The Quilt-Barn Movement Catches On

In past posts, we’ve discussed American quilting as an art form, as well as the broad range and psychic impact of public art. Now, thanks to Governing magazine, we learn of the growth of the quilt-barn movement.


Apparently this grass roots art movement began in 2001 and has spread to 16 states and 900 barns, adopted by rural communities as a way to honor the craft of quilt making and farming expressed through public art. Ohio, Iowa and Kentucky have over 250 in each state. Many barns are part of “quilt trails” that map dozens of barns per trail that sightseers can follow and enjoy.


The barns are painted in a variety of manners.  Some communities hire local artists, and others are painted by clubs or high school art classes that seize the opportunity to volunteer to help create public art. Frequently a business with a truck with a hoist donates the crew and equipment needed to place the square, which is usually painted on two 4 x 8 sheets of outdoor plywood attached to a frame.

How to explain the rapid growth of the quilt-barn movement? The squares not only honor the wife of every farmer where they appear, they also recognize the rural heritage that has been a part of the fabric of America since Colonial times.

Related links:
Quilt barn trails now in 16 states add new color to fall. Grassroots art movement now appears on 900 barns.
Quilt Barns
Barn Quilts Give a Shot in the Arm to Agritourism through Art, History and Nostalgia


About these ads

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. laurie
    Jan 16, 2008 @ 11:40:25

    I love old barns and would go out of my way to see them with out the paintings…now IF I ever get to those states I’ll have even more reason to look around.


  2. barbara
    Jun 13, 2009 @ 05:17:14

    I am from Madison County, Kentucky and am aware of the strong quilt square barn movement. Madison County has an established trail that is quite an experience to take. Not only do you view the quilt squares but the old barns and the absolute beauty of the countryside. I thank you providing a clear history on this vibrant rural movement. — Barbara


  3. Trackback: Example of Barn Quilt in Iowa « Your Wardsville
  4. noactive
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 15:34:27

    The Quilt-Barn Movement Catches On .Thanks for nice post.I added to my twitter.


  5. Wardsville Bicentennial
    May 30, 2010 @ 20:54:06

    Check out our Bicentennial Barn Quilt Commemorating the founder, George Ward, and the War of 1812 – 1814. We’re hoping to spark the movement in Ontario. It has begun.


  6. Wardsville Bicentennial
    May 30, 2010 @ 20:54:54

    Here’s the link to our home page


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 97 other followers

%d bloggers like this: