Just as fabric quilts have their own history, so do barn quilts. Before paint was readily affordable, some creative farmers decorated their building with leftover paint depicting different types of folk art, often including quilt block designs. In early 2000, the barn quilt trend was reinvented, now the movement is growing exponentially.
For Christmas, I received a gift certificate from my mom for a barn quilt to hang on our fourth-generation family farm. Mom got the idea after reading that Menasha, WI High School drawing and painting students under the direction of Erin Culligan planned to design and make 20 wooden barn quilts as part of their semester assignment. She immediately signed up!
I drew out a design—obvious, why I chose a spool—and emailed it to the art teacher. The High School class began painting in January.
The two sections of the 8′ x 8′ barn quilt were delivered this spring.
Several weeks ago, relatives who own the right equipment, were given the task to assemble their first quilt. Lucky for them, this quilt is made of wood. No 1/4″ seam allowances necessary!
The final touch, my mom’s idea, was to add above the window the year the homestead was settled—1883. My great-grandparents Theodore and Alice Larson were the first settlers; followed by my grandparents Loyall and Georgina Larson; my parents Ralph and Barbara Luedtke then owned the farm; and now my husband and I are pleased to keep this homestead in the family. It is filled with history and wonderful memories.
Photos courtesy of Wendy Brockman.
Learn More About Barn Quilts
Last year I interviewed Suzi Parron, author of “Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement.” Watch the Sewing With Nancy interview online.
Post a photo of your favorite barn quilt on my Facebook page!
Bye for now,