Great Lakes Seaway Trail

QuiltsWar of 1812 Quilt Challenge Traveling Exhibit

The top 26 quilts from the 2012 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show will be traveling across the country and internationally as part of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail War of 1812 Traveling Exhibit. Visit one of the locations listed below to see beautiful quilts and learn about the history of the War of 1812!



April 22 through July 21 - New England Quilt Museum
18 Shattuck Street, Lowell, Massachusetts

September - Ontario Canada - details to come

If your museum or quilt guild is interested in hosting the traveling War of 1812 Quilt Show please send an email to: to discuss details.


Great Lakes Seaway Trail Lighthouse Quilt Patterns

Mary Knapp's lighthouse quilt patterns



Lighthouses of the Seaway Trail - Quilt Block Patterns

Quilt artist Mary Knapp designed a series of Seaway Trail Lighthouses quilt block patterns for paper piecing or applique. The series includes the lighthouses at Presque Isle, Dunkirk, Buffalo, Old Fort Niagara, Thirty Mile Point, Charlotte-Genesee, Sodus Point, Tibbetts Point, and Rock Island. $5.00 each plus $3.00 for shipping. To order send a check and the names of the individual lighthouse you want to: Quilt Patterns Great Lakes Seaway Trail, PO Box 660, Sackets Harbor, NY 13685. Please note we can ship up to 9 patterns for the $3.00 shipping fee.


Quilting Along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail

Quilts are a reflection of daily life and national history, a practical pastime and cultural expression, an accessible art and an increasingly popular theme for travelers on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. We invite you to pause along the 518-mile National Scenic Byway at sites offering quilting classes, shows, and viewing of historic, newly-made reproduction, and contemporary quilts.

Traveling west to east, start in Erie, Pennsylvania, at Millcreek Sewing and Fabric where eight fabulous women share their enthusiasm and skills for appliqué and bargello, matching colors with patterns, and Sashiko quilting.

Combine quilt classes at the Calico Patch shop in North East, PA, with local winery touring.

Hundreds of quilts, trunk shows, classes, and nationally-known lecturers distinguish the annual September Quilting Around Chautauqua event at the venerable Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, NY.

In Amherst, guests are welcome at the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village’s monthly quilt guild meetings of 150+ members. The guild has reproduced numerous delicate quilts c.1820-1890 here for use in 10 historic buildings on the Village grounds.

In Orleans County, more than 50 quilt block patterns from The Farmer’s Daughter to Hole in the Barn Door and Circling Swallows are handpainted on buildings on the Country Barn Quilt Trail of Western New York. Follow the map available at Partyka Farms in Kendall to enjoy this 22-mile loop tour south and back to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway.

At Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford, 1850s-costumed interpreters have reproduced Lady of the Lake, Red and White Star, and other-pattern quilts for the living history site’s 68 buildings. Each year, they choose a pattern to work on May-October. The museum’s original historic quilts, preserved in climate-controlled storage, can be viewed by special appointment with the Curator of Collections.

Palmyra’s Alling Coverlet Museum includes a quilt room and a large collection of American hand-woven coverlets in a 1901 former newspaper office.

The Sodus Bay Quilters were inspired by one of the byway’s historic lighthouse to design a “12 Months at Old Sodus Lighthouse” quilt that won the 2005 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show Viewers’ Choice honors.

The highly anticipated, juried Quilts=Art=Quilts exhibition takes place annually (late fall through early January) at Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn with quilts from around the world. Half-a-dozen fiber-based workshops are offered here each year.

Oswego’s Richardson-Bates House Museum boasts a Japanese Plate Crazy Quilt made in 1890 and an 1898 Victorian-style Mourning Quilt. A Friendship Quilt made by the Oswego Newcomers Club for the 1976 Good Housekeeping Great Quilt Contest depicts where each member lived prior to moving to the Great Lakes Seaway Trail waterfront city. Call for special arrangements to see these quilts.

Sackets Harbor’s Hay Memorial Library displays a lovely quilt of local historic sites on its 2nd floor. A pleasant walk takes you to the Pickering-Beach Historical Museum that includes a cottage that may have been used as a War of 1812 hospital. The museum collection includes an 1859 album quilt made by 27 local women for a local farmer and storekeeper. The quilt was found in a box of blankets at a village yard sale in 2002.

In Clayton, the Thousand Islands Arts Center has a world-class collection of 20th century American handwoven textiles with original swatches, letters, photos, journals, and recordings.

In Canton, the St. Lawrence County Historical Association’s Silas Wright House has 50 quilts made or used in the county 1830-1940, including crazy and autograph quilts, and a 2003 bicentennial map quilt made by the Borderline Quilters with local history icons inside the shapes of the county’s 32 towns. Call ahead for a viewing appointment.

