danbury Township last Saturday. It is a road that receives a great deal of Vacationla

nd traffic from the Route 269 exit of Route 2 all year round, but especially during the warm weather months.

“Sunbonnet Sue” was painted by Rhonda Biedlingmaier, a very prolific artist who is back in her home town of Oak Harbor. Biedlingmaier is one of the driving forces of the Ottawa County Barn Quilt Trail, a partnership of the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council (GPCAAC) and the Ohio StateUniversity Extension’s Ottawa County 4-H.

Many of the 27 barn quilts are on rural barns, and to encourage people to tour Ottawa County’s rural highways and byways, the Ottawa County Barn Quilt Trail will publish a brochure this year that will list all of the quilt locations, and information about the trail.

Biedlingmaier deserves a lot of the credit for the success of the quilt trail, said Chair Carol Morgan and Marcia Jess of GPCAAC. Biedlingmaier has rounded up volunteers, help to find sponsors and, most importantly, has a special crew and equipment available to hang the big, wood barn quilts.

The two men and a machine that were hanging the quilts on Saturday morning were extremely efficient, and had a sleek cherry picker lift truck to place the barn quilt quickly under the direction of the group’s volunteers. They took pride in their work, but did not want to give their names.

Star Mariner Barn Quilt

“We’re so lucky to have them,” said Biedlingmaier, revealing they lived near her Oak Harbor family farm. “We also have generous sponsors, who donate $250 or more for each quilt, which covers the cost of materials, paint and other supplies.”

Biedlingmaier has created 16 of the 27 quilts. One of her most recent, “Sunbonnet Sue,” is also a favorite.

“Marcia Jess and I got the ball rolling in June 2017,” said Biedlingmaier. “It’s really been a labor of love.”

The first barn quilt was “Stars in the Attic,” created by the 4-H Junior Leadership Club and sponsored by Ottawa County 4-H. The quilt still hangs on the Damschroder Barn at the Ottawa County Fairgrounds on Route 163, just north of Oak Harbor.

The Barn Quilt Trail is designed to beautify rural area barns, increase tourism in those areas, and pay homage to farmers and farmers wives, said Biedlingmaier.

“Farmers wives are the people who actually created unique cloth quilts, a very time consuming task passed down from grandmothers to mothers and daughters over the years,” she said.

A former farm girl who returned to Oak Harbor to care for elderly parents, Biedlingmaier graduated from Oak Harbor High School and is still an avid Rockets sports fan.

The Ottawa County Barn Quilt Trail will soon have its brochure and listing of barn quilts around the county available, said Jess, printed through the courtesy of Real Living Morgan Realty Group. It will be available around the county, at Chambers of Commerce and at the Lake Erie Shores & Islands tourism offices.


Ottawa County Barn Quilt Trail

  1. Quilt: Stars in the Attic
    Painter/Sponsor: 4-H Leadership Club/Ottawa County 4-H
    Location: Ottawa County Fairgrounds/Damschroder Barn, Oak Harbor
  2. Quilt: Rings and Things
    Painter/Sponsor: Ohio Star Quilters/Greater Port Clinton Area Artists
    Location: Alan & Kim Diefenthaler Barn, 5805 N. Elliston Trowbridge Rd., Martin
  3. Quilt: Wedding Ring
    Painter/Sponsor: Carroll 4-H Club & Mensing Family/Ottawa County 4-H
    Location: Mark & Amy Apple Barn, 2325 N. Benton Carroll Rd., Oak Harbor
  4. Quilt: Voiliers

    Floating Point Barn Quilt

    Painter/Sponsor: Country Slickers 4-H/Chet’s Place-Mary Provonsha
    Location: Chet’s Place Barn, 7150 W. Harbor Rd., Port Clinton

