Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement

Overview

 The story of the American Quilt Trail, featuring the colorful patterns of quilt squares writ large on barns throughout North America, is the story of one of the fastest-growing grassroots public arts movements in the United States and Canada. In Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement Suzi Parron travels through twenty-nine states and two Canadian provinces to visit the people and places that have put this movement on America’s tourist and folk art map.

 Through dozens of interviews with barn...

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Overview

 The story of the American Quilt Trail, featuring the colorful patterns of quilt squares writ large on barns throughout North America, is the story of one of the fastest-growing grassroots public arts movements in the United States and Canada. In Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement Suzi Parron travels through twenty-nine states and two Canadian provinces to visit the people and places that have put this movement on America’s tourist and folk art map.

 Through dozens of interviews with barn artists, committee members, and barn owners Parron documents a journey that began in 2001 with the founder of the movement, Donna Sue Groves. Groves’s desire to honor her mother with a quilt square painted on their barn became a group effort that eventually grew into a county-wide project. Today, registered quilt squares form a long imaginary clothesline, appearing on more than three thousand barns scattered along one hundred driving trails.

 With more than fifty full-color photographs, Parron documents a movement that combines rural economic development with an American folk art phenomenon.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Parron and Groves have documented these trails with full-color photographs that show how imaginative many artists have become, incorporating butterflies, horses, flags, and other natural and man-made designs within the more abstract geometries of traditional barn quilts. The text profiles many of the artists whose work dazzlingly enlivens America’s farm country.”   —Booklist

“Bravo to Suzi Parron and Donna Sue Groves for bringing to light the colorful and rich history of the barn quilt movement. It’s a tale of heart, hope, and deep rural roots. . . roots that started in Adams County but spread quickly across the land. Parron’s deep research and Donna Sue’s love of the subject provide a unique chapter in America’s art history. Happily, a country road is no longer the same.”
—Doug Weaver,  publisher, Kansas City Star Books

“Barn quilts are a perfect fit with our area; they are an excellent companion to the other ag-tourism opportunities in Green County. This has been a great project because it ties the entire county together with an artistic rural theme, promotes county-wide pride, and gets our visitors to all the communities for a true adventure in exploring the roads less traveled along the way.”
—Noreen Rueckert, Green County, WI Tourism

“The barn quilt project is one of the most successful and satisfying projects we’ve ever been involved with and we’re excited that this book documents the spread of this creative idea across our nation and beyond.”
—Harold and Sue Peyton, Sac County, Iowa

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804011389
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2012
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 268,189
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzi Parron is a quilter, backwoods traveler, and avid collector of folk art. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Florida, with a concentration in the literature of the American South. She teaches English at Lakeside High School in Atlanta. 

Donna Sue Groves launched the Ohio Quilt Barn Project in 2001. She was formerly the Southern Ohio field coordinator for Ohio’s Appalachian Arts Initiative and the Southern Ohio field representative for the Ohio Arts Council. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2010 Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts in Community Development and Partnerships.

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Table of Contents

Preface v

The Trail Begins 1

The Adams County Quilt Sampler 9

New Pegs Along the Line 23

Barbara Webster Day 33

Buffalo Gals 41

Tennessee 49

Kentucky 71

North Carolina 91

Ohio 109

Iowa 131

Illinois 161

Wisconsin 171

Michigan 179

Loving Tributes 189

The Quilt Trail Comes Full Circle 197

Blanketing the Country with Quilts 201

The American Quilt Trail 223

Index 227

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