Thursday, November 8, 2012

Barn Quilts

Barn quilt in Fleming County, KY

I love to visit my parents in Kentucky and to look at all the beautiful barn quilts on barns.  I keep thinking that I will put one on our barn, but which one?  I love them all!  Then I started wandering why these beautiful pieces of art were put on barns.  After some research, I found a great answer...

According to Marilyn Carrigan, Executive Director of the Truman Museum, "The history of the barn quilt begins about 300 years ago with the arrival of immigrants from the Rhine region of Germany. They came for religious freedom. These groups included Amish, Mennonites, Lutherans and other Reform groups.  Many settled in Pennsylvania, especially in Berks, Lancaster and Lehigh counties.

Today, octagonal and hexagonal star-like patterns are seen on the Pennsylvania Dutch (Deutche) barns.  Prior to the 1830s, most barns were unpainted because of the cost of paint. As paint became more affordable, the Pennsylvania Dutch began to paint and decorate their barns."

Not only are the barn quilts popular in Pennsylvania, but in several other states as well.  I have a treasured quilt at home that my great aunt made for me when I was just a little girl.  The quilt is a symbol of family, heritage, comfort and craftsmanship.  I suppose taking that image and putting it on a barn that symbolizes tradition, labor, ethics and agriculture go hand in hand.  If nothing else, it makes for a striking display and looks much better than the tin stars. 

If you are interested in purchasing a barn quilt, check out this website:


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