Sunday, December 27, 2009
Barn quilts...never heard about them until a couple of months ago when Ron came back from a tourism development meeting where there was a discussion about barn quilt tours. Colorful quilt blocks, usually 8x8 and then hung on a building or painted right on the building itself. I have seen them during our driving trips but didn't really know the name or history.
Donna Sue Groves is the person who originally conceived the idea of barn quilts. Please take the time to watch her video by clicking on her name. Growing up in West Virginia, Donna Sue and her family would play a simple game of counting the barn advertising signs, such as Chew Mail Pouch, See Rock City, Seven Caves, Natural Bridge and Drink R C Cola on long road trips. During vacations, she delighted in watching for the colorful geometric Hex signs scattered throughout Pennsylvania. Her family used barn watching as an opportunity for family discussions, a way to pass the long hours riding in the car, and as a history lesson.
In 1989 she and her mother purchased a farm in Adams County, Ohio. On the farm was a tobacco barn. Donna Sue promised her mother that someday she would paint a quilt square on it for her. As the years passed she kept thinking about her tobacco barn and the quilt square that she had promised to paint. In 2001 the barn became her canvas to paint a colorful quilt square to honor her mother, an accomplished quilter. But the mural soon morphed into an arts-based tourist attraction that other communities began imitating..
Donna Sue’s early vision was to create an imaginary clothesline of interconnecting barns decorated with quilt squares across Ohio and the nation thus creating a National Quilt Barn Trail.
A National Quilt Trail is rapidly spreading across Ohio to Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Iowa, and North Carolina and beyond. Over 400 colorful quilt squares adorn barns, flood walls and other significant community structures.
Ron and I found this very interesting and decided to have a barn quilt designed for us. Our son, Josh used his artistic abilities to create it. It's a visual image of comfort, family, who we are and where we come from. Thank you Josh for your creative insight! Come to Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast and see for yourself.
Rachel Reid, Very Happy Innkeeper at Andon-Reid Inn our Bed and Breakfast in Waynesville, North Carolina