Barn Quilt Honors Weber’s Farming Heritage

5th Generation Farm Began in 1904

Weber’s Farm Store has a colorful new addition to its wall, representing a long family heritage of farming.

An unmissable 8×8 foot plywood barn quilt, painted in bright yellow and red in the shape of a star, was mounted April 30 outside the farm store. It was the project of Joellen (Weber) Heiman, a fourth generation member of a family tradition that dates back to 1904, the year her great-grandparents Peter and Elizabeth Weber purchased a 126-acre dairy farm just outside Marshfield.

“We’re in our 5th generation at Weber’s, and for me it meant that I’m carrying a little bit of heritage down through the family,” said Heiman. “I’m sure my great-grandma and great-grandpa would be so proud.”

Barn quilts are decorative quilt block patterns painted on plywood and hung up on farms, sheds, country stores, and more. Heiman’s idea to make one for the family farm was born about five years ago during a trip to Shawano County to tour a portion of the 300 barn quilts in that area.

“I was just so enthused,” she said. “Every family had a story on their barn and why they picked [the pattern] out, or why they chose the colors. I said to my sister, ‘I want to make one of these someday!’”

That day came in January this year when Heiman decided she wanted a barn quilt made in time for Farm Technology Days, which her family is hosting along with D&B Sternweis Farm in July. “I thought, it’s my drive to get this done,” she said. “I want to have a story together, and I want to represent our farm.”

She used a barn quilt book purchased during the trip to search for a pattern that wouldn’t be too difficult to complete, and one jumped out. “The name of the barn quilt was called ‘1904, Star,’ and for me 1904 is the beginning of our family heritage,” she said.

Heiman chose the colors of burgundy, yellow and beige to go with the current farm colors with rust as an accent color. Using two 4×8 marine boards put together, her husband helped measure and draw out the pattern with pencil. The boards were primed and then carefully frog-taped to separate the different color sections.

The painting part of the project took the longest, she said, due to the fact that each section needed 3-4 layers of paint before moving onto the next color, which also requires re-taping the board. “I have about 55 hours in it,” said Heiman.

The barn quilt was completed in late March and set to hang on the side of the Weber’s Farm Store where three cement silos were taken down last August. The April snowstorm prevented it from being hung for a few weeks since the area was heaped with snow. Later in the month, a lift was used to haul up the barn quilt and fasten it with steel screws.

“It’s so beautiful!” said Heiman. “I’ve had so many comments about how my great grandparents would be so proud. Customers can see it everyday as they drive in and visit our store.”

Stop by the Weber’s Farm Store on County Road H to see the barn quilt and witness a glimpse of area history.

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