Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kentucky Quilt Trails and...

There is a lot to be said about the new Kentucky Quilt Trails web site. This is the official Kentucky Arts Council's portal for all of the current (and future), Barn Quilt projects across the state. These folks have done a good job of pulling all of the projects under a single umbrella while leaving each county to work out the details.

Thanks to this new site, I have added several (Ky) counties to the Barn Quilt Memories sidebar. Don't ask me which ones, but I now count 17 Kentucky sites (some are representing several counties).

Here is a tip for anyone wanting to get an early Christmas present for someone special. There is a new book dedicated to the Barn Quilt Arts Movement in Kentucky. It's called Kentucky Quilt Trails: Views and Voices and details of where to purchase is listed on the website and below:

Kentucky Quilt Trails: Visions and Voices Book Release Receptions

Saturday, October 4, 2008
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (E.D.T.)
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
975 Walnut Meadow Road Berea, KY 40403
(Silas House will be available to sign books from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (E.D.T.)
Kentucky Folk Art Center
102 West First Street Morehead, KY 40351
(Photographer Carol Shutt and Community Scholar Gwenda Lynn Huff will be available to sign books.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (C.D.T.)
Museum of the American Quilter's Society
215 Jefferson Street Paducah, KY 42002

Where to Buy

Kentucky Quilt Trails: Views and Voices will be available September 1, 2008. Proceeds from the sale of this book will support community arts projects in Kentucky. The retail price is $9.95 plus Kentucky sales tax and shipping. To order your book from the Kentucky Arts Council, CLICK HERE to fill out the PDF form. (Adobe Reader required to view and fill out form.)

At a Store Near You, Kentucky Quilt Trails: Views and Voices, can also be purchased at the following locations.

Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
975 Walnut Meadow Road Berea, KY 40403
(859) 985-5449
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. 7 days a week

Kentucky Folk Art Center Museum Store
102 West First Street Morehead, KY 40351
(606) 783-2204
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday –Saturday
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday

Museum of the American Quilter's Society Museum Store
215 Jefferson Street Paducah, KY 42002
(270) 442-8856
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday

Wholesale Purchases Wholesale inquiries from qualified retail businesses are welcome. For more information, contact Melissa Nesselrode, Kentucky Arts Council at (888) 833-2787 ext. 471 or melissa.nesselrode@ky.gov.

Support The publication of Kentucky Quilt Trails: Views and Voices is a project of the Kentucky Arts Council made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I would like to share a short video clip from Nebraska's ABC TV affiliate (NTV), about one of the newest Barn Quilts in that state. By clicking here on the link [NTV video], you should see the story that features Jan Rodehorst talking about her Barn Quilt and the 92 year old barn at Harvest Moon Farms. This bucolic wonderland opens this weekend as a seasonal agri-tourism destination. You can also read the NTV story here [NTV story]

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy hunting !

It's Friday afternoon... My son's soccer game was called off because there was too much water (rain), and his school dance was called off because there is not enough gas (thanks to Ike). My wife is off to see The Steely Pan Steel Band. If you have a chance, I strongly urge you to check these folks out. Because of the change of plans, my son and I will be snuggling on the sofa tonight with a good book or movie.

Before all of the excitement starts (and I have to fix dinner), I wanted to take a moment to share with you what I was doing last Saturday morning. I was trippin' around Watauga County looking for Barn Quilts. I found eight, and am fairly sure that I know where there are two more. There are a few listed on the Watauga County Arts Council's (Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina), website as "still in process" (and they are not there), so I guess that we need some good neighbors to help to get these blocks finished & hung. Anyway...

I took a few pictures and when I got home, I created a Google Map called Watauga County Barn Quilt Trail. Now Google works good as a search engine, but for some reason you need to be pretty specific in order to find this from their Maps search page. You can click on the link above, or try typing in the exact name that you are searching for. Anyone can create a map. It's free and could save the next guy from driving his tank dry trying to find a specific Quilt Block. I would love to get some feed back, but I will continue to make improvements to this map, and this is just a start. There are more counties, more back roads, more Barn Quilts, and lots more surprises ahead.

Happy hunting!

Monday, September 22, 2008

#100 and still goin' strong

This (below) is a recent post from the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina website:

UPCOMING EVENT :: Posted 9-13-08

Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina invites the public to witness the installation of the 100th quilt block for Mitchell and Yancey Counties on Saturday, October 11 at noon at 4125 Highway 197S (Pensacola Rd.) in Burnsville.

