Sunday, June 28, 2009

staying up...

I hope that everyone is following the travels of Suzi Parron on her blog: Her most recent trip to Iowa (and Wisconsin) has some great personal tales, and wonderful pictures of Barn Quilts.

The most recent Barn Quilt in Iowa is pictured below. Painted by a talented long arm quilter, I say job well done. She is looking for the name of the quilt block. See more pictures on her blog:

Friday, June 19, 2009



The "first" barn quilt that was done in Adams County, Ohio was actually the Ohio Star on the Lewis Mountain Herbs and Everlastings gift shop, designed by Mark Lewis and Bill Brown (see previous post). In 2001, Donna Sue Groves along with friends Pete Whan and Elaine Collins, had the idea to organize a grass roots committee and paint more Quilt Blocks.

From the Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau:

Adams County's "Clothesline of Quilts"
Donna Sue Groves had a dream to someday honor her mother with a large painting on their barn of her mother's passion, quilting. That one beautiful dream has now lead to more than the planned 21 quilt squares, throughout Adams County and beyond! Donna teamed up with the P.A.C.T. (Planning Adams County's Tomorrow) Organization & after applying& receiving a grant from the Ohio Arts Council, began the counties colorful display of historical quilt squares. The idea soon spread. The Adams County Chamber of Commerce made a contribution, along with several local businesses, and residence. Some of which, financed and designed their own square.


If you are looking for Suzi Parron's blog, it is:

Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lewis Mountain and a big / little piece of history...

The first Barn Quilt that was painted (besides the one on Nina Maxine and Donna Sue Groves' tobacco barn), was on the gift shop at Lewis Mountain Herbs and Everlastings, Manchester, Ohio. This is a herb farm and nursery, and for over 20 years home to the Olde Thyme Herb Fair. On October 31, 2001 the Ohio Star Quilt Block was unveiled. Now the farm is for sale (see below).

Farm and Business for Sale
Lewis Mountain Herbs and Everlastings

For more information call Judy Lewis at 937-549-2484 or e-mail

Located in rural Southern Ohio two (2) miles from the Ohio River. Established business has been in operation for over thirty-three (33) years. Home of the Olde Thyme Herb Fair which will be celebrating its 21st year the second full weekend of October 2008. The Fair, which consists of displays and the sales of merchandise offered by over 240 artisans, continuous live entertainment, classes, workshops, luncheons and dinners. As one of the largest private fairs/festivals in the State, it attracts 20,000 to 30,000 visitors during the two (2) days.

Fresh cut flower production for commercial suppliers in Southwest Ohio. Production and sales of up to 600 herb varieties, scented geraniums and everlastings mostly to commercial customers in Ohio, Kentucky and WestVirginia and retail sales locally, throughout the United States and through the Company website (

Bed & Breakfast: Three (3) furnished sleeping rooms with individual bathrooms.Furnished Cottage with full bath and equipped kitchen (Currently rented for $600 / month). The “Mountainview Room” which is used for hosting meetings, parties, lunches, dinners and workshops with meals prepared on-site in the commercial kitchen.

Pet Boarding Kennels with capacity for 4 cats and 14 dogs, with wash station.

Full service Floral Shop. Retail Gift Shop

This 17 acre site also offers endless possibilities for further expansion. For example, it is ideally suited for a nursery/garden center. The retail shop can be expanded or modified as a Feed Store to service the local farming community.

Address: 2345 St Rt 247
Manchester, OH
Subdivision: Adams Co.
Price: $459,000

MLS ID #: 1169826
5 beds, 6 baths, 14.39 Acres


Here is a wonderful Barn Quilt (4 x 8 hanging on a fence), with a great story. I am not sure if you can see this from the road (Hwy 90 & Grey Gap Rd), but the Yellow Ribbon Trading Post would be worth a look-see if you are passin' thru Marrowbone, Ky.

