The barn quilt is a ground roots art movement that is spreading across the country as tourists are encouraged to take the back roads and discover rural America. Dan and I do this a lot when we motorcycle across the country, and have thoroughly enjoyed coming across roadside attractions that speak of the local people and their customs. We’ve come across a triangle of land that was filled with old windmills, arches created for the town square out of antlers, shrines made of mosaic seashells, labyrinths and gardens filled with antique farm tools. We love to fly and explore other countries, but there are many untraveled roads right here that beg to be discovered.
The barn quilt is a quintessential symbol of the heartland, the midwest where people work hard with the land and their hands. A place of simple beauty, and down to earth values that revolve around family and friends. We hear the buzz about celebrities and trends in fashion and film from the coasts, but here in fly-over country there is a pause button. An attitude of, “we’ll see if it stands the test of time.” To me, the color and pattern of the barn quilt speaks of tradition and history, when quilts were made to sleep under and keep us warm during the long winters until we could get outside and once again work the land. I hope you enjoy these 40 Barn Quilts recorded on an 800 mile road trip around Iowa and Minnesota.
If you would like more information about this rural art form, check out this link to Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement, by Suzi Parron and Donna Sue Groves
Pinterest also has many photo’s of barn quilts here, and patterns here.
A business that makes barn quilts can be found here. Be sure to check out their Heritage Barn Quilt Patterns to learn the names of squares.
Enjoy your 4th of July celebration!