Golden one: 50th barn quilt placed in Tustin

TUSTIN — The Osceola County Quilt Trail continues to wind its way throughout the county, with new blocks showing up on barns along back roads, just off two-tracks, in towns and cities, and even on various other structures as the project expands.

Tustin is no exception. In fact, just last week, on April 25, the Community Center/Library located right across from Tustin Elementary School, took on a new look with the 50th Quilt Trail Block now firmly in place.

Elsie Vredenburg of the Marion area was inspired by a presentation about “barn quilts” given at a quilting conference she attended out-of-state a couple years back. She brought back the idea and has been busy ever since.

The Pine River Quilt Block was an original design by Elsie, and named such by Librarian/Village Clerk Sandie Leach.

Leach wrote a blurb about the quilt block and put that material on the back of the wooden piece, giving someone someday perhaps years from now, a glimpse at how and why the block was so named.

In her story about the block, Leach wrote: “This original nature-inspired quilt block was chosen by Burdell Township and the Village of Tustin to represent the headwaters to the Pine River.

“The cool, sparkling waters of the river have been a most important part of this area since the very first settlers discovered the beauty of the stream winding through the pine forest.

“From the bubbling spring, Diamond and Hewitt lakes are fed, and Edgett Creek flows through the Village of Tustin into the east branch of the Pine River.

“The Pine River Quilt Block represents the Tustin area well.”

She also noted among other things that the “Quilt Trails stretch across 24 states, celebrating rural heritage and life, encouraging communities to come together to tell the stories of the land and its people.

“The trails promote barn preservation, restoration, and agri-tourism, as well as celebrating the quilt as art.”

Leach was instrumental in making sure a new American flag was available to replace the “tired” flag standing sentry outside the building. Two men replaced the old flag while others were installing the new quilt block, adding to the special feeling of the day’s events.