My Quilt is named Trail of Tears...My family on my mothers side (Vera Franks-Ambroselli) is from Choctaw descent. Most of her trible had to leave Kentucky during the removals of the 1800's and were moved to Indian Reservations in Oklahoma. My Great Grandfather lived on the Indian Reservation in Oklahoma until age 3 then his family became workers for a share cropper and the children were Americanized by attending special schools for the Indians they had to wear uniforms and the boys had to cut there hair. The meaning of the colors in my quilt are: Blue-For the rivers, lakes and sky (Stands for sincerity and Happiness) Green-Represents the earth, the hills, trees and mountains (That provide food and substance. Red-Stands for War-(Long before the white man we lived upon the land for countless moons, in harmony with the Great Spirit, honoring all life around us) Black-stands for Power, White symbolizes the skies and spacious heavens. Our quilt is located at the Yellow Ribbon Trading Post.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Avery County Quilt Trail

A few days ago, I had a chance to sit down with LouAnn Morehouse at the Avery County Arts Council. LouAnn is the Executive Directer of the Arts Council, and they have a small gallery and office in Banner Elk, NC. This town is located in a county that can only be described as a mountain wonderland, and I have located most of the 40+ Barn Quilts that have popped up across the county over the past few years. Please take a moment to check out their Web Site at .

There were several interesting subjects that came up during our conversation. Two in particular I want to discuss here and on , but I only want to hint at them now. One is the subject of maps, directions, brochures, and information on telling someone where to find barn quilts. The other subject is the cost for organizations or individuals to start and maintain a Quilt Trail.

Please give these subjects some thought in the next few days. I would love it if someone would open a discussion at . This is: A network for those involved in the creation, construction, support, inspiration for or enjoyment of the Barn Quilt Arts Movement. Everyone is welcome.

Until I return next week (I have a couple more graduations to attend), I want to leave you with pictures from The Avery County Arts Trail. Click the Pic. to make it bigger...

Circle of Courage

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Painters welcome...

According to the Waverly Democrat (Waverly, Iowa): Ty Ruby of Greene is taking advantage of the Butler County Barn Quilt painting days to get a start on his 4-H exhibit for the upcoming fair. Ruby is making an 8-by-8 block for his grandparent Bob and LaDonna Wamsley’s barn. He is learning about using the right primer to paint his frame and plywood.

On Saturday, June 13, more quilt block painting will take place at the exhibit building on the fairgrounds in Allison. There are several frames already made and primed if you would like to adopt one for your farm. Painters are welcome to help out on Saturday at 9 a.m.

Call Monica Lursen at 885-6557 if you have any questions or would like a block.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

National Civil War Quilt Trail decorates Dover

Thanks to our friend Suzi Parron, I was able to locate a picture from the Stewart County Civil War Quilt Trail. You can read a short article at the Stewart County Public Library and another on the Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation newsletter from July 2008

The centerpiece of the National Civil War Quilt Trail is “Letitia’s Quilt,” inspired by local Civil War heroine Letitia Smith Walter. It was designed by her great-granddaughter and local artist, Carolyn Walter Darke, third from left above. Also pictured are Betsy Tumelson, third from right, who assisted in the painting of the quilt, and employees from CEMC (Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation), who helped raise and attach the 16-foot-by-16-foot quilt to the side of the Good Samaritan Center, 303 Donelson Parkway, in downtown Dover (Tn). On the left are Stephen Fitzhugh and Clint Marshall, and on the right are Donnie Burkhart and Steve Fielder.

Another Quilt Trail

I don't know how long this has been an active quilt trail, and I will need to contact the Five Rivers Resource Conservation and Development organization to find out more, but I have added Houston County to the side bar. If I am missing any that you are aware of, please e-mail me at" and I will update the list of Barn Quilt groups.

Celtic Quilt Trail
By: Debbie Schmidt & Sharon Knight

Houston County has now joined several counties in Tennessee with its own quilt trial. This one is like no other, however, in that it depicts Houston County's unique Celtic heritage. Each quilt square has a distinctive pattern with its own individual story.

Artist Debbie Schmidt, who organized the quilt project, and scores of volunteers worked feverishly during the past few weeks to get enough 8-foot by 8-foot wooden squares sold, painted and erected in time for the 2009 Irish Days celebration. She had set a goal of 12 and although only nine have been erected, two additional ones are waiting in the wings and another three have been ordered.