  5. Quilt: Four Winds
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Jim & Molly Sass
    Location: Jim & Molly Sass Barn, 7150 W. Harbor Rd., Port Clinton
  6. Quilt: Star of Many Colors
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Paul & Connie Sandwisch
    Location: Paul & Connie Sandwisch Barn, 17402 Rt. 163, Graytown
  7. Quilt: Wild Irish
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Port Clinton Artist Club
    Location: Art (Bill) & Nancy Kihlken, 72785 E. Bayshore Rd., Marblehead
  8. Quilt: Egg Basket
    Painter/Sponsor: Andrea Castillo Wells, Shannon Castillo, Art Castilloe/Gloria Castillo
    Location: Art Castillo Barn, 5791 W. Fremont Rd., Port Clinton
  9. Quilt: Ohio Star
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/PortageMohawks 4-H Club
    Location: Randy Miller Barn, 2794 Rt. 19, Oak Harbor
  10. Quilt: My Four Sons
    Painter/Sponsor: Mary Wood/Richard & Mary Wood
  11. Quilt: Mariner’s Compass
    Painter/Sponsor: Mary Wood/Richzrd & Mary Wood
    Location: Richard & Mary Wood Barn, 17405 W. Elliston Rd., Graytown
  12. Quilt: Compass Rose
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/R.J. Runge Co., Rick Runge
    Location: NEC Properties Inc., 3539 NE Catawba Rd/. Port Clinton
  13. Tree of Life Barn Quilt

    Quilt: Sampler Square
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Whipple Farms
    Location: Jerry Whipple Farm, 3988 N. Lickert Harder Rd., Graytown

  14. Quilt: Harvest Star
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Mary Caracci
    Location: Blakely Barn, 2608 N. Toussaint Portage Rd., Oak Harbor
  15. Quilt: 54-40 or Fight
    Painter/Sponsor: OSU Extension Ottawa County/OSU Extension
    Location: Rob Booher Barn, 3320 N. Lickert Harder Rd., Graytown
  16. Quilt: The Four Sisters
    Painter/Sponsor: West End Bunch 4-H Club/Robert Textor Family
    Location: Bob & Ann Textor Barn, 6725 N. Gillman Rd., Curtice
  17. Quilt: Ohio Star with Geese
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Ron &n Jan Overmyer
    Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Barn, 14000 Rt. 2, Oak Harbor
  18. Quilt: Labrynth Star
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Port Clinton Rotary
    Location: Ann & Jeff Scott Barn, 1355 N. Carroll Erie Rd., Port Clinton
  19. Quilt: Friendship Star
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Brough Family
    Location: Ed & Judy Dewitz, 10375 W. Gensman Rd., Oak Harbor
  20. Quilt: Double Square
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Shirley Beck
    Location: Shirley Beck Barn, 8601 W. Mudcreek Rd., Pak Harbor
  21. Quilt: Three in One
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Shirley Beck
    Location: Shirley Beck Barn, 2375 Rt. 19, Oak Harbor
  22. Quilt: Morning Blossom
    Painter/Sponsor: Mary Wood/Tony & Ann Valasek
    Location: Tony & Ann Valasek Barn, 2100 N. Opfer-Lentz Rd., Martin
  23. Quilt: Mariner’s Compasas
    Painter/Sponsor: Emma Trainer/Trainer Family
    Location: Jeff & Andrea Trainer Family, 21267 W. Holts East Rd., Genoa
  24. Quilt: Floating Point
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Doug & Linda Huber
    Location: Bernard Knoble Barn, 469 Church Rd., Danbury Twp.
  25. Quilt: Tree of Life
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Elaine Gardner
    Location: Darry & Diane Traver Barn, 24091 Rt. 579 Millbury
  26. Quilt: Star Mariner
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Tom & Marilyn Reidman
    Location: Tom & Marilyn Reidman, Reiman Road, Genoa
  27. Quilt: Sunbonnet Sue
    Painter/Sponsor: Rhonda Biedlingmaier/Norma Kihlken
    Location: Norma Kihlken Barn, 1450 S. Danbury Rd., Port Clinton

Related Post 

1 Comment

  1. Peter murdoch

    Please contact me about designing and installing a quilt in Crockery Township. We are eager to participate.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


May 2024

Share This