Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ring in the New Year!

We have a couple of days left, but since I am off for a bit of vacation in the woods, I wanted to go ahead and send new year's wishes out to everyone.

As I ring in the new year . . .

I look forward to heading back out to the quilt trail; visiting friends old and new; and signing and celebrating the book! I have lots of great events scheduled already--Tennessee, Illinois, and North Carolina in the spring and Wisconsin in the summer--with many visits to Georgia quilt guilds throughout the year! What fun--and the planning has just begun!

I hope to meet in person more of the folks I have "met" online these past couple of years. Drop me a line if you'd like to host a signing, and I'll see if we can make it happen.

Meanwhile, I hope good things are on the way in 2012 for all of you and those whom you hold dear.

Happy 2012--Let the bells ring!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas-y Beauty!

I shared this one last year, but I can't help it. This is just an incredible barn quilt--which happens to be at a Christmas tree farm. Add to that the fact that the owner is a gentleman with a lovely white beard, and you've got yourself quite a stop along the quilt trail.

If you're ever in the vincinity, this is just one of the wonderful quilts along the trail in Vinton County, Ohio. Well worth a visit!

Has anyone else seen a Christmas-y quilt? If so, I'd love to see--and share--it. Email to

I hope everyone is getting into the holiday spirit; I am ready for my first day of vacation! Happy times to all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Contest Winners!

Congratulations to Quiltaholic and Kess, who are the winners of my calendar giveaway! It was so wonderful hearing from those of you all over the country--and the world. Some had heard of barn quilts but had no idea where the closest one might be; others had never heard of barn quilts at all!

The quilt trails most mentioned were Tillamook, Oregon (which I wouldn't have expected) and Lake County, California. California is closest to the overseas folks--maybe worth a side trip when you come to the U.S.

Thanks again to all who stopped by; Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Quilting Fun!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways How about some holiday quilting fun--barn quilt style? I am participating in a "blog hop," which probably rings a holiday bell for you quilters. If you click on the logo below, you will find a site with dozens of quilting blogs, each of which is featuring a quilt-related giveaway!

As for me--I am giving away FOUR of my incredibly beautiful barn quilt calendars, to four of you who respond. Here are a couple of pages. You can see the fabulous cover and the rest of the images in the box on the right side of the page:

How do you win? Add a comment below telling us which quilt trail is nearest to your home. If you have seen a quilt trail--that's easy enough! Note that you must respond with a URL or email address to win!

If you haven't, visit and check out the map. Once you have found a quilt trail close to you, post a comment telling us where you live and where the quilt trail is. Don't worry, I'm not going to check Google Maps to see whether you are correct!

The giveaway will last until Saturday, the 17th, when I will randomly select a winner from those who responded.

Have fun, check out the barn quilts, and then click on the link to visit all of the other bloggers who are participating in the holiday fun.

Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Holiday Stars are Twinkling!

Well, the first round of holiday stars was a lot of fun! Let's see how you all do with this batch. As with last time, all of these wonderful stars are located within the same state--can you guess where?

Those who guess correctly by Thursday noon will be placed into a drawing, with a fabulous (if I may say so) barn quilt calendar going to the winner:

Send me your answer via email to or respond in the comments below.

I think maybe this batch will be more difficult, but let's see. Good luck!

Don't forget barn quilt holiday goodies. I have gift cards that you can present, redeemable for an autographed first edition of the book. And of course, a barn quilt calendar is perfect for the quilter who has everything!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Stars--and a contest!

Here we are with the holidays upon us, and I have run out of themes for barn quilts. Red and green--did that one. Trees--yep. Snow--those were beauties! But what about this year? After a bit of pondering and looking through photos of barn quilts, it struck me that--hmm--so many quilt patterns are stars of some kind. That has a bit of a holiday connection, doesn't it? SO here we are--HOLIDAY STARS!

Since it is the season for giving, one reader who correctly identifies the state in which all of these barn quilts reside will receive a 2012 calendar. Email your answer to or comment below. At noon on Sunday, I will draw a name from the correct answers and send a calendar to the winner. Here you go!

If you think you know where these shining stars can be seen--let me know--only one answer per person--and a beautiful calendar might be yours.

In addition to calendars, remember that I have gift certificates for autographed books available for Christmas giving--perfect for any quilter! Click on the book cover for more information.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fall Leaves

I spent yesterday and part of today in Auburn, Alabama, where my sweet love's parents reside. A trip out into the countryside to buy some fresh sausage--yeah, I'm still a country gal--led us past quite a number of barns--but SIGH no quilts.

There are still a few leaves clinging to the trees, and I was reminded of one of my
favorite barn quilt patterns. Maple Leaf appears quite often on barns and is as welcome as the coming of the holidays.