The quilt trail may be the brainchild of Schmidt but she is quick to divert credit away for herself. “It’s not just me (who has done this),” she said. “It’s a world of volunteers.” Meriwether Lewis workers, Danny Schmidt and Randy Baggett have supplied Schmidt with manpower and equipment to erect the squares in such a way that they are secure.

Schmidt also had volunteers who help draw the designs and volunteers – some of them the same – who helped paint the square. Each square includes the names of the people who worked on it in an inconspicuous place on the front and listed on the back. That way, each person who worked on it can feel a little ownership of the quilt squares.

“There are just too many volunteers to mention them individually,” she said, “and I don’t want to leave anyone out.”The project is promoted through the Five Rivers Resource Conservation and Development organization (

It is design to bring tourism interest to the county as visitors follow the trail of quilt patterns through the county. Mapping of the Trail and guided tours are planned. We also have hopes of drawing some of these visitors to look at our area as a special place to live or retire.

The Quilt Trail project is multi county and has extended across Tennessee. Montgomery Co.(crazy quilts), Stewart County (civil war quilts) Humphrey’s County, Robertson as well as Houston County (Celtic Quilts) are all working on this project.

read more at:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bicentennial planned for 2010

From: the Wilmington News Journal
in Wilmington Ohio

First bicentennial barn quilt to go up this weekend
Dan Liggett - Editor

The first quilt of Clinton County’s barn quilt project is scheduled to go up on the horse barn at the Clinton County Fairgrounds this weekend, and the project committee is working to have more quilts completed and installed in the coming weeks. The barn quilt project is being done in conjunction with the Clinton County Bicentennial celebration, which will be observed in 2010.

So far the committee has received commitments to place a quilt on approximately 20 barns in various locations of Clinton County, Diane Murphy, committee co-chair, said. The quilt to be placed on the horse barn at the fairgrounds will be visible from West Main Street. The official unveiling of this barn quilt is scheduled for Saturday, July 11, the first day of the Clinton County Fair.

Murphy said the goal of the committee is to install at least one barn quilt in each township of Clinton County. Commitments have been received from barn owners in the majority of townships, but the committee is hopeful to reach agreement to display a quilt on at least one barn in each of Vernon, Adams, Washington, Marion and Jefferson townships.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised by the positive response received so far,” Murphy said. The barn quilt project was initiated as a way to show all who travel around the county, including visitors and tourists, the pride that Clinton County has in its agricultural history, families and land. Other counties in Ohio and other states have organized successful barn quilt projects, stirring interest among tourists to travel to those counties to view the barn art on display.

The committee seeks a business or organization sponsor for each barn quilt to help defray the cost, and commitment from barn owners to display the barn quilt through 2011. The cost of participation in the barn quilt project is $200 from the sponsor and $200 from the barn owner.

The committee will paint the barn quilts on a regular schedule for three weeks starting Wednesday, June 10, at the Clinton County Youth Council, 302 W. Sugartree St. in Wilmington. The schedule is Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon and from 6 to 9 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed to assist in painting the barn quilts. No artistic skills or experience is necessary to assist in this effort, as the work will involve applying paint inside lines of the already determined quilt design. Each volunteer may commit for one or more sessions. Or, a group of friends could commit to paint together for one or more sessions.

“We invite local residents to join in the fun of painting these quilt block designs that will be seen throughout the county and enjoyed by many for years to come,” Murphy said.

All designs will be painted on 4-foot-by-8-foot sheets of plywood.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I want to leave a quick note here... I am off to Greensboro to attend my neice's high school graduation, and will have more time when I return. For now:

Cresci, Ia

By Sara Daehn
Tue Jun 02, 2009

The colorful quilt hanging on Denis D. Reicks’ barn in rural Cresco may not hold much meaning to a passerby, but to the Reicks family, it is more than just a pretty decoration. The quilt’s colors and design hold personal meaning for the longtime Howard County family, which includes Denis D. and the late Katy Reicks and their nine children. Pat Ahern, one of the Reicks’ nine children, made the quilt in May as a gift to her mother, Katy, who was battling cancer and had been told she did not have long to live.

