Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yes, Georgia, we do have quilt trails!

I have been spending a lot of time the past few months speaking to quilt guilds across Georgia. Along the way, I've had the chance to see quite a few quilt blocks that were new to me. 

 I had been to Powder Springs a while back when working on the book, but I missed this Basket on the side of one of the downtown buildings. 

This sampler is a new addition--I love the garden setting! 

Powder Springs began the first section of the Southern Quilt Trail, which has spread to several surrounding counties.

The town is also home to a terrific quilt shop--Kiwi Quilts. If you are in the area, stop by and see Tracey.


I got to Carrollton early for a speaking engagement and took a side trip down to Bowden.  This sweet Tulip quilt was a bit hard to find, as it hides behind a building.  But that was half the fun and worth the trouble.

When I got to Carrollton, I was treated to a visit to the new 

Quilt and Textile Museum.  They are off to a terrific start!

That's not exactly a quilt block; it is a wonderful metal pieced quilt, which I am still coveting. My sweetheart has just begun taking welding lessons--I am hoping he is inspired by this idea!

The following week, as we were passing through Adairsville in North Georgia, I found this block on the local antique mall. One of the vendors in the mall makes and sells barn quilts--painting quilt blocks has become quite the opportunity for entrepreneurs!

I traced my tracks back to West Georgia--this time to Ephesus.  We have few actual barn quilts in Georgia, and I was pleased to find this star on this little goat barn.

Most recently, Thanksgiving took us to a mountain cabin in Ellijay, where an in-town trail has begun, with hopes to spread to the surrounding area.  The Pineapple is the sign of welcome in this lovely town.

I have one more wonderful Georgia barn to show you, but it's a snowy scene.  Since it's 65 degrees here, I just couldn't bring myself to post it.  Since I hate cold weather, it wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit if it took until January for me to get inspired!

Be sure to visit for information and barn quilt maps--and to order calendars and autographed books for Holiday giving.  


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday

I keep hearing about Cyber Monday this weekend.  I hate shopping--even for groceries--so online shopping is a big part of my life.  And of course, I have things to sell online--SO

I am jumping in with a Cyber Monday special:

FREE SHIPPING on any order of $20 or more.  Autographed books, 2013 calendars, and some pretty cool quilt trail stitchery kits are available on my website

Aren't these wonderful?  The six counted cross-stitch squares are all taken from my photos in the book, so you can read about the meaning behind the pattern.

The red work kit includes 12 blocks, which can be put together a variety of ways.  Each is taken from a story in the book, and corresponding page numbers are provided.

Happy shopping!  I hope to do a lot of shipping on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Great Guns in Louisiana

Wow--I recall hearing from the folks in Louisiana early in 2012, stating that they had formed the Louisiana North Shore Quilt Trail Association.

We exchanged some friendly emails, and the group also contacted Donna Sue Groves to find out more about the quilt trails' origins and to seek her guidance as they embarked on their journey.

Here is one of the first photos I received. "Idaho Tribute" was chosen because the woman of the house is originally from Idaho.  The pattern is from a long-ago context for quilters to design a block to represent their state. Off to a good start!

 We were thrilled to add a new state to the map at and looked forward to watching the trail grow.

I got a message  a couple of weeks back from president Kim Zabbia, letting me know that they have a website now that we can link to.  I was so pleased.  Then WOW--I looked at what they have accomplished!

A well-organized committee, corporate support, widespread community participation and--dozens of barn quilts throughout several parishes.  This is one of the fastest success stories I have seen.  They even have a gift shop up and running.

Here are just a couple of examples.

How fabulous is this photo?  The name, "Calm at 211" refers to the state of mind that prevails at 211 North 7th street.  The custom design in includes the pastimes that keep things peaceful--the husband's tractor, the wife's pencil art, and the nautilus shell to represent trips to their favorite beach.  They sound like my kind of folks!

I love this square, which replicates a crocheted "quilt,"  One of my grandmothers made these, and I just loved them as a child!

Check it out for yourself at  

You will find maps of each trail and information on each quilt to be found along that trail--it's really nicely done. 

They also have a really great page on their process of creating barn quilts that may be of use to some of you.

Don't forget to visit for signed books and 2013 calendars.  Calendars start with December of 2012, so it's almost that time! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's not all about Barns

Wow--there has been so much going on in Barn Quilt World, and I have once again fallen behind in my reporting!

After my visit to Ohio,  local resident Kim Jasko was inspired to create a barn quilt on her shed!  She tried to get her husband involved, but to no avail.  But being a quilter, Kim was determined to complete the project--how cute is this?