Mason County, West Virginia--I visted Mollie Yauger's farm in 2008, when I first began digging into barn quilts. This photo is more recent--and it appears in the book.

My jaunt across Kentucky led to some out of the way spots, including Rockcastle County. I do love the black barn as a frame!

I am pretty sure that I posted a photo of this barn during my visit to Kankakee, but the Maple Leaf at the Curry farm is just an outstanding example. I am so excited that I will be returning to Kankakee soon for a visit!

The mountains of North Carolina can be difficult to navigate; this little treasure was part of a long day of quilt hunting.

Each time I dig through my photos looking for a particular color or theme, I am reminded of all of the wonderful people who visited with me, took me on tours, provided food and lodging. If you are ever in doubt about the inherent goodness of the human spirit--head out into the country.

This week, we intend to do just that. I hope that your Thanksgiving is as filled with joy as our mountain cabin getaway is sure to be.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Just Down the Road

Recently, I was asked to speak at the Quilters Quild of the Southern Crescent, just south of Atlanta in Peachtree City. Yes, we really do name everything "Peachtree" around here!

I so enjoyed the enthusiasm of the quilters; we had a wonderful time together! I am looking forward to some upcoming visits with other groups--nothing better than talking barn quilts!

Laura Bosna, who arranged for my visit with her guild, mentioned that there were a couple of barn quilts nearby. What! New barn quilts in Georgia? Be still my heart!

So after my talk, we set off into Fayette County. We rounded a corner, and YES! There was a Georgia barn quilt!

There were also a couple of other small quilts on the side of the building.

It was a terrific day--sharing the story of the quilt trail with some wonderful quilters and discovering a couple of new quilt squares!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

54-40 or Fight

It's catchup time! I have received so many wonderful photos and updates over the past couple of months and simply haven't had much time to share.

I have been giving my friend Lynn Lokken of Green County, Wisconsin, a hard time for a couple of years. Between working fulltime and heading up an organization that has created over 110 barn quilts, she seldom has time to take a photo and send it along. But recently, she sent me this photo of a fall-colored 54-40 or Fight barn quilt.

I was reminded that I had seen this pattern elsewhere--but I had to dig through my memory and photo files to find a few. The barn quilts of Miami County, Ohio, are lovely--painted directly on the barn by artist Rafael Santoyo. Here is his rendition.

The weather wasn't cooperating, but my trip to Fayette County, Iowa, was memorable because the barn quilt trail was so well put together. Here is their version of this favorite pattern.

Back to one of my earliest barn quilting trips, in the spring of 2009. Phyllis Nash of Grayson County, Kentucky, is part of the barn quilt committee there and the proud owner of this beautiful blue quilt block.

54-40 or Fight is quite popular along the quilt trail. Now that fall is here, I am ready to go out and look for a few more. I am also--after a three-year hiatus--going to finally have time to quilt!

Life is good.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More excitement!

Yep--that's me with the first review copies of my book! Can't help it--I had to hug them. After more than three years of living together, we finally meet. I think it's love . . .

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Orange you Excited??

Oops--there goes the English teacher with her silly puns!

Jan Struble of Loomis, California sent along this photo of the barn quilt called Citrus Beauty. Jan says, "We chose this pattern because it represents our mandarin orange orchard and the natural beauty of it from the bloom, the mandarin orange forming, the different colors found in the leaves, up until the harvest of the fruit."

Jan plans to add another quilt to the other side of the barn. It is almost harvest time, so those who come to the farm will be greeted with a beautiful painted quilt. According to Jan, her husband, the farmer, will have a hand in choosing the next pattern--always a good sign!

I hope that Jan is successful in generating interest in this wonderful project that has helped bring together so many communities.

Stay tuned--Jan's infectious enthusiasm is sure to catch on, and soon, California's second barn quilt trail will blossom!

If you haven't checked, please do stop by. It's a great resource for barn quilt info. Also, gift certificates for autographed books are on sale. It just makes my day when I see that someone wants to "pre-give" a copy of the book!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Quilt Trail comes to Kansas

The first quilt trail in Kansas--in Franklin County--was begun this summer. You can see their first few blocks on their website:

More recently, this McIntosh Star block with an apple in the center was installed at an orchard called "Pome on the Range." Gosh, I love a good pun!! Barn quilt puns--even better!
This beautiful Feathered Star in Richmond is the 10th block on this trail.

The North Star block hangs on a barn that was built in Nebraska in the late 1800s. The current owners bought it, dismantled it, and rebuilt it in Kansas! Recycling at its best!

Teh Feathered Star appears on a barn in Richmond, Kansas. I love the white barn as the background!

Be sure to check out for the latest map of the quilt trail!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Shooting for the Stars

I just love this barnyard in Horse Cave, Kentucky, with its Shooting Star barn quilt! Such a great scene; I wanted to much to include it in the book but couldn't make it fit.