Of course, no quilting tour is complete without shopping. Immerse yourself in a river of 5,000 bolts of fabric at Dreamcrafters Quilt Shop in Hogansburg. Owner Dyan Swamp has made quilts by commission for the Mohawk Tribe and designed the traditional attire worn by tribal representatives at the Vatican’s 2012 canonization of North America’s first Native American saint, Kateri Tekakwitha (“Lily of the Mohawks”). Nearby, you can learn about Native American heritage at the Akwesasne Cultural Center.


Quilting Themed Travel Itineraries (click on images below to view each full size)

Quilting Around

Quilting around the Great Lakes Seaway Trail         
7 day/6 nights

Cultural Heritage and Quilts

Great Lakes Seaway Trail
Cultural Heritage & Quilts
2 days/1 night


Barn Quilts
Some of the barns on the Orleans County Barn Quilt Trail

Quilt Barn Quilt Tour

Great Lakes Seaway Trail Orleans County Country Barn Quilt Trail: A first-of-its-kind travel experience for New York State – a 22-mile loop tour off the Great Lakes Seaway Trail byway to see more than 50 quilt blocks painted on barns in the Town of Kendall. Travelers can follow a free audio tour accessible by cell phone or collect a map available at Seaway Trail Inc. member Partyka Farms Market at 1420 County Line Road, 3 miles south of the Seaway Trail.




Stitches in Time: A Look Back at Past Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Shows

All shows include display of quilts and wall hangings, quilting demonstrations & vendors.

2012 - " War of 1812 Quilt Challenge"

2012 marked the 200th Anniversary Year of the War of 1812, much of which was fought along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. The 2012 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show featured the War of 1812 Quilt Challenge with "cot to coffin" size quilts in 1812-era fabrics.

First Place
"Icons of 1812"
Janice Toonders, Martina Bols, Linda Brown, Mary Casselman, Christine Christie, Ivah Malkin, Marjorie Munroe, Judy Neville, and Sharon Shaver - Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario
Second Place
"Underhill Tree of Life Whole-Cloth Quilt"
Jill C. Meszaros - Cambridge Springs, PA
Quilt Show Winner Quilt Show Winner

Sponsors: Orleans County Country Barn Quilt Trail and Seaway Trail Foundation

2011 - "Seaway Trail Published Quilter's Showcase"

Quilters who live in the Great Lakes Seaway Trail region of New York and Pennsylvania and have published their own patterns, books or designs, or been featured in quilting publications, were the highlight of the March 19-20, 2011 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show.

For a beautiful 12 minute video of the Seaway Trail Foundation 2011 Quilt Show click here. Thank you to Dick and Jo Belmont. 

The Seaway Trail Foundation has announced that the show held at the Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, NY.was attended by over 700 people during the two days.

Sponsors: Orleans County Country Barn Quilt Trail and Seaway Trail Foundation

2010 "Circles and Wheels"

First Place
"Rainbow Spiral"
Dyan Swamp, Hogansburg, NY
Second Place
"All Year 'Round"
Town Barn Quilters: Beth Burdick, Christine Eggleston, Jan LaDuke, Diane Nier, Leona Webb, and Karen Williams, Sackets Harbor, NY
Third Place
"Wheel of Mystery"
Mary Knapp, Watertown, NY
Best Depiction of Circles & Wheels on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail
"Historic & Modern Day Seaway Trail"
Beverly Filkins, Pulaski
Rainbow Spiral Quilt All Year 'Round Quilt Wheel of Mystery Quilt Historic & Modern Day Seaway Trail Quilt

Special Exhibit: Featured quilts by Norah McMeeking of Bella Bella Quilts

Special Exhibit: Featured quilts by Sandra Hart and Gudny Campbell, authors of Piecing with Pixels

Special Exhibit: Featured quilts by Dyan Samp of Dreamcrafters Quilt Shop

Demonstrators: Sally Burnam, Mary Knapp, Cindy Reynolds, Lynne Waite, Operation Kid Comfort, Orleans County Country Barn Quilt Trail

Sponsors: Orleans County Country Barn Quilt Trail and Seaway Trail Foundation


2009 – “Favorite Seaway Trail Places”

