Love and Beauty on a Barn
I’ve known Adele Goodman for a number of years, having met her through the Mt Ulla Historic Preservation Society (MUHPS). During the years that MUHPS has been in existence projects like the promotion of the North Carolina Scenic Highway have been undertaken to increase and preserve the beauty of the land in Rowan County. One of the more recent projects has been encouraging local farmers to make their barns a focal point of the landscape by adding a barn quilt.
A barn quilt is a quilt square pattern painted on weatherized material large enough to be seen from a distance. The idea of barn quilts originated with Donna Sue Groves in Adams County, Ohio in 2001 as a way to preserve quilt patterns for future generations. Once people saw her barn quilt, the tradition began to catch on locally, eventually spreading to other states and across the country. One reason someone might want a barn quilt is to bring business into an area that might not otherwise have much traffic. Although people often travel to see the quilt and then stop to shop at local stores, visitors mostly enjoy the sheer beauty and nostalgia that barn quilts have to offer.
After learning about barn quilts Adele immediately wanted one. Not knowing who to contact to paint hers, she asked around at church and in the community. It took several connections until she discovered the perfect painters, Pam Bostian and her cousin-in-law, Susan Bostian.
These two ladies are meticulous in their painting technique, making sure to get all the details just right, using a professional grade sign board called MDO that will stand the test of time. After priming several coats, they tape off the design, painting one color at a time to get rich deep colors. The final step in the process includes several coats of a weather resistant poly to seal and protect the paint.
During a recent visit to the Mary L. Farm in Mt Ulla, NC, it was hard to believe the intricate details Pam and Susan had copied onto a newly painted barn quilt from a handmade quilt stitched long ago, but there it was right before our eyes. Maurice and Mary Lee Parker, seen in the photo above, were delighted with the outcome and can’t wait to proudly display it on their barn for generations to come. Mary Lee said, “People don’t quilt like they did years ago, so unless we save that history somehow, children and grandchildren won’t understand.” She added, “What better way to preserve that history than a barn quilt?”
You’re exactly right, Mary Lee. A barn quilt is a great way to incorporate the history of quilts, showcasing their unique patterns in a way everyone can enjoy.
To learn more about barn quilts, be sure to check out the Salisbury Post link here. A listing of farms in the West Rowan area that have barn quilts are included in a column in the Sunday edition of that newspaper.
If you would like to order a barn quilt, have an existing barn quilt hanging in Rowan County or want to learn how to paint your own, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org 704-664-4562.
Are barn quilts showing up in your town or community? If so, are they on an established trail? Leave a comment below, message on Facebook or email email@example.com