The barn is located at Dennison's Roadside Market--another great stop along the quilt trail.

I guess the pattern is appropriate right now as I wait for the book to be released and hope that it will be a star!

Thanks to those of you who have preordered a copy; ordering information--along with much more about barn quilts and the quilt trail--can be found at

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Barn Quilts Featured in Country Magazine!

The currect issue of Country Magazine has a great feature about traveling the quilt trail. I was asked to congtribute some photos, and the editor was gracious enough to include some information about the book.

If the magazine isn't available in a store near you, you can order a copy:,default,pd.html&cgid=MGZ_COU

My website has been updated and upgraded (and moved to a new address):

Of course, every time I think it's complete, I find out about a new quilt trail! I was so excited this week to hear from the folks in Franklin County, Kansas, about their success. Time to add a new state to the map! Meanwhile, you can check it out:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Whirlwind of Activity!

The book is ready for preorder; I have the proofs with the photos included, and WOW--I am excited! I will post info as to how to order an autographed copy within the next week or so.

I had such a great trip last week to Ashe County, North Carolina. The ladies of the Piecemakers Quilt Guild, in conjunction with the On the Same Page Literary Festival, invited me to speak. I love the mountains of North Carolina and was thrilled at the chance to pay a visit--and to talk barn quilts!

Along the way, we took a quick side trip through McDowell County, whose quilt trail was begun just as my research drew to a close. It was the first time in about a year that I traveled a new trail! This crazy quilt is one of my favorites.

I love the look of a barn with rolls of hay--and such a barn with a quilt on it is even better!
I just had to take some time out before my talk to walk through the quilt show. Of course it's hard to find a favorite, but I suppose because I had a sweet fella by my side, this one drew my attention:

Meanwhile, my dream of creating a website with links to every quilt trail has finally come true--Check out where you will see the clickable map, links to quilt trail news, book ordering info, and much more.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lots Happening 'Round Here!

Can't help it--I LOVE a round barn! This barn in Green County, Wisconsin was the first such barn that I saw, and now--it's wearing a barn quilt!! Lynn Lokken, my pal who is one of the organizers in Green County, sent along these great summer photos. This barn is located at the local apple orchard. The center of the quilt is taken from a Hex Sign that has hung on the barn for years and has become something of a logo for the business. The custom-designed barn quilt is called Apple a Day!

According to Lynn, the Zettles were debating tearing this barn down. Instead, they fixed it up so that it could be home to this Sunflower barn quilt. I love it when a barn quilt saves a barn!

The Bauman's barn quilt is Belted Star. Isn't this a glorious setting??

This last barn is one of the stars of the upcoming calendar. The Bartlett family provided the barn quilt committee with a photo of an unnamed family quilt. Kris Winkler, the other force behind this incredible quilt trail, reproduced the quilt in all of its 14-color glory! Summer Sunday is so named because it reminds one of the farmer's daughters of her favorite days of the year.

There ia a lot more going 'round in barn quilt world. I am traveling to Ashe County, North Carolina next week to speak at a literary festival and hope to stop to see some old friends on the way. Meanwhile, the book is in the final design stages and is still on track for February. It's getting closer . . .

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Isn't she lovely?

So thrilled with the cover for the book! The cover photo is the Larson farm in Kankakee, Illinois, one of my favorite quilt trails. Yes, I am allowed to have favorites. Plural :-)

I chose this one partly because it's just a lovely photo. But of course, there were other lovely photos. I didn't want just anyone's barn quilt on the front of my book, though. As I sifted through the finalists, I recalled my visit with the Larsons and the immense pride that they have in their property. I wanted to display that kind of pride on the cover of this book, to remind me of all of the amazing people that are part of the quilt trail.

And of course, the quilt pattern is Corn and Beans--one of the most common along the quilt trail, and one that represents well the farming communties across America.

I am so thrilled that the folks at Ohio University Press liked my choice!

It's getting closer!

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Hampshire Joins the Quilt Trail!

Sorry to be away for so long. There is a lot to catch up on, and I'm afraid that my summer vacation has gotten in the way of my blogging!

But yesterday, I heard from Kathy Thebault,from northern New Hampshire, and I got excited about the quilt trail again! The town of Errol has 342 residents (Kathy says there may be more moose than people). As of now, they also have five barn quilts, with plans to expand the Coos County Barn Quilt Trail next year!

The trail got started when resident Sharon Miller worked with a local high school to design and produce her blocks.

As a follow-up, the local Errol Heritage Commission, headed by Deb Freedman, Errol Consolidated School, and Shady Ladies Quilt group came together for a collaborative project of creating barn quilts. The group designed and completed 3 blocks together, over a period of six weeks.