First Place
"Heron on the Seaway Trail"
Anne Fisher, Springwater, NY
Heron on the Seaway Trail
Second Place
"A Dream Voyage: Sailing the Seaway"
Kim Keller, Norwood, NY
Heron on the Seaway Trail
Third Place
"The Toad: A Wetlands Favorite in the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes & Wetlands"
Mary Knapp, Watertown, NY
Heron on the Seaway Trail
Honorable Mention
"A 1000 Islands Seaway Trail Experience"
April Neisz and Thousand Islands International Tourism Council, Alexandria Bay, NY
Heron on the Seaway Trail
Best Seaway Trail Story Quilt
"My Selkirk Lighthouse Adventure"
Nancy Smith, Syracuse, NY
Heron on the Seaway Trail
The quilt Nancy Smith of Syracuse, NY, entered in the 2006 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show competition won her an overnight stay at Selkirk Lighthouse in Port Ontario on Lake Ontario. Smith later designed and made a quilt to commemorate that family adventure. When the “Favorite Seaway Trail Places” theme was announced for the 2009 Great Lakes Seaway Trail Quilt Show competition at the Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, NY, Smith knew she had to send “Our Seaway Trail Lighthouse Adventure” to the show.

Special Exhibit: Hugs for Heroes - Ninety 22-inch quilts honoring America, her flag, her Presidents and her soldiers, a project of Buckboard Quilts, Oklahoma City, OK, with participating quilters from across the U.S.

Special Exhibit: Orleans County Country Barn Quilt Trail , a 22-mile loop tour off the Seaway Trail

Special Exhibit: Works by 4 International Quilter-Author-Artists: Pat Durbin of California, Beth Wheeler and Lori Marquette, Two Sipsters Studio,Fort Wayne, Indiana Pamela Allen of Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Special Exhibit: Fort Drum Operation Kid Comfort Quilt Project

Sponsors: Orleans County Country Barn Quilt Trail and Seaway Trail Foundation


2008 – Feathers & Fowl: Birds of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail

First Place
"Reynard's Choice"
by Anne Fischer
Heron on the Seaway Trail
Second Place
"Birds in Full View"
by Alice Wilhoit
Heron on the Seaway Trail
Third Place
"Roger's Heron"
by Liz Funnell
Heron on the Seaway Trail
Runner Up Winner
"Feathered Friends"
by Patty Blickwedehl
Heron on the Seaway Trail

Special Exhibit: Works by Host Jodie Davis

Sponsor: Seaway Trail Foundation


2007 – Great Lakes Fish

Speaker: Jo Anne Flood, NYS Bass Master Fisherman & Quilter, presents “Fishing and Quilting for Both Sexes”

Grand Prize – “Sunday Brunch,” Judith Allen, Watertown, NY
2nd Place – “Under the Sea,” Louise Tiemann, Vestal, NY
3rd Place – “Papa’s Big Catch,” Nancy Smith, Syracuse, NY
Male Scale – “Jason’s Way to the Fishing Hole,” Joan Urbano, Calcium, NY

Sponsor: Seaway Trail Foundation


2006 – The Amish Quilts of St. Lawrence County’s Swartzentruber & Chautauqua County’s Conewango Valley Communities

Speaker: Betsy Tisdale, Amish quilt dealer & designer

Sponsor: Seaway Trail Foundation


2005 – Seaway Trail Lighthouses Reprised

1st Place – “Twelve Months at Old Sodus Lighthouse,”
Sodus Bay Basters: Sherry Hermenet, Anita McGuire, Rita Muldoon,
Beth Palmer, Sharon Pederson, JoAnn Sullivan, Susan Williamson,
Sodus Point, NY
2nd Place – “Tibbetts Point Lighthouse,” Cindy Reynolds, Theresa, NY
3rd Place – “Tibbetts Point Lighthouse,” Nancy Smith, Syracuse, NY
Viewer’s Choice – “Keeping Watch” (12 lights), Joan Heckaman, Webster, NY

Sponsor: Seaway Trail Foundation


2004 – Heritage/Museum Quilts with A Story to Tell

Guest Curator Pat Pauly presents “100 Years of Style: Quilts from the Collection of the Genesee Country Village Museum”

Sponsor: Seaway Trail Foundation


2003 - Great Lakes ~ Great Quilts

National Exhibit courtesy of Michigan State University Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories – Capturing the stories of your quilts in your own words, a project of The Alliance for American Quilts

Sponsor: Woman to Woman at Samaritan Medical Center


2002 – Seaway Trail Amish Quilts

Speaker: Dr. Susan Ward on New York State’s Amish and Their Quilts
Speaker: Betsy Tisdale, Amish quilt dealer & designer

Sponsor: Seaway Trail Foundation


2001 – A Quilt Journey with Mary Knapp

Special Exhibit of First Seaway Trail Lighthouses Quilt

New Seaway Trail Lighthouse Quilt Patterns & Notecards by Mary Knapp

Sponsors: New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, Seaway Trail Foundation