The Quilt Barn Trail


The first time I ever saw a quilt barn, it was at the home of my friends Missy and Pete, who have a farm nearby. They had a herd of goats and I wanted some–and here came Clover. I fell in love with her right away. I was there to get babies, but I ended buying Clover along with her two babies, Nutmeg and Honey. Anyway! Back to quilt barns! I fell in love with them right along with goats, and have thought about having some quilt art added to my big red barn here myself. The barn pictured above is at Missy and Pete’s. Missy is actually related to the founder of the quilt barn movement, by the way.

I contribute now and then to Chevy Culture, a lifestyle and auto site sponsored by Chevrolet. Click through here for my full article about the quilt barn trail!


  1. bonita says:

    Neat article, Suzanne. Those trails are a great excuse to get out and drive. Once upon a time I researched quilts for a math/geometry lesson. I ended up contacting several Indiana counties and made my own quilt pilgrimage one fall. The saddest thing to see was barn wood ready for the taking with the shadow of a beautiful quilt on it. OH! can the Chevy people to change your byline, you are now the author of a BOOK, Chickens in the Road…etc,?
    So, when you gonna commission a quilt for your barn…hmmm? Flower/egg basket? Drunkard’s Path? (for the circuitous way you found Sassafras Farm)

  2. emmachisett says:

    Suzanne, I LOVE the idea of barn quilts! I first heard of/saw them on your site when you went to visit some other farmers (not Missy and Pete I don’t think) but that bright spot of design and color on their barn door excited me and made me think that this is something that should spread…I live in north central Alberta and Lord knows, we could use some extra color through the dark months of winter that we have. Thanks for the reminder to get on with the quilt project! There may still be time to get one painted! (Any suggestions as to the best paint to use for durability?)

  3. perry says:

    I belong to a local quilt guild in OKC, OK and we had a speaker 3 months ago that gave us a wonderful tour through pictures of some of the quilt barns and trails around the country. It is indeed a fascinating piece of Americana that has sprung up around the country. We need more of this type of community spirit in our present society. I believe it would help the whole country come back to its founding roots. Great job on your book! I glanced thru it between reading your posts, lol.

  4. WvSky says:

    Here’s what I found interesting: ” The original quilt trail was created in Ohio by Roane County, W.Va., native Donna Sue Groves.” :yes:

  5. holstein woman says:

    Suzanne, I have to say ALL the folks that encourage you here are wonderful. I am a quilter and used to belong to a guild, before several moves, I would like a barn to put a beautiful star in remembrance of my Grandmother who made quilts all her life and gave me a set of star squares.

  6. Joell says:

    :happyflower: :happyflower: :happyflower:
    I think you need one for your barn, I love quilts and this is such a great idea. They really make a statement of home and warmth.

  7. emmachisett says:

    WvSky…ah sadly, according to Wikipedia, this is not true. The original is an “Ohio Star” quilt but not done by Ms. Groves as much as she wanted to honor her mother. Doesn’t matter where the idea started, it is a wonderful way of brightening the countryside and should be encouraged. Let’s get it going North America-wide!

  8. yvonnem says:

    Excellent article, Suzanne!

  9. MMHoney says:

    There is another story regarding quilts that someone may want to research. As I recall Friendly/safe homes for the run-a-way slaves trying to get North – would have quilts hanging outside. Thought this may add to the interest of your blog. Lots of other things are deep in my 90 yr old brain.
    It wears me out thinking about it all. Someday I may write a book – good as Gone With the Wind & twice as long – just kidding…….

  10. bonita says:

    @ MMHoney: Sorry, quilt trails for runaway slaves are a rural/urban myth, I stumbled on the myth deflation when doing my quilt research for math a math project, then again for a non-verbal communication feature for 8th graders. There were, however, other subversive methods of signifying friendly stop-overs on the trail.

  11. The High Altitude Tea Duchess says:

    I had no idea such a thing had occurred. They are so beautiful. Thanks for the article.

  12. rurification says:

    I just saw a brand new one of these on an old barn in Coal City, Indiana. Makes me want one for our old barn.

  13. Cousin Sheryl says:

    Our Roane County, WV Extension Agent for Community and Economic Development, Travis Cullen, has been working with the farming community here to establish a Quilt Trail. He has Quilt Squares painted by 4-H members ready and available for hanging (this was a craft class at our summer 4-H camp). Roane Countians who want a Quilt Block for their barn/building can contact Travis at the Extension Office at 304-927-0975.


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