Lots of folks have been sending alone photos of their projects; I do think a barn quilt is born every day!  Here is one from Emily and Steve Vinson of Murfreesboro, NC

Georgia resident Sheila Goff reported in from Pender, Nebraska, with photos of some of the barn quilts she has seen in her travels.   As I said--it's not all about barns!

More to come in the next few days, including info on a new trail starting in Kansas!

Meanwhile I am working to get ready for Festival in Houston--I hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

At the Summit

No, I didn't climb a mountain--I am in Summit County, Ohio to give a talk on barn quilts. The Hudson Museum and Historical Society and the North East Ohio Regional Quilt Council invited me to visit. So here I am, enjoying some wonderful fall weather this morning as I prepare for my talk. Yesterday, when I arrived, my hostess, Vivian Copley, took me to see the two barn quilts that we had located in the area. Vivian has spotted one that is visible from the interstate, and she tracked it down at Maple Crest farm. This is mostly a horse farm, but we also met some friendly goats and saw some very unusual chickens.
The farm boasts a quilt block designed for the town's bicentennial in 2011. The owners worked with Donna Sue Groves, my coauthor and founder of the quilt trail, to complete the project.

This barn quilt loves at a terrific location--the Crown Point Ecology Center. The inside of the barn was full of festive decorations, as the facility was hosting a fundraiser last night. It looked as if we were missing on on a great event, but with a big day today, we had to move on.

I so enjoy traveling to talk about barn quilts and my book! As soon as I get home, I will begin work on my 2013 calendar so that I can have them ready for my trip to Festival in Houston. I hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Where's Suzi?

OK, so it's not as much fun as tracking down Waldo, but we really have been traveling quite a bit, and I haven't told you much about it!

Our trip to Missouri was just incredible.  We started off at the home of Margot McMillen, who began the barn quilt project there and is hoping to gather some momentum.  Just over the doorway as we entered the house, we were able to reach up and grab a couple of grapes and pop them into our mouths.  It doesn't get much fresher than that!

We set out into the beautiful countryside to see a few of the barn quilts.  Farmer's Daughter is just gorgeous, especially with the blue roof!

The dinner that night was amazing--all locally produced food, including the beer!  Unfortunately, I was too busy meeting and greeting to get any photos, but Tammy Williams captured it all on her blog here:

On to Iowa; one thing that is great about the long flat stretches of highway is that barn quilts pop up along the roadside.  Sometimes it's hard to stop for a photo, but I liked this one a lot, so we made a U-turn and came back to get a shot.

In Independence, we had one of the most successful book signings yet!  Buchanan County is home to a terrific quilt trail and some very enthusiastic barn owners. 

We also got to meet the quilter who created the quilt after which one of my favorite barn quilts is patterned--what a pleasure!  It's one photo that is reserved for the book only; it is such a treasure and was so hard to find that I just can't bring myself to post it online.

Our stay in Green County, Wisconsin brought us to a tour that overflowed the bus! Once the second bus arrived, we were on our way.  This is barn quilt land extraordinaire!
Nancy Meyer drove over from Iowa to meet us; she later put together this really wonderful collage that captures the excitement of the day:

Italian Tile adorns the barn at the Devoe barn.  I just love the brilliant colors--another fave.
Speaking of bright colors, how about this one?  Love it!

Our hosts, Lynn and Jerry Lokken, treated us to a wonderful steak dinner, where we got to know Lynn's "partner in crime" Kris Winkler.  They sent us home with a treasure trove of Green County goodies--cheese, venison bologna, Spotted Cow beer (a fave of mine, which can only be bought in Wisconsin) and Lynn's award-winning maple syrup!  What fabulous hospitality!

On to Lodi, where I spoke at the Ag Fair.  It was hot--OH, it was hot!  But the crowd hung in there with us, and Trish Frankland made sure to point us towards the best goodies--brats and fried cheese curds.  Yumm!

Headed south at last--Georgetown, Kentucky, was one of the first quilt trails I visited and remains a favorite. After a sweet reunion with the folks who had helped me get my research started four years ago, we got back on the road.  A long day--seven hours on the road--to make our schedule!

This Log Cabin is a bit unusual, in that they recreated sixteen blocks so that we can see the pattern of light and dark. Log Cabin appears quite a bit along the quilt trail, but  I haven't seen another put together like this.

Finally, back to Georgia.  The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild in Clarkesville was such a welcoming group.  Pat Jones was one of the first to book me for a speaking appearance, and she I am already booked there for a return engagement!

Wow--2200 miles in eight days. I am not sure we will take on a trip of this magnitude next year, but you never know!   Right now I am preparing to get back to work and making plans to attend Festival in Houston in November!

Next stop will be the Hudson, Ohio, Library and Historical Society on the 19th and the Pickens County, South Carolina, Museum of Art and History on the 25th. Whew!

