The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quilt barns

Have you noticed the colorful quilt patterns painted on barns and buildings as you travel and wondered about them? They are called “Quilt Barns” or “Barn Quilts”, and they have a message for you. Each one has a history and a passionate group of people connected with it.

A Quilt Barn is a barn with a large quilt square painted or hung on the side so that the quilt pattern can be viewed as people drive past. The designs for these colorful paintings are taken from traditional quilt patterns or designed by contemporary quilt artists.

Quilt barns were first created in 2001 by Donna Sue Groves, to honor her mother, noted quilter Nina Maxine Groves. A resident of Adams County, Ohio, Donna Sue developed the idea of decorating farm buildings with quilt squares into a major visitor attraction. What began on her mother’s barn became a county-wide driving trail, and then spread like wildfire all over the country. Thirty states and two Canadian provinces now have quilt barns, with more than 3,500 known quilt squares and at least 100 dedicated driving trails.

The first quilt barns are now ten years old. Some questions facing this project are will the quilt barn trails stand the test of time? Can new trails be developed? With several the original quilt barns have been destroyed, and some are in disrepair only time will tell.