Informative Press Releases for Travel
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Quilt barn trails now in 16 states add new color to fall. Grassroots art movement now appears on 900 barns.10-08-2007
The idea to paint the favorite quilt square pattern of her mother on the family barn has lead to Donna Sue Groves becoming the unofficial leader in a grassroots art movement that now appears on over 900 barns in 16 states.
What was meant to be a simple tribute to the heritage of Nina Maxine Groves and her love of quilting has been adopted by rural communities as a way to honor the craft of quilt making and farming expressed through public art. Many barns are part of “quilt trails” that map over 20 barns per trail that sightseers can follow and enjoy.
The full story is below. Low res images are attached. I have plenty of high res images from several states.
(I am a freelance writer with over 400 articles in publication in 15 papers and magazines.)
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Quilt barns add new colors to fall foliage
Donna Sue Groves of Adams County,
In 2001, friends volunteered to help bring the idea to reality, but the conversation turned instead to creating a trail of “quilt barns.” Local farmers quickly endorsed the idea and donated space on their barns. The needed funds were raised, and soon the first of 20 different multicolored quilt patterns (there are usually 20 squares in a quilt) began appearing on
Now, over 900 quilt squares grace barns in 16 different states, and more are being painted every summer.
Today her mother’s educational game has led to
The reason for the rapid acceptance of the concept is the same wholesome philosophy Groves envisioned at one time to be just a single tribute. The squares not only honor the wife of every farmer where they appear, they also recognize the rural heritage that has been a part of the fabric of
Roy Settle, with the Appalachia Resources Conservation and Development Council in northeast
Patterns used on a barn are selected for a variety of reasons. In some counties the square represents a quilt that has historical significance to the family that owns the barn. The quilt pattern on the Dykes barn in
Other patterns, like those along the three separate 50-mile loop trails in
The barns are painted in a variety of manners. Some communities hire local artists, and others are painted by clubs or high school art classes that seize the opportunity to volunteer to help create public art. Frequently a business with a truck with a hoist donates the crew and equipment needed to place the square, which is usually painted on two 4x 8 sheets of outdoor plywood attached to a frame.
Quilt barn trail committees select farms based on a number of criteria, including the appearance of the farm. JoAnn May, a professional
Other selection criteria include ease of visibility from the road and a safe place for cars to pull off and stop. Farmers are cautioned some people may walk onto the property for photographs even though this is discouraged on barn trail maps that ask for private property to be respected.
Once a square is in place, farmers continue to be diligent about keeping their property and the highway in front of their farm well maintained. Settle says the attitude seems to be that “if the program is going to honor our family, we want our barn to look its best.”
The quilt barns are also having an economic benefit in addition to an increase in tourism that is bringing sightseers to rural communities where they would not normally venture. Most of the quilt trails wind through every small community in a county where cafes and stores are ready to welcome the influx of new visitors.
Bus tours of the barns are also becoming popular. The
Groves’ attitude may just be the biggest sprinkle of all.
If you go:
Phone numbers and Websites with quilt barn trail maps and photos include:
800 878 9767
423-753-4441 ext. 4
For information on starting a quilt barn trail and to see quilt barns in