As always, I appreciate everyone's emails and updates, and I encourage you to check for the latest happenings in barn quilt world.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Paducah to St Louis

Today we traveled from Cadiz, KY all of the way to St. Louis. Of course, I had to find some barn quilts to visit along the way--this time in Murray, KY.
I love to see barn quilts in patriotic colors; this is by far the most common color scheme.

This one was so nicely framed by the fence and trees!

Someone wrote to me asking if I had ever seen a mule barn quilt before.  Actually, there is one in Kentucky, and a photo of it is in the book!  I had no idea that I would run across a second one--that's for sure!

On to central Missouri!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wisconsin Bound!

Day One of the summer tour! We left Atlanta early in the afternoon and quickly drove into hard rains. Not a great feeling when you have books in the back of the truck. Thank goodness for duct tape!

The rain chased us all of the way to Kentucky. We plan to visit the National Quilt Museum tomorrow on the way north, and I wanted to stop by a very special farm on the way.

If you have read the book, you know how my journey began--It was in Cadiz, Kentucky, that I saw my first barn quilt. If Belenda Holland hadn't been so friendly to a passing stranger, I would most certainly not be a published author today. Here she is with her husband, Tony.

We relaxed on the porch for a while and chatted about life on their farm. These two really live the good life--fresh eggs every morning, organic veggies, homemade sausage and bacon--of course they work hard to make all of it happen!

Each time that I have visited, I have found Belenda on the back porch. I love this chair! Added to the list of "things to do when I have time."

It is great to be back out on the road and to have news to share. I wish life on the Quilt Trail could be a full time job!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Love this project!

Abby Mitchell wrote to me of her barn quilt project at her Tennessee farm:

"My husband and I were traveling in Kentucky last year to buy some sheep and noticed all of the barn quilts along the way. I was in love! Coming from a long line of quilt makers and quilt lovers I couldn't get enough of them. We live on our family farm outside Nashville, TN. Along our 2 1/2 mile long dead end road we have a scattering of old and new barns. When we arrived home I told my niece about the experience and together we started painting. We completed a square for each of the 7 barns down the road and some out buildings giving ourselves our own quilt trail."

How cool is that? The fist family quilt trail that I know of! Abby spoke to someone in nearby Franklin who had been to one of my talks--it was suggested that she send me her photos. I am so glad that she did! As you can see, she not only has a knack for barn quilt painting but is also a skilled photographer!

Abby continued, "The family loves it and we are hooked on the idea. We want to start a trail from Franklin to our area of Fernvale which are both in Williamson county."

I have a feeling that Abby and her niece, Amanda, are going to be very busy! I hope that they are able to gather some community support and expand the Williamson County Quilt Trail!

As always, I encourage you to send me your updates and information. Visit to find out more about the quilt trail. And check out the book--either by purchasing one yourself or encouraging your local library to order a copy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bad Blogger!

Wow--it has been a busy time.  Every day or two, I think, "I ought to create a blog post."  Then about bedtime I realize that once again, blogging fell by the wayside.  Ah, well--here I am at last with lots of news to share.
Last month, while on our way to kayak on the Altamaha River in South Georgia, we passed a lone barn quilt. There is no quilt trail in the area; the family wasn't home, so I wasn't able to find out more. It may not be as grand as others I have posted, but seeing it out of the corner of my eye--so unexpectedly--was as magical as the first time!

Teresa Moris, of SW Wisconsin shared this photo of her first barn quilt, along with a bit of the symbolism that she painted into her creation.

The 4 dark orange points of the star = the 4 generations that have owned this farm. The 4 light yellow points of the star = their spouses. The interlocking frame represents working together through all the ins and outs. The four blue squares on the corners represent our current family of myself, my husband and our 2 children. Then, if you look at the blue triangle pieces at the bottom of the quilt, it looks like an "M" = our last name of Moris. However, if you look at the remaining blue triangle pieces, and turn that "M" upside down, it then looks like a "W" = representing the other 3 generations of "Wright, Wright, and Weber". So, now every time I look at this quilt, it reminds me of all those who have lived here, and how precious it is to own a family farm.

That is about as thoughtful a representation of a family through a single painting that I have heard of!

On a more personal note, I have been out and about speaking to quilt guilds across Georgia. Next month, we will head out on a week-long trip that will take us to Central Missouri, where a dinner on the grounds of this beautiful farm will be our first stop.

From there, it's on to Iowa, Wisconsin, and then Kentucky and North Georgia on the way home.

A group of dear friends hosted a book signing and celebration. Yes--another food pic, but isn't this an awesome cake?

Other big news, a second edition of the book is on its way! Not a new book, but a corrected version (Yes, I got a couple of names wrong here and there, including that of a breed of cows!) I am very excited that the first printing is just about sold out! Remember that you can get an autographed copy at You can also get a non-autographed but no less enjoyable book from any online bookstore.

