Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement — 2012

A Swallow Press Book

By Suzi Parron and Donna Sue Groves

“Barn quilts are America, Mom, and apple pie. If a long, long driving trip to 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.”

Seminole Sampler

“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

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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, backwoods traveler, an avid kayaker and a folk art collector. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Florida, with a concentration in the literature of the American South. She teaches English at Lakeside High School in Atlanta.

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.

  • Silver Medalist in ForeWord’s Book of the Year Awards competition, Crafts & Hobbies category
Cover of 'Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement'

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