Quilted Barn

NEW: 8/6/09 - County set for more barn quilts. (article from McLean County News) article by Arnie Waltrip

McLean County is set to get a few more barn quilt squares in the coming months. The county's Cooperative Extension Service received a $1,000 grant to extend the Clothesline of Quilts trail across the county. The Clothesline of Quilts is a series of barns with painted quilt squares on them extending across the state.

Amber Meeks, Cooperative Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Services, exlained that the county received the grant when her predecessor Amanda Hardy was still in office. When Amanda left for a job outside the county, the grant was set aside temporarily until Meeks was hired. Meeks picked up where Hardy left off, applied for and received an extension on the grant and is now preparing to begin work on the project. Meets said the first step is to create a committee and find volunteers to help create, hang and house the quilt squares. The committee will determine how the grant money is spent, Meeks said, and they will need artists, painters, carpenters and other volunteers to complete the project. Meeks said she plans to hold an informal meeting soon to develop a committee and volunteer crew.

Meeks said she has high hopes for the project. "The whole goal of it is to beautify the county and bring in tourism," Meeks said; the hope is that tourists will come to see the painted quilt squares and will purchase local products while they are in the county. "We would love to have everyone in the county that's interested at the informational meeting," Meeks added.

Meeks said there are certain requirements that must be met for a barn quilt square to be included in the Clothesline of Quilts project. "There's a few up already up in the county," Meeks said, but she doesn't know yet whether they meet the size requirement or not. "In order to be on this trail, you have to meet the correct sizes." . . .

McLean County already has three pained bard quilts on the Pinkston farm between Calhoun and Beech Grove, the Abney farm near Calhoun and the McCarty farm near Beech Grove.

For more information contact Meeks at the McLean County Extension Service at (270) 273-3690.

Since many of the "See Rock City" and "Tobacco Pouch" advertisements on barns have faded over the years, travelers on Kentucky's rural highways can look forward to viewing a more appealing sight on barns - classic quilt designs. The idea started in eastern Kentucky, throughout the Appalachian region, and has now worked it's way into western Kentucky.

The Quilt Trail can be attributed to Donna Sue Groves from Ohio who painted a quilt square on her barn in honor of her mother, a lifelong quilter. Excitement grew and spread from Ohio to Kentucky and Tennessee. This project became a vision to use old barns as canvasses typing together home and farm life and creating a "