April 20, 2018

The History of Barn Quilts

Barn quilts honor quilters-women in our heritage who supplied the warm bed quilts and also left a legacy of artistry on every bed. Pioneer women fellowshipped and entertained each other as they used every scrap of fabric to make another warm quilt. As the years went by, painting one favorite quilt block on an 8′ x 8 ‘ wood base and hanging it on a barn became a way of honoring a favorite family quilter as well as admiring the barn and American agriculture today.

The quilt block on the Barn at Mader Farm is called the Ohio Star. This pattern was chosen to honor a great great grandfather who traveled with his family of 11 to the Oregon Territory in the 1800’s from the Ohio region. He was a missionary Doctor who was well known for his oratory and medical skills.

Barn Quilt trails are popular tourist attractions. One of the closest is in Tillamook, OR where you will find 80 blue barn quilts as you follow marked trails by car. Another more recent trail is in Kittitas County near Cle Elum, WA. Several also can be seen near Grangeville, ID. Many travel to the Midwest of South East US just to tour these interesting farms and enjoy these barn quilts.

Picture by Caitlin Houser Photography

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