I thought, "Gosh, it took six weeks?" until I read further and found that Errol Consolidated School is made up of 15 students (elementary and middle). For the seven middle school children, this became both a community project and an educational opportunity by learning math problems to grown small paper size blocks, to large 4x4' blocks.

The yellow and red geometrical-designed quilt at the top of the page is called Sunny Bolt. The block was created after an original quilt designed by one of the middle school children made in 2005. The original quilt was a project between the school children and the local quilt group.

The mountain block is on a home in Errol. The owner decided on that design as her house faces Mt. Washington and has a perfect view of sunrise. The block is her reflection of the view. It's the mountain, moon and rising sun.

The last block with the patriotic bunting is the Piece Star and is also located on a home in the center of Errol. The home is that of the Chairperson of the Heritage Commission. She has been instrumental in starting a heritage commission for the town and building momentum for various heritage activities.

I am so pleased to add state number 30 to the roster of locations where the quilt trail has spread! If you have updates and/or photos to share, please email me

The book, Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement, is available for preorder on It won't be available for a few months yet, but if you are an early bird and want to get in on a great discount. . . I will also have autographed copies available for order here once the book is in hand. I can't wait!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Everything's Falling into Place!

So why in the world am I posting a fall photo in May? Well, this is the photo chosen to represent the book in the Ohio University Pres fall catalog! Isn't it beautiful? I can say that, since it was taken by Stephanie Rouse of Monroe County, Ohio. OK I would say that about one of my photos, but I am pleased for Stephanie.

I should also point out that this quilt block is painted directly on the barn surface--only a couple of trails have used this very difficult method which requires a professional's skill. The artist here is Scott Hagan.

I am also glad to be able to show off one of the photos that will be published. I have been posting a lot of great shots here, but of course the best are in reserve for the book. So here is an example of what is in store.

Speaking of stores, the book, Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement is now available for preorder on! It's a bit early to order a book that won't be in your hands for several months, but they are offering a great preorder discount, and I don't know how long that will last.

This is a really exciting time for me! I am thrilled to be able to share the stories of all of the wonderful people I have met, and most importantly the story of Donna Sue Groves, who originated the quilt trail, and her amazing mother, Maxine, who inspired the project.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Georgia Pride

I have bemoaned in the past our lack of barns in Georgia and thus the lack of enthusiasm for quilt trails. Finally, Judy Hulsey of Lavonia, right near the South Carolina border and the nearby state's Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, gathered the troops, and began the Franklin County Quilt Trail. Lavonia's Chamber of Commerce adopted the idea, and the project was on!
They have put together a really lovely barn-less quilt trail, which is already expanding to other counties in the area.

Painting in progress:

On April 13, the first four squares were installed. Lavonia is a friendly town, so it was fitting that they began their project with Friendship, mounted on posts in front of the local welcome center. I love the bright colors!

Later, Rainbow Square was hung on an historic building downtown. Quilts on buildings are becoming more and more popular, both for areas where no barns exist and also in areas with barn quilts that want to encourage visitors to their downtown areas.

Next came the Flower of Friendship (are you sensing a theme here?) sponsored by the Lavonia Garden Club and mounted on a garden center owned by a member.

The fourth quilt square really embodies the spirit of community: The Seminole Patchwork pattern at the historic Whitworth School, sponsored by the Whitworth Woman's Club. This building dates back to 1770 and the quilt is patterned after a cloth quilt made many years ago and raffled to help pay to keep the building intact. The women of the club--including an 89-year-old lady who has been a member for 60 years---proudly attended the unveiling.

The crew went back to work and has since added a few more. Here is a great, colorful rendition of God's Eye. I have never seen this one as a cloth quilt but it stands out so nicely that it appears on the quilt trail quite often

Seven Sisters
I love this sampler at the Lavonia Cultural Center; such great detail! I heard a whisper that perhaps a couple of the men on the committee made a couple of late-night trips to do some touchups. I'll bet they had a hand in this one!

Top left is “Soldier Boy” which represents the National Guard Unit that occupied the buildng from 1962 until 2000. Top right is “State of Georgia” representing the late Governor Ernest Vandiver for whom the armory was named. Bottom Left, is “Circle of Life” representing life stories as told through the annual series of folk life plays called Land of Spirit; and, fourth is the pattern “The Last Hard Times” which was the first Land of Spirit production in 2008.

I have been invited to attend this year's Land of Spirit play, which was chosen to honor the opening of the Franklin County Quilt Trail. The Secret Quilt sounds like something worth traveling for--lots of real, true life stories related to quilting.

So, that's the news from Georgia! As always if you have updates and/or photos to share, let me know. And if you are heading out to the quilt trail, drop me a line and I'll help you navigate.

Happy summer!