“I worked on this morning, noon and night,” Ahern said. “I did it for mom. She had always wanted one.” The quilt includes nine medallions, one for each of the Reicks’ nine children in their birthstone color. The background is blue, the birthstone color of Ahern’s dad, who was born in Howard County and has lived on the farm for 51 years. The outline surrounding the barn quilt represents the ruby red of Ahern’s mom’s birthstone. “The background is my dad’s because he backed us all up and the outside is my mom’s because she held us together,” Ahern said.

The family hung the quilt on Mother’s Day, just two week’s before Katy passed away at her home on May 24. The idea for the quilt came to Ahern after she saw several barn quilts throughout the county. “I wanted ours to be one that meant something,” she said.

and then there is:

Adair County Barn Quilt Block Project Nears Completion

By Paul B. Hayes on June 04,2009

A project that began last fall to enhance the beauty of the countryside and encourage visitors to travel different roads throughout the county by placing large "quilt block" patterns on barns is nearing completion.

Last year, the Columbia-Adair County Tourism Commission received a grant from the Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association for the quilt block project. The grant was supposed to pay for six blocks, but Denise Stewart, who coordinated the project for the tourism commission, was able to make an additional three quilt blocks, bringing the total to nine.

Three of the quilt blocks - which are actually eight foot by eight foot plywood squares painted with brightly colored replicas of popular quilt patterns - were put up last November. Then, on Tuesday, a crew from Taylor County RECC volunteered their time to put up five more on barns scattered around the county.

"We've got eight of the nine done now thanks to Taylor County RECC," Stewart noted. "The ninth block is painted, and we're just waiting for the decision to be made on where it will be placed."

The five "quilt blocks" placed Tuesday are:

•A Maple Leaf pattern on the black barn of Barbara and the late Minnick Grider on Highway East 80.

•A Windmill Star pattern on a red barn of James and Hilda Hatcher just off Highway East 80 on Otha Bryant Road.

•A Double Star pattern on a red barn at Jimmy Reliford Drilling Company on Highway 61 South.

•A Pinwheel Daisy pattern on a white barn of Gerald and Cynthia Coomer on Highway 55 South.

•A Crossroads pattern on a red barn of John and Jeana Pike on Highway 55 North just past Cane Valley.

The three barns on which quilt block patterns were placed last fall are: A Indian Arrowhead pattern on a barn owned by Joe Lynn Barbee on Campbellsville Road in the city limits; a Memory Block pattern on a barn owned by Kenneth Scott on Highway 80 West across from the Col. William Casey House; and a Columbia Star pattern on a barn owned by Gertrude Browning off Highway 61 South near the new parkway interchange which is visible from both the parkway and northbound travelers on KY 61.

According to Sue Stivers, Executive Director of the tourism commission, the three quilt block patterns put up last fall have attracted a lot of attention, and she expects to new ones to garner even more notice. "We've had a tremendous amount of people talk about the barns, both local people and visitors," she said. "With these new ones now up, we expect a lot more interest."

Stivers said the long-range goal of the project is to put the quilt blocks on barns on well-traveled roads throughout the region so that a "quilt trail" can be established."Visitors would then be able to drive a route through several counties to check out the quilts, and also see the other tourist attractions we have to offer," she noted. "The quilt trail has proved to be a popular attraction in other states, and its also being done in other parts of the state."

Photo: BARN ART.

Taylor County RECC employee Scot Cochran worked to properly place the two sides of the 8'x8' "quilt block" on Barbara Grider's barn on Highway 80 East Tuesday morning. Cochran and co-worker Tim Coffey put up five of the "quilt block" designs on barns around the county for the Columbia-Adair County Tourism Commission. (Photos by Paul B. Hayes)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens

Yesterday, I became a statistic. I joined the millions that have lost their job in the past year. The good news is I will finally be able to devote more of my time to tracking the elusive Barn Quilt and Barn Quilters. I say elusive because of my recent experience hunting for Barn Quilts in a foreign land (Tennessee & Kentucky). All kidding aside, I was more than a little shocked when I was let go from a firm where I had worked for more than 25 years. It will take me a few days to adjust to the changes in my life. I hope to be more prolific in my posts, and I will be both reaching out and projecting more of the joys discovered on this journey. I want to be able to share your stories here. For all of the effort that is put forth, I will not forget that the stories are for you, and about you.

Success is a journey, not a destination.