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!

Friday, May 6, 2011


Yes, I willl admit it--seeing this in print made me very happy! This is the flyer/press release for my book, which will be the featured book in the upcoming Ohio University catalog soon and available for preorder shortly! OK, so the book won't be in hand until February, but still--it's getting close!

You will have to click on the image, and then enlarge (ctrl +) a couple of times to read the text--please do.

And isn't Iowa photographer Ruth Ratliff's photo of the barn with the wildflowers stunning? Ruth is an amazing woman who loves photographing barn quilts and has lent her artwork to both the book and my calendar. So pleased that her work will be published here!

I feel like a kid at Christmas--wonder what it will be like when the actual book arrives??