By Bonnie Sitter
This pretty repurposed grain bin might inspire you! It is located at the home of Reg and Cheryl Gardlner who live along the Ilderton Road near Thorndale.
Cheryl Gardiner could picture in her mind how the grain bin could become a bunkie. Reg, her husband, wasn’t so sure. Cheryl persisted with the notion and the result is a show stopper. As you approach the bunkie, you pass her flower garden where Cheryl has planted four varieties of lavender. The garden, already beautiful, is adorned with barn quilts on the gates and fences.
You may remember Cheryl as the artist who painted a large number of beautiful barn quilts for Huron County residents in 2017 for what became the Barn Quilt Trail in association with the IPM that year. Her talent and passion for painting barn quilts continues. Quilts decorate the outside and inside of the bunkie, and bend to the shape of the bin.
Originally the bin stored corn. It is 19 feet in diameter and 15 feet high. Luckily Cheryl found a narrow door that fit the existing opening perfectly. Searching for windows led her to a business selling windows that had been manufactured the wrong size. She saved money on these. The steel walls on the inside were leftovers from her parents’ drive shed. Before being installed, insulation was sprayed right to the peak. Cheryl did the painting inside and out and the attractive porch was constructed by her brother-in-law. The hand-me-down spindle bed, with a heritage quilt on it, is just the right touch.
Why did she choose yellow paint for the bunkie? It needed to match the colour of their home, hen house, shed and studio. Her favourite colours are purple and teal so the inside walls and porch chairs are purple.
Cheryl calls it her Johnny flat after all the Johns in the family. Ultimately she did it so her brother John has a bedroom when he visits from China, and she is honouring her Grampa John and her Dad John who were farmers in the same area.
Grandchildren have already had sleepovers with Grandma and there are sure to be many more. With all the pets — three dogs, a cat, a rooster and lots of hens — there is never a dull moment on their farm. The couple also repurposed a water trough into a tomato garden proving Cheryl and Reg have a talent for repurposing and improving things. Their method of painting quilts on curved metal will also work with cement silos. Could silo quilts be the next way to add colour to the countryside? ◊