One of the many random things I get to do in the free time I get as a reward for being ‘under-employed’ is to write stuff about stuff I like. So, I’m writing up this little article about quilt barns for an Appalachian publication, and it’s so fun! I took some pictures of quilt barns and interviewed some quilt barn tour guide people and assembled some fun facts — For example: Innovated in 2001, there are now 3000 quilt barns in 29 states!
Next time you are on a road trip, see if there are any quilt barns on your way. They are fun. I did that last time I went to West Virginia, and saw a bunch in Athens County, OH.
This is on the “Dairy Barn Arts Center” where Quilt National is hosted in Athens, OH (it’s a big deal, 15,000 people attend!!). This block was specially designed for the Dairy Barn.
I like how Athens made a lot of their own special blocks, but this one is really not something that is easy to imagine made of fabric, it would be all applique which blah, I do love applique, but it’s just not working for me.
To me, it looks like something that was designed by a painter, not a quilter. BUT, I could be wrong.
This little barn/shed thing is over 100 years old and super cute. It’s up this little rural shortcut road on the edge of Athens and, side note, when I turned up it there were a million cops and fire trucks outside this one house on the road. SCANDAL?!?! I hope so. The block is called Appalachian Sunburst and it’s an old one.
This one was one of my favorites, on the other side of a screaming four lane and a big fence so I couldn’t get closer without trespassing. It’s a tree of life block, which I really want to make, and was chosen to symbolize the awesome forests in the area. I love the slate roof on the barn too.
This is an awesome example of a specially made block. I would love to make this in a quilt form, and it was made to celebrate the Star brick, since there were lots of brick making factories in this area, and their specialty was the star brick. Aren’t bricks exciting? This is on a pioneer village replica on the Hocking Hills College campus.
And here is the coal miners block. The Quilt Barn Trail of Athens County said this was a heritage block, but I’ve never seen anything like it (I searched google and also back in 2005 I did some studying up on West Virginia heritage blocks through more traditional means aka, talking to grannies and the library). Anyway, I think it’s a super clever block. If you can’t tell, it’s four miners helmets shining in a circle.