Steppingstone offers programs for all ages!

By Deborah J Janelle

Barn Quilt

Below is Deborah's Artist Statement about the Barn Quilt at Steppingstone: 

Barns and quilts are two things that I associate with the sustaining of life. Domestic arts, skilled trades, and the development of tools and machinery to aid our sustenance. Each, essential to life and survival at one time, are scarce now in our present urbanized and industrial society. The founder of Steppingstone wished us to represent the “last rural generation” – people who lived off the land and crafted their livelihoods by hand.


I am the daughter of a mechanic who could fix just about any gasoline powered engine or mechanical device. My mom was the same way with textiles. She could sew, create and figure out how to do just about anything, be it making a pattern from a similar item, or reupholstering the furniture. In both parents it was apparent they loved the successes and satisfaction that comes from our hands.


While working on this project for Steppingstone, meeting many of the volunteers, looking at the artifacts and hearing the restoration stories, I couldn’t help but think of my own family history. Skilled laborers, the whole lot of us were. I could not help but be moved by the history of this land, farm and the people who worked its soil. The quilt chosen for the background of our Barn Quilt is inspired from one found in the museums textile collection. I have subtly painted each flower in our quilt to reflect a different aspect of this historic place.

Here are some hints:

  • Breaking the Bread and Community

  • Ancestry of Faith and Hope

  • Fire of Hearth and Forge

  • Herbs – nature’s medicine cabinet

  • Mechanics and Ingenuity

  • Spinning and Weaving

  • Native Tribes and the gift of Maize

  • Love, Marriage and New Beginnings


Deborah J Janelle is a free-lance multi-media artist. She is a graduate of Harford Community College with an Associates Degree in Fine Art & Design. Born and raised in Hialeah, Florida, a suburb of Miami, she was surrounded by tropical foliage, flowers and colors made vivid by the sun and brings these colors reminiscent of the sub-tropics into her work.

© 2015 Steppingstone Farm Museum

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