Quilt Barns

I made a cool discovery while in Wisconsin last week.  Quilts on Barns!  I actually had heard about them before we went on our trip.  So I desperately wanted to see some to photograph.  But it wasn’t until we were on our way home that I discovered that with a slight detour off the main road, we might be able to see some in person.  And Dear Hubby was agreeable to the detour.

But first….. what’s a good barn without some cows?  We saw loads and loads of cows or maybe I should say cattle?  Dairy cattle to be exact.  It is the Dairy State after all.  Cheese.  Milk.  Cows.  They all go together.  Along with barns.  But we were looking for quilts on barns!  And for quite awhile, cows and their plain barns were all we saw.

And then we came upon this cute little town.  There were big rolling hills in the southwest corner of Wisconsin.  And this town had its share of hills too.  Isn’t the little house at the end of the street cute?  High on a hill.  They have a pretty good view of downtown Main Street, don’t they?

So we stopped for fuel and I asked about the Quilt Barns.  But nobody seemed to know what we were talking about.  However, I spotted a business as we drove through town and thought they might be able to direct us.  And I also found one lady shopping at the fuel stop who overheard me asking the employees and she jumped right in and told me where we could find two of them.  She also said there was a brochure about the Quilt Barns.  And she agreed that I should run by the business in town and ask them…..

Don’t you suppose these people will know where the barns are?  But when I got to the door, I spotted a note that read, “Closed July 26 – 31.”  Do you suppose the owner is married to an airplane lover and they were at Oshkosh?  Whatever the case, there would be no brochure for me!  And it sure would have been nice to have had a peek at the quilt shop.  Maybe next time.

There was also a great courthouse in the little town.

With a nice fountain too.

But we had barns to find!

This was the first one we saw.  I had to be quick with the camera as we sped by on the highway. 

This cute pinwheel followed soon after.

This one was next.  I nearly missed it and had to take the shot through the screen.  But it’s a cool quilt block and I’m glad we got a picture.

Then it was on to Iowa, where I was told there were more Quilts on Barns to find!

This one was actually on the side of a gas station where we stopped to refuel in Iowa. 

And this one was cool too!  I was happy we got a few pics.  So that the off road detour wouldn’t be unproductive.   Dear Hubby’s kindness might not have held out much longer.  He is the Captain of our Big Rig after all.  And we were homeward bound!  But then we heard what the temperature was in Texas and we almost turned right around and went back to Wisconsin.  Sure was nice to enjoy cooler days and even cooler nights for awhile.

If you’d like to read more about the county where I photographed barn quilts in Southwestern Wisconsin, you can visit their website, The Barn Quilts of Lafayette County.  I think their mission statement is great!  If you click on “Map and More Information,” you’ll get more details about the project in their county.  Wish I’d have had that one before we set out that day.  I found out there that this whole thing was started by a woman in Ohio who wanted to honor her mother, an avid quilter.  According to them, Quilts on Barns are in 22 states!

If you want to read more (I was obviously quite intrigued and couldn’t stop googling), OhioBarns.com is also a good site with easy navigation to pictures of many barns in eight states.  Ohio and Kentucky have pages of their own.  Great pictures!

So here’s your new mission, quilting gals.  On your next cross country trip, google “quilts on barns” before you go.  Find those barn quilts, take a picture and report back.  Do you think you can find some in England or Amsterdam, Lani?  Maybe they could do them on windmills in Holland?  Perhaps we need to spread this blanket of quilts across the world.  One barn at a time…..

Happy quilting and hunting for quilt barns,

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7 Responses to Quilt Barns

  1. Susan says:

    My dear friend in Ohio has asked me a couple of times to come to her area’s annual Quilt Barn Tour, but I haven’t been yet. I didn’t realize till I just now clicked on one of those links that these are painted on the barns–I always thought they were real! That makes a lot more sense, I have been worried for years about them out in the weather–LOL! I love that they do that…I need a barn. Once again…great pics, Barb! What a fun detour! You have been having as much fun as Lani!

  2. Judy says:

    Looks like there are more “Dear Hubby-S” around the country! Not only do they drive the big rigs across the country, but they hang quilts on their barns. Can you just hear the conversation: “You want what, where?”
    Makes me want to head out on-the-road-again!!!

  3. Ardelia Williams says:

    When my husband and I traveled last year through Tennessee and Kentucky, we saw several quilts on barns. I think they are great. I have enjoyed your blog for several weeks now. Thanks for all the lovely pictures of food and quilts.

  4. Peggy says:

    Loved the photos of the barn quilts…………..and cows too!!! We saw quilt blocks on barns in Washington County, Iowa on our trip there in July. They are big wooden blocks attached to the sides of the barns and are just beautiful. The organization there even has kits and instructions for you to make your own block. Washington County is know as the Barn Quilt Capitol of Iowa in the heart of Amish country there. Thanks for sharing. They really are wonderful to see…………..

  5. Carmen says:

    Here in Nebraska, the small town of Pender is celebrating its 125 anniversary. They have over 200 ‘barn’ quilts in town and the surrounding area. Very impressive!

  6. Lani says:

    Barb, I felt homesick seeing all the pictures of Wisconsin, the rolling hills and the Cows. It is a beautiful state! And I love your idea of spreading quilts around the world. what a great idea. Maybe they can paint pinwheel quilt blocks on the Windmills (LOL!).
    More about the (closed) quilt shop I tried to visit in Kew, England in my next blog. We definitely are having parallel stories, from different parts of the world!
    See you Thursday,

  7. carol parker says:

    Those were neat quilt barns! Wonder if they can be found in Amish country. Hope you’re not melting now that you’re back in TX. Oshkosh pix were unbelievable – some pilots sure were tempting fate!

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