“Barn quilts are America, Mom, and apple pie. If a long, long driving trip is not in your near future to view all these wonderful, creative, sometimes-eccentric works of art, pick up this book. It’s current events and living history, educational, fun, and—most of all—inspiring.”
“Parron’s striking photographs and narrative of her journey on the Quilt Trail bring out the personal and community meaning behind quilts…. The book does justice to its subject, through the charm of its photographs and the many interesting stories behind this public art movement.”
Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine
“Parron's book covers the decade-long history of barn quilt trails and how the fever spread from Adams County, Ohio into 27 states. Since publication, Parron has followed its progress and states that feature the quilt trail has now reached 45 states. As the book unfolds, Parron relates human stories and anecdotes that help readers realize that the barn quilts are so much more than pieces of wood, paint and pretty patterns.”
Acreage Life Magazine
“(W)hat we have here is a larger, older, and all-encompassing American story about how we make claims to places, how we maintain community, and how we uphold shared values…. To tell this story, as Parron and Groves have so thoughtfully done, is to illuminate the extraordinary beauty that often comes from…community and nation-building tasks.”
Northwest Ohio History
The story of the American Quilt Trail, featuring the colorful patterns of quilt squares painted large on barns throughout North America, is the story of one of the fastest-growing grassroots public arts movements in the United States and Canada. In Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement Suzi Parron takes us to twenty-five states as well as Canada to visit the people and places that have put this movement on America’s tourist and folk art map.
Through dozens of interviews with barn quilt artists, committee members, and barn owners, Parron documents a journey that began in 2001 with the founder of the movement, Donna Sue Groves. Groves’s desire to honor her mother with a quilt square painted on their barn became a group effort that eventually grew into a county-wide project. Today, quilt squares form a long imaginary clothesline, appearing on more than three thousand barns scattered along one hundred and twenty driving trails.
With more than eighty full-color photographs, Parron documents here a movement that combines rural economic development with an American folk art phenomenon.
Suzi Parron is a quilter, a folk art collector, and an avid kayaker. A native of Florida, Suzi has no stationary home, traveling by RV with her husband, Glen, as she speaks to quilters and civic groups across the country. More info →
Donna Sue Groves launched the Ohio Quilt Barn Project in 2001. She was formerly the Southern Ohio field coordinator for Ohio’s Appalachian Arts Initiative and the Southern Ohio field representative for the Ohio Arts Council. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2010 Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts in Community Development and Partnerships. More info →
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Chenoweth’s research to discover the story behind a Quaker signature quilt made in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1853 revealed not only the identity of the quilt recipient and details of her life and community, but also a striking feature of the quilt itself—a “hidden” design element created by the deliberate placement of names on the quilt’s surface.
From 1888 to 1918, a community of Miami Valley neighbors and relatives made album presentation quilts to celebrate life passages. Their sharing of designs and construction techniques led to the development of a distinctive regional quilt style that has never been duplicated in any other region of the state or country. Album Quilts of Ohio’s Miami Valley presents more than two dozen never-before-published color photographs of these folk art album quilts.
Tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, preserved for generations, handmade bed quilts are windows into the past. In 1983, three West Virginia county extension agents discussed the need to locate and document their state's historic quilts. Mary Nell Godbey, Margaret Meador, and Mary Lou Schmidt joined with other concerned women to found the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search.
The follow-up to 2012’s Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement brings readers along with Suzi Parron, her new husband, Glen, their dog Gracie, and their converted van Ruby as they leave the stationary life behind. With no permanent home, Suzi and Glen follow the barn quilt trail full time as Suzi collects the stories behind these painted quilt squares that, since the movement began in Ohio in 2001, have appeared on barns in forty-eight states and in two provinces.