Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Beautiful quilt barns dot Kentucky countryside

I just returned from a trip to Kentucky, just over the Tennessee line.  It was quite an adventure, but that is a story for another blog.  Being a new quilter, I am fascinated with the quilt barns in that area.

If you don't know what I'm talking about here is a description from

quilt barn is a barn or other farm building that displays a quilt square.  Often these barns are very old and have historical or landmark significance in the area.
Usually the quilt squares are hand-painted to resemble traditional quilt blocks (or patterns) that have been used by generations of quilters. Traditional quilt block patterns are very popular and are easily recognizable from a distance by their primarily geometric patterns. Many of the quilt square patterns chosen for display on the barns reflect an affinity the owner has for an aspect of rural living. Most of the quilt squares in the country are painted by hand on plywood, measuring 8-feet by 8-feet.  A few were painted directly onto the wall boards and some are made from other materials such as steel, aluminum and polymers. Most quilt barns in the U.S. are part of officially-recognized trails organized by individual communities. 

Now wouldn't that be a neat girl trip, to follow the quilt barn trails to view these wonderful old barns, proudly bearing huge hand-painted quilt blocks?  According to the Quilt Trail entry in, the first trail was organized in 2001 in Ohio. The tradition of the trails quickly spread to other states including Ohio to Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Colorado, South Dakota, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Oregon and across the border in Canada.

Why can't we have some quilt barns in Mississippi?  We have plenty of old barns. We have groups of artists who come from quilting families, and we have the new generation of quilters who would like to preserve the tradition.

Here's a picture from my recent trip.  More to come.....

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