Denise Corneil and Mary Simpson

September 11, 2017 2:02 pm Published by

Mary Simpson and Denise Corneil

Long-time friends satisfied with success of barn quilts in southwest Ontario

Ten years ago Denise Corneil and Mary Simpson came together to save the little town of Wardsville in southwest Middlesex County.  In doing so, they sparked one of the most defining motifs in modern small-town Ontario: barn quilts.

Denise Corneil and Mary Simpson, the Barn Quilt Ladies. Tireless promoters and determined to curate all of Canada’s barn quilts!

Corneil and Simpson grew up together many decades ago, across the street from one another between Woodgreen and Strathburn. Corneil was raised on a tobacco farm and Simpson a poultry farm, both with an affinity for small-town culture and camaraderie.

It was the camaraderie that brought them back together; it was the small-town culture they were trying to save.

What started as 30 barn quilts in Wardsville quickly became 60, and then over 100 as the provincial government picked up on the initiative. They helped fund this website,, a place to look up the many barn trails across Ontario. 

Full story.  Published in Chatham Daily News.  Story Written by Louis Pin, Postmedia Network.  Wednesday, April 26, 2017.  Many thanks to Louis:  [email protected] 

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This post was written by Mary Simpson