The concept of a Barn Quilt began with Donna Sue Groves and her wish to honor her mother, Maxine, and her Appalachian heritage by having a painted quilt hung on her barn in Adams County, Ohio. Donna Sue continued to share this idea with friends and the idea morphed from full quilts to quilt blocks. The first "Barn Quilt" was hung in Ohio in 2001. The simple idea has spread to 48 states and to Canada. The Barn Quilt Trails continue to grow, and there are now over 7,000 quilts as part of organized trails with dozens more scattered through the countryside waiting to be discovered. Quilt trails are created by quilt guilds, civic groups, 4-H clubs, school groups and other organizations. Most are a county wide effort, which allows for a distinct trail in a single area and crates local pride in the project.
A Barn Quilt is a large piece of wood painted to look like a quilt block and hung on the exterior of a barn, house, garage or other building. The majority of Barn Quilts are made of solid colors and comprised of simple geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles and triangles. The graphic nature and size of these quilt blocks make them easy to see at a distance. In several communities business will develop a Barn Quilt Trail to encourage visitors to tour the area. Many of the participating business will partner with quilters to develop their own block.
Benefits of a Barn Quilt
- A Barn Quilt makes a great community project to promote local businesses.
- A fun way to tour a new area - look for the Quilt Trail!
Tools and Supplies for a Barn Quilt
- To make a Barn Quilt, you'll need a large piece of wood prepared for paint and weather conditions.
- Paint and painting supplies and sealant.
- Quilt block design
What I Wish I Knew When I Started a Barn Quilt
Even a suburban house can have a BARN QUILT! Counties and States have published Barn Quilt Trails so you can travel around and see lots of different examples. Due to the popularity of Barn Quilts there are teachers available to guide you through the process to create a lasting Barn Quilt.