We will have a potluck on the site and everyone is invited to bring a covered dish. Drinks will be provided. Come help us honor the many volunteers who have brought us to this milestone and watch the 100th block go up. Signs will be posted to help guide you to the site.

For further information call 828-682-7331.

Kudos to the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina, all of the artists, volunteers, barn owners, contributors, supporters and especially Barbara Webster who has been a driving force in the North Carolina Barn Quilt arts movement. Quite the quilter in her own right, check out Barbara's website Starforest Quilts.

Also, check out the great maps for each county. They do really nice work on these barn quilts, and there is almost always a good story that goes with them. Here is an image of one of the earlier patterns. This is called the Bard of Avon, and the story can be found at #6 on their map.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Racine Post from Racine, Wi

The Racine Post has a series of blog posts that cover the initial creation and installation of the Racine County's Quilts on Barns project. While it is mentioned that both the Racine Arts Council and the Racine County Convention and Visitors Bureau were instrumental in the support of the Quilts on Barns project, neither mention the project on their web-sites. I do applaud Ms Kathi Wilson for having the vision and the follow through to get this off of the ground. The stories and pictures found on the Racine Post blog are wonderful. By October, they hope to have 15 quilt blocks mounted around the county.

I would love to add Racine County to the side bar, but I need some help finding a web site...

Barn Quilt Tour of Champaign County, Ohio

This weekend (September 13-14, 2008), the Champaign County, Ohio, Chamber & Visitor's Bureau is sponsoring their third annual Barn Quilt Tour. You can take the driving tour any time of year, but this weekend you can participate (tickets are $10.00), in an open tour of multiple historic barns. Hours for the tour are 10 am-5 pm on Saturday and Noon-5 pm on Sunday. There are themed activities including a display of over 150 hand-made quilts, and walk in barns. View the 40 barn quilts on this unique driving tour of Champaign County. For more information (map & pictures), go to their web-site at: http://www.champaignohio.com/

I also found a note that says: Bonus quilt show only: Friday the 12th at the Champaign County Fairgrounds.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Corn & Beans

I occasionally find it a problem being able to be in more than one place at a time... I often forget to look at the simple pleasures where I am... Sometimes I find that it is a little too far to travel in order to find what I already have. You can read this as I was in the car too long, but it was a beautiful day, with a beautiful woman, and we were traveling through beautiful county. There was more than one surprise awaiting us...

Last fall when I first discovered the allure of Barn Quilts, I traveled across a few of the neighboring counties to find far more Barn Quilts than I imagined existed. There was one pattern that I missed, and this past weekend I went in search of...

In the far eastern edge of Ashe County, North Carolina, is the Upper Mountain Research Station. This is a partnership of North Carolina State University, and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture... the quilt pattern is Corn & Beans, and credit is given to Les Miller, and the artists of the Westwood Elementary School Faculty. Let's not forget the Ashe County Arts Council .

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gee's Bend, Alabama

Gee's Bend, Alabama is, in many ways, a living history of the south (at least South Central Alabama). Named for Joseph Gee and his plantation, and with help from the federal government during the great depression, this rural community on the Alabama River has held onto some significant cultural roots, and has grown some new & unique ones. This community is best known for the Quilts of Gee's Bend. In 2006, the United States Post Office issued a series of stamps (below) honoring the history and the quilters of Gee's Bend.

There is another project that will soon be realized and recognized. Artist Tyree McCloud has finished painting a series of 8' x 8' plywood "murals" depicting some of these famous quilt images. I don't think that these quilts will be hung on barns, and rather than quilt blocks, the nature of the Gee's Bend quilts lend themselves to being reproduced in their entirety. I'll keep my eyes open for a picture of the final product.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Expression of Joy

I know nothing of the Barn Quilt shown below, except where it is located... in nearby Wilkes County, North Carolina. Several weeks ago, while traveling through the county with my family, this Barn Quilt was spotted by my wife. Not easy to see from Highway 421, I missed this entirely the first time by, but immediately turned around after being notified. I have not yet seen a mention of this welcome to the county. It is not mentioned on the Cultural Arts Council of Wilkes web-site. It could be an independent expression of joy. I will let you know when I find out more.

After confirming the sighting and taking a quick picture, we all proceeded to a celebration of my birthday. This was a nice way to start the day.