Finally, the quilt trail map continues to expand, with new trails on the way in Washington State and Oklahoma. Stay tuned for news as those become the 42nd and 43rd states on the Quilt Trail!

Stay in touch; please email me at americanquilttrail@yahoo with your photos and news so that I can share.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meanwhile, a Week later . . .

I enjoyed a wonderful visit to Kankakee, IL, last weekend! Finally--a week later--I have time to talk about it!

The folks in Kankakee have always been so supportive of me throughout my research and writing. I feel as if I have family there--lifelong friends at the very least. So it was no surprise that the Friends of the Library, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Barn Quilt Committee came together to invite me to visit.

I stopped off in Chicago, then took the train to Kankakee. it was a long trip, so after a meal of fabulous Mexican food, I was ready to crash.

If you are ever in the area, you must check out Riverview guest house--Nita is an amazing hostess. Be sure to ask her for peach French Toast for breakfast! Oh, gosh, this post is getting food-oriented already!

The next morning, it was off to Blue's Cafe for lunch and butterscotch pie. Now, if you have read the book, you are laughing, because Blue's Cafe and pie were a big part of my original Kankakee experience. If you haven't read the book--HUMPH. Better head to and get a copy. Or you can search for "kankakee" in the box at the top of the page here. So-the pie:
On to the library, where many friends were ready to greet me, including some from other areas of the state! I was so honored that everyone came to see me and that so many wanted a signed book. It's one thing to see sales--either on my website or elsewhere--but truly special when I get to visit.

I was delighted that some of the people who are in the book were on hand, including the family whose corn crib graces the book's cover!

The next day, I rode along on a tour of some of the barn quilts I hadn't seen before and also made some new Kankakee friends.

I love the detail on this fan--really painstaking work:
Then back to the Kankakee County Museum, where Rhubarb Pie is now even more spectacular with blooming tulips in front!
Whew! It was a great trip.

This week was a "non barn-quilt" weekend, though I did have a pleasant surprise. Stay tuned for that.

Next weekend, I will be back out on the road in Burnsville and Mars Hill, NC for signings and talks.
As always, please email if you have comments, or updates and check to see my schedule.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

To Kentucky--and back!

We visited Washington County Kentucky, and toured a bit with Marlene Frost, who heads up the quilt trail there. I love this "artsy" shot that Glen took.

We also stopped by the Woman's Club to check out Marlene's newest paintings; it looks like the Tobacco Leaf is ready for hanging!

Then over to Marion County to see some of Nancy Miles's incredible work at the Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse. Her Log Cabin here is one of my all-time favorites!

My talk/signing at the Stillhouse restaurant was fun, and the afternoon allowed time for us to tour the Maker's Mark distillery before driving back to Tennessee.

I'm going to admit that the distillery tour was more for Glen's sake than mine. He has, after all, listened to my talk over and over, carried books and equipment from car to venue and back again every day, and been my cheerleader. Surprise--I ended up enjoying the tour a lot!! These windows with the distillery's signature bottle carved in them are pretty cool.

Headed home tonight, but there is a lot more to tell. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break!

Spring Break started today, which means time to hit the trail. Today we drove from Georgia to Franklin, Tennessee. We got a late start, so I hadn't planned any side trips--shame on me! Of course once I realized that we were changing time zones, we had a bonus hour. Time to get out the GPS and find some barn quilts.

This one is at the entrance to a winery; the young man there said that the quilt was from the 19th century and was made in the area. He thought that the original was on the premises but couldn't seem to find it. We left a bit disappointed but ready to head out into the beautiful countryside.

There are certain things I eat only when on the road. Those little pre-packaged crackers with cheese, Slurpies, and a few other favorites. Hadn't seen these in a while!

As I munched, I glanced across the highway and saw a decorated barn. Not a quilt, but the star certainly shines against the red background.

It took some doing to find this lovely spot. The barn belongs to The Ledford Mill Bed and Breakfast, a charming building in what was once an actual mill house. The barn quilt is the "Drunkard's Path." We happened to meet Mildred, the owner of the inn, as she was out with her dogs. She said that the mill is located between two of the state's largest distilleries--hence the name.

There are almost no black barns in Tennessee; they are seen more in Kentucky. But just outside of Lynchburg, this "Circle Star" appears. I wish I had been able to speak with the barn owners. I left a business card with a note on top of their mailbox--perhaps they will get it!

Tuesday morning, I will be visiting with the Cumberland Valley Quilt Association here in Franklin, and then in the evening, I will be in Athens to speak to the Heritage Quilt Guild there. We have a big week ahead; I look forward to meeting some of Tennessee's quilters and to sharing the journey with you.