Chapman – A Barn Quilt City
by Carol Lacer, News Editor, Chapman News-Times
A barn quilt project by the Chapman High School Art Club and Lori Hambright, Dickinson County Rep for the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail, reached a high point last week when about 15 colorful barn quilts appeared at Shamrock Park and other downtown shops and businesses.
Londeen's purchased one for their hardware store, and Kay Londeen was thrilled not only with their own beautiful quilt, but with the overall project and what it adds to downtown Chapman.
“They are wonderful!” Kay said. “Jon and I took a ride after lunch, and it was so much fun to see the different designs and all the different colors. It was a very good idea, and just a real nice addition.”
The project got its start over a year ago when Lori got to thinking that Chapman needed to be “barn quilted,” and mentioned it to the CHS art teacher Kayla Hern. Lori then spoke to members of the Chapman EDC to get the community involved. The EDC donated funds to help with supplies for the project.
“I set it up with Kayla to have a certain number of patterns that were not too complicated so we could get it done in a certain amount of time,” Lori said. Working with the art club, Lori's goal was to sell between 30-40 barn quilts in Chapman, with a goal of making Chapman the “Barn Quilt Capital of Kansas.” Art students got out in April and May to sell the quilts to business owners downtown.
Lori was very pleased with the results. Forty-three were sold for the project, including eight 4x4 quilts, and 35 of the 2x2 quilts. The total quilts sold to businesses was 24.
While Lori isn't certain of Chapman having the most barn quilts of any city in Kansas yet, she felt with the number sold, it is one of the towns with the most, and the numbers will be growing, as the quilting is ongoing. Even with 24 businesses ordering the quilts, Lori said the class was not able to contact every business.
She hopes to get barn quilts completed for those who want one, and on display before Labor Day, when walking and driving tours are planned. A list and map showing all the barn quilts in Chapman will be available at businesses who have a barn quilt and also available on the city's website. Irish Ink at the high school is providing the maps.
“We'll do a barn quilt for them or help them get one done,” Lori said. She encourages business owners who would like a barn quilt to contact her for more information, or to order a quilt. The cost varies, due to size and the design. Some designs require much more time than others, as well as the number of peaks and colors within the design.
Those with a barn quilt can register them at the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail website: www.KsFlintHillsQuiltTrail.com, or call Lori at 785-313-6565, to list them for the Chapman Labor Day Barn Quilt tour, or for help posting them on the website.
Lori said the project had been fun, and she, Kayla, and the students worked two days a week through June to get the job done. Lori enjoyed working with the various people, and said the project helps bring the community together.
City Administrator, Austin St. John, said the art club had done a great job with the quilts. He also told council members at the city meeting last Wednesday that the city workers were a big help in getting the barn quilts hung on buildings. They worked on the project last week and will also continue this week, as more quilts are being placed.
“It's just a real fun Americana movement,” Lori said.