Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kentucky Quilt Trails

On our recent trip to western Kentucky I spotted this barn (Flying Geese Quilt Block) and several others with colorful quilts adorned on them. On our way out of town I took these shots of one of the barns I had seen along the state highway that led to the Lake Barkley Lodge.

I knew that the Kentucky Arts Council had begun a project to document the heritage of Kentucky quilting on the side of barns and other buildings. I was eager to come home and learn more about this project.

"Crown of Thorns" photo by Gwenda Lynn Huff, Lawrence County

I found great information about the history of this project at the Kentucky Arts Council website

"The Quilt Trail project began in Adams County, Ohio, when Donna Sue Groves, a field representative for the Ohio Arts Council, decided that she wanted a quilt square painted on her barn to honor her mother, a lifelong quilter. Donna Sue shared her idea with friends in the community, who offered their help. They decided that if they were going to paint one quilt square on a barn, they might as well paint twenty and create a driving tour to attract tourists to their rural community. The project was such a success that word of it traveled quickly, and soon other communities were contacting Donna Sue asking if they could join in the project. Donna Sue offered her enthusiastic support. The Quilt Trail project has taken deep root in Kentucky and spread quickly. The first square in Kentucky was painted and hung in Carter County by local volunteers with support from the Gateway Resource Conservation and Development Council. The project has spread as a grassroots movement with each community introducing its own twist, painting quilt squares not only on barns, but also on floodwalls, craft shops and restaurants. Volunteer leaders and painters include extension agents, teachers, school children, senior citizens, homemaking clubs and tourism committees. The local utility company often provides a bucket truck and workers, who hang the quilts on barns, delighted to be part of this heartwarming community project. "

"Dresden Plate"Photo by Ralph Tyree, Visual Arts at the Market ArtistClark County Quilt Trail
"54’ 40” Or Fight"Photo by Patricia Brock, Visual Arts at the Market ArtistGrayson County Clothesline of Quilts"Star Variation"Photo by Jaap van der Oort, Visual Arts at the Market ArtistBuffalo Gals Quilt Trail, Scott County
"Log Cabin Variation"Photo by David Toczko, Visual Arts at the Market Artist Breckenridge County Quilt Trail

I think that the transformation of these barns and buildings into works of art is a wonderful way to document history and honor the tradition of agriculture and quilting in the community.

I'm joining Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. Hope you'll jump over there to catch more great posts. Have a great week!


  1. I love quilt patterns on the barn sides, wow what a wonderful project to paint and it has such a vintage feelling so creative, great shots...I am a new follower of yours, love your post...come for a visit....

  2. What a great idea! I enjoyed seeing all these! Thanks for sharing!


  3. I didn't know they were doing this - love it! Better than "See Rock City!" lol

    I hope you'll drop by AtticMag to give JaneT some advice for her headboard to bench project.


  4. I think it's just great. I don't mind Rock City or Hex signs. This is special though. Thanks.

  5. I am loving all those barn quilts !

  6. Just a nice the second time around!

    My youngest, who is 22yo, is named Madison, btw. Cute puppy.

    I hope you'll drop by AtticMag and see the butterflies I found. #8 at Outdoor Wednesday.


  7. Wow! Thos are great looking barns! Hope you have a great Outdoor Wedensday and enjoy the Easter Weekend! Sherri : )

  8. I have never seen quilt patterns on the side of barns. That is awesome! Happy Easter, Joan

  9. That is so cool! Glad you reposted it because I missed it the first time.

    ~ Tracy