Barn Quilts are painted quilt squares – usually fashioned on boards and then mounted on a barn or other building. They are hand painted to look like a quilt block. The size varies, but usually they measure 8 feet. (coincidentally, that is 2 pieces of plywood.)
While the history of decorating barns dates back to the mid 1800’s, Donna Sue Groves, of Adams County Ohio brought the quilt trail into the light of day in the 2000’s.
To learn more just hop over to this informative site http://barnquiltinfo.com/
Today, registered quilt squares form a long imaginary clothes line, appear on more than 3,000 barns scattered along one hundred driving trails.
A quilt trail consists of many barn quilts that are mapped together and visited. Those following along the trail receive a map with all of the locations marked, and viewers drive through the countryside to see all of the blocks. Today there are quilt trails all over the United States. A wide variety of people have created them, including quilt guilds, schools, churches, and 4-H clubs.
Just as fabric quilts have their own history, so do barn quilts.
Traditional folk art, the settled Pennsylvania Dutch region in southern Pennsylvania, once they built their farms & communities, they would paint these patterns on their barns to celebrate their heritage, bring good fortune and protection to the farms.
Use of the “Hex” signs, hold almost magical powers & some see as a useful tool for warding off evil spirits and lightning. The article I read goes on to say…”and various other negative circumstances”.
Okay, I want to ward off other negative circumstances, too!
The “behind the scenes magic” is what allows me to create things of beauty. I think this project involved “only” 3 trips to the hardware store. If it wasn’t built to exact measurements and of good quality, my painting and matching points would not be as precise. He built the frame to hang it on as well. Even though you don’t see that part of the project, because of his skills, the quilt barn will hang perfectly straight through all kinds of weather, for years to come. And……….he didn’t scratch his head too many times, when he tried to make sense out of my directions scratched onto some graph paper.
My quilt block pattern is the Spinning Star. The elementary school I attended is called, Frank R. Spinning Elementary School.
I chose the purple and gold because those are the colors of the high school (PHS) and college (WWU) I attended. Go Viks!
I chose green for the Army. Mr. Right spent 25 years in the USArmy, so it seemed the perfect choice.
4 coats of primer, 4 coats each of color and 2 coats of sealer……….that is a lot of waiting between drying.
Mr. Right hung up our “almost magical, ward off evil spirits, lightning and other negative circumstances, celebrate some of our history and bring good fortune” barn quilt.
Every time, I spy that barn quilt hanging on the old shed, it makes me smile. Once the purple Asters and purple Clematis bloom in all their glory, I am sure I will be smiling all over again.
In your summer travels, keep your eyes open for some beautiful works of art hanging on the imaginary clothes line that criss cross our country.
Yes, it almost feels magical.