By Paul Downer
The Richard Braunwarth farm just south of Eagle Lake on County Road 135 recently received a new barn quilt as part of the countywide effort to install patterns on historic barns.
The inspiration for the pattern on the Braunwarth barn came from the nine-patch dolly quilt called "Irish Chain" that was created by Amelia (Paul) Braunwarth in 1954. Amelia was the grandmother of RoseMary (Braunwarth) Brown, pictured here with the quilt.
"This dolly quilt is what I learned to quilt on under the watchful eye and guiding hand of my grandmother," said Brown. "It’s a wonderful remembrance with my grandmother’s tiny, uniformed stitches and my SOS stitches (some long, some short)."
The child-size quilt frame was built in 1944 by Brown’s grandfather, Frederick I. Braunwarth, which began a family quilting tradition with their eight granddaughters.
The barn was built by Brown’s grandfather in 1910, and the combination of barn quilt and structure is a powerful memorial to those family roots.
The barn quilt block includes a number of symbols for various family members. Brown’s brothers, Richard and Jim, included Allis Chalmers logos in certain squares – the family tractor brand of choice. Another brother, John, has a Harley logo.
"It was fun to see my brothers get so involved in a quilt," said Brown.
Brown also has a sister, Jeanne, whose daughter and grandson helped in the paining.
In addition, several cousins from Connecticut are represented by the inclusion of five-point stars and a New England windmill.
More cousins from Kansas are represented by the Irish shamrock.
The family worked together on the painting over the course of three sessions of about an hour or two each.
"We really enjoyed doing it," said Brown. "[It was] the perfect way to express our love of family and honor our grandparents – on the barn our grandpa built with the dolly quilt our grandma designed, now to share with the community and quilt lovers alike. Enjoy!"
For more on the barn quilt project, see www.barnquiltsofcarvercounty.com.