Barn Quilts resume as Oard sets up new shop

by Charles Gerian

Those who have driven down Main Street recently might have seen a new storefront next to Gose Jewelers: Wonderfully Made Studio. 

Cindy Oard's new studio was started essentially from the ground up across the street from The Marketplace, where Oard's famous barn quilt studio had been since its inception in the mid-2010s. At her new location, Oard said, she has everything she needs and the space to do projects.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, it put the world to a screeching halt, including Oard's barn quilt classes, which resumed in August for the first time in nearly five months. 

“It's been so great to get moved in here and have our first class be held in this new area,” Oard said. “I've had people calling or messaging me all summer about wanting to come in and paint, but with all of the restrictions and worries, we just couldn't.” 

“I changed the name of the studio to Wonderfully Made Studio,” she said. “My business has transitioned over the last 10 years from jewelry making and 'girl stuff' to this. So moving 10 years and a different purpose, I decided it needed a new name.” 

Oard currently serves as a director for the Blackwell Chamber of Commerce and as a chairperson for Blackwell Tourism.

“I've had men taking the classes and joke about men liking to paint, too,” Oard said. “It really is something that attracts everyone.

“I post classes on Facebook when they open up, so anyone who's wanting to join just has to keep an eye on my business Facebook, 'Wonderfully Made Studio.’ People hear that I paint [barn quilts] and offer classes, and they call me. Word of mouth is great advertising.”

When people take the class, they come back to do more barn quilts and bring friends, she said. 

“It's addictive,” she said. “I'm planning on starting ‘create and carry’ classes soon. I'll have guest teachers come and teach a craft. Lynne Field is coming in next month to teach a sign painting class.”

Private “craft” parties can be arranged by contacting Oard via Facebook or via phone at 580-670-0432

Thanks to the town’s barn quilt and geocaching trails, hundreds of new faces are coming to America's Hometown each month. John Robertson, executive director of the Blackwell Chamber of Commerce, said that the runaway success of the trails was something he never saw coming.

“We have people that stop in from all over,” he said. “Weekly, there are folks coming in here to hunt the geo-trail, and they'll get some donuts, do the trail, shop around a bit, eat here, then tell their friends about it. The spots on Discover Oklahoma about Prairie Smoke and the barn quilt trail have really brought a lot of new people to down.”

According to Robertson, people have driven to Blackwell all the way from south Texas to hunt the geo-trail, a geocaching adventure programed alongside the 62 arranged barn quilts in town. There are 40 geocaches in Blackwell.