October 26, 2011

Quilt Barns

Our fall trip took us through 9 states in 7 days. I noticed as we were entering Kentucky horse country that a couple of the large beautiful white barns had a decoration on the front. After seeing the second or third one I wondered what the artwork was, it resembled a quilt. I Googled it and it seems they are called "Quilt Barns".

A 2007 press release from The Kentucky Department of Tourism says that painted quilt patterns on the sides of barns in Kentucky emerged as a new form of self-expression and cultural pride for rural residents and serve as a way to lure travelers off the interstate and into rural areas.

One article boasts that the barn-quilt concept started in Adams County, Ohio, where Donna Sue Groves, a field representative of the Ohio Arts Council, hung a design on her barn or shed to honor her mother, an avid quilter, in 2001. A few years later, when Groves was ill, her mother returned the favor, according to an arts council website.

The idea has spread across the Midwest and South, meanwhile. Some sources estimate there are 900 barn quilts hanging in 16 states.

There are some beautiful ones throughout the country. Here are a couple I saw once I knew what I was looking for. I guess I saw about 5 of the 900.

Several sites further explain and have pictures and even the trails you can follow.