Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Barn Quilts

Have you ever heard of "Barn Quilts?"  Up until a short time ago I had never seen or heard about them.   While visiting one of our daughters in Lexington, Kentucky, she planned to take us on a nice scenic drive down to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill and have lunch.

All along the route we saw very old-looking stone fences, similar to this wall at the entrance to Shaker Village.  We discovered these stone walls are a signature of the Kentucky landscape, especially in that area.  Behind the wall, out in the distance and in the middle of an apple orchid,  we saw our first Barn Quilt.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Shaker Village, which is about a 25 mile drive south from Lexington.  It is the site of a Shaker religious community from 1805 until 1910, and is now a Historical Landmark.  Visitors can tour the grounds, enjoy a meal in the restaurant, see museum exhibits, hike the nature trails, or even take a riverboat cruise down the Kentucky River.  Most especially you feel like you have stepped back in time.  If you would like to take a look,  their website is:

Barn quilts were originally an idea started by Donna Sue Groves to pay tribute to her mother who was a master quilter. They purchased a farm in Adams County, Ohio that included an old tobacco barn.  Donna Sue promised her mother she would paint a quilt square for her on that old barn.  She felt an empty barn wall was a great place for public art, and that the whole community would benefit.

Folks in adjoining areas loved the Quilt Art and slowly Donna Sue's Barn Quilt vision spread.   Barn Quilts quickly spread from Ohio on into Kentucky where there are now over 300 Barn Quilts throughout the state.   Trails have developed in 45 states as well as in several Canadian provinces and continues to grow.  There are now over 3,000 Barn Quilts along those trails.

Last Fall, during a trip to Robbinsville, North Carolina, we passed by this barn in the below photo, and were very surprised to see this very colorful Barn Quilt.

Again this summer, while in Robbinsville, North Carolina, two more Barn Quilts had been added along our route on Hwy. 129.

The "quilts" are made from flat blocks of wood painted to look like quilts, and attached to a prominent location on the barn.

It is a wonder I did not get snake-bitten or shot traipsing through the woods, on private property, to get this picture.  My husband has a fun spirit of adventure to drive down in the tall weeds on what was just a grass trail, so I could get this picture. 

The below Barn Quilt was located just off Hwy. 129 headed south out of Robbinsville, NC

I'm not real sure if this below photo would be considered a Barn Quilt or not, but I spotted this pretty red barn as we traveled along the highway in Andrews, North Carolina.  Again, my husband is such a good sport and pulled off the highway so I could snap a photo of this beautiful red barn.

Last Fall during a visit to Rockport, Maine, we again spotted what looked like a Quilt Barn.   I'm not sure the American Flag would be considered a quilt pattern.  But, I thought it was so pretty and could not resist snapping a photo anyway.

If you would like to see a map of the Barn Quilt Trails in your area go to this site:  On this site there is a map of the United States where you can click on your state to possibly see a Barn Quilt Trail in your area.

Again, it is so much fun to see the beauty all around us, and try to capture those moments with my camera.

Thank you for coming along and please do come again.  Wishing you many sweet days.


  1. Thank you for sharing so many images of the barn quilts on your blog . It thrills me that you find joy seeing the quilt squares as you travel the back roads! Perhaps you or your readers would enjoy our book, "Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement". I am very proud of the book – Ms. Parron did a fabulous job telling the story the quilt trail movement. Trails are now in 45 states and Canada. If any of your readers would like an signed copy of book please contact me at < OR Suzi at > < or your favorite book seller.

  2. I was pleasantly surprised to hear from "the one" who started the phenomenon of Barn Quilts. What a beautiful idea and a wonderful tribute to your mother. Good luck with the book. Thank you for adding beauty to all of our lives.
    Thank you, Sweet Southern Days.

  3. I love going along on your adventures with you, Pat! I had never heard of, or seen, barn quilts until I saw your pictures. How interesting ... I will have to keep an eye out for them on our travels from now on.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing the "quilts." Yes, I think they are so pretty and a wonderful artistic touch of Americana.
      Sweet Southern Days