Barn Quilt History

Where did it all begin?

It all began with a woman named Donna Sue Groves. In 1989 Donna Sue and her mother, Maxine Groves, purchased a farm in Adams County, Ohio. The farm had a drab tobacco barn on it and Donna, having been raised in West Virginia, thought it was the ugliest barn she had ever seen. She told her mother, a fifth generation quilter, that she would paint a quilt square on it one day to give it the color it needed. As years passed Donna Sue thought more about the Barn Quilt she promised her mother and thought that why not more barn quilts and maybe a driving tour to entice tourists to the area. In 2001 a grassroots committee was formed to implement this, and during a local fair the first Barn Quilt, the ‘Ohio Star’ was unveiled, and was dedicated to Donna Sue’s mother. In 2003, the second barn quilt, ‘Snails Trail’ was mounted on the Groves Tobacco barn, realizing Donnas promise to her mother. What started out as a driving tour on a few barns to entice tourists to the county quickly caught on with neighboring communities, counties and states. Currently there are barn quilts spread over 22 states and British Columbia creating an imaginary ‘clothesline of quilts’ growing into what is now known as the National Quilt Trail.

How did it start in Morgan County?

After traveling through Iowa to Wisconsin, Nancy Lauck, a quilting enthusiast, was fascinated with the Barn Quilts that she found. She found the idea behind it to be important for farming communities. After being approached about spearheading the movement in Morgan County, Nancy loved the idea and since the barn on her farm was over 100 years old, it was the perfect place to start. In 2007 the barn showcased sixteen Barn Quilts. Since that time, the Morgan County Barn Quilt Project has blossomed to over 90 quilts in more than 60 different locations.

Why is it important?

This project is fueled by the grassroots efforts of the entire county. We have vested citizens, public and private entities all working together to accomplish the projects goals.

The projects goals are
         - To keep the agricultural heritage alive in rural Colorado
         - To create beneficial tourist attractions
         - To build the tourism economy in Morgan county
         - To provide an outlet for our local artists to showcase their talents
         - To build overall community pride in our community
         - To put the color back into the plains of ‘Colorful Colorado'