The city of Weston does not yet have a library, a school campus or a supermarket to call its own.
However what this burgeoning burg, located eight miles east of Celina, does have that many other small towns may not is a public art display.
Credit for that goes to Weston Mayor Patti Harrington and longtime resident Anne Marie Bonzo.
Last fall, the women went to work painting a trio of barn quilts, a form of folk art that in recent years has gained popularity primarily in rural areas throughout the Midwest and southern U.S.
Often painted directly onto the sides of barns and other outbuildings, barn quilts typically consist of the brightly colored, geometric designs that are based on – or are exact replicas of – patterns that quilters have hand-stitched onto fabric for hundreds of years.
Barn quilts patterns are also often painted on large squares of plywood that are hung on structures.
Earlier this year, with the assistance of a local volunteer, Harrington and Bonzo hung their 4×4 painted plywood squares on the north-facing exterior wall of the Weston Community Center, at 117 Main St.
Barn quilts have become something of a tourist attraction in some states that boast barn quilt trails, where numerous examples of the handcrafted squares dot the landscape for miles.
The largest trail in Texas is located in nearby Fannin County where barn quilts are displayed in the cities of Ector, Savoy, Bonham and Honey Grove, among others.
Last year, after persuading Weston’s city council to approve funds for the necessary supplies including sanded exterior-grade plywood and primary-colored paint, Harrington and Bonzo set about selecting designs for their towns barn quilts.
“We were looking for something simple, and as we were looking for patterns we found ones that we both liked,” said Harrington, who has served as Weston’s mayor for 13 years inconsecutively.
They chose a pair of designs that she said are variations of Ohio Star quilt-block patterns, as well as a LeMoyne Star pattern.
After priming the plywood, Harrington traced the designs onto it using a pencil. Bonzo marked off the sections to be painted with tape.
“The taping is probably the most time-consuming” part of the project, Bonzo said, “because you want to get it right on the lines. You don’t want the paint to seep underneath it.”
Both women painted the designs onto the squares, which were later varnished to help protect them from the elements.
“There’s really nothing hard about any of it, anyone can do it, but you’ve got to try to do it neatly,” Bonzo said.
Also, having patience is key.
“You can only tape certain sections” at a time, Harrington said, “so you [paint] a color and then you have to wait for that to dry and do three coats, and then you can take the tape off.”
Last month they finished a fourth barn quilt, featuring a Wyoming Valley Star pattern, and hung it on the community center’s southern wall.
The women, who donated their time and labor for the art project, figure they spent about a month working during their free time to craft the squares.
“Anne Marie and I are both on the same page about giving this little community something that’s different and anything that looks good,” Harrington said.
A few years back, she said, the pair planted dozens of daffodils in front of the town’s city hall building. “We’re about making Weston look pretty.”
Founded in the mid-1800s, Weston is one of the oldest towns in Collin County.
While working on the barn quilts, Harrington said, “We thought that this was kind of an homage to the settlers who first same to Weston. … Undoubtedly, they had quilts in their wagons … and we thought how fitting that we do barn quilts to match the early days.”
The painted quilts “add some color and some flair” to the town, Bonzo said. She hopes they will inspire other Weston residents to create their own quilts with which to adorn area buildings.
“They just make you smile,” she said.