The Quilt Trail project began in Adams County, Ohio, when Donna Sue Groves, a field representative for the Ohio Arts Council, decided that she wanted a quilt square painted on her barn to honor her mother, a lifelong quilter. Donna Sue shared her idea with friends in the community, who offered their help. They decided that if they were going to paint one quilt square on a barn, they might as well paint twenty and create a driving tour to attract tourists to their rural community. The project was such a success that word of it traveled quickly, and soon other communities were contacting Donna Sue asking if they could join in the project. Donna Sue offered her enthusiastic support.
The Quilt Trail project has taken deep root in Kentucky and spread quickly, fueled by the want to preserve and honor aging tobacco barns which may be seldom used since the decline of the tobacco industry in eastern Kentucky. It is also a way to honor the artistry of quilting, which is a rural tradition.
The first square in Kentucky was painted and hung in Carter County by local volunteers with support from the Gateway Resource Conservation and Development Council. The project has spread as a grassroots movement with each community introducing its own twist, painting quilt squares not only on barns, but also on floodwalls, craft shops and restaurants.
Quilt squares in Morgan County can be seen dotted throughout the landscape. This is a small but growing list of the quilt squares that can be seen on a driving tour.
Fannin’s Vegetable Stand – 2140 Hwy 460 W
The Franklin Farm – 3 miles north of West Liberty, HWY 519
Featured Barn Square – Junction of Hwy 437 & Hwy 1260
If you have a quilt square on a barn or other structure and you’d like to see it added to this list, please contact West Liberty Tourism.