What the heck is a Barn Quilt?????

A barn quilt is not what you think. It’s not made of fabric but is a design painted onto wood panels or directly on a building to look like a single quilt block. These designs can be installed to the exterior of barns, houses, garages, sheds, chicken coops, greenhouses or any other building. They usually measure 8’x8’ or larger and are made of simple geometric shapes. Often, they are painted in bright, solid colors so the design can be seen easily from a distance. The block may represent a location such as a family wheat farm or replicate a block that is in a favourite quilt made by a mother or grandmother.  The colours chosen may also be an important component of the design.

I appreciate Bonnie Buhler sharing these photos taken last summer in British Columbia around Armstrong. Her host planned an evening tour on wagon to view these barns. All the barns shown are part of the Spallumcheen Quilt Trail that began in 2016. 



 There are trails throughout the US and eastern Canada where tourists drive the countryside to see the colourful barn quilts. In fact, there is a book written by Suzi Parron, Barn Quilts and the American Barn Quilt Trail, which documents the origin and spread of this art form to almost every state in the US.  I have simply taken this fantastic idea and made the quilt to fit backyards and the climate of Canada. There are many kits available for interested people to make their own barn quilt and there are other producers in the US who make backyard quilts out of different material. 



Share this post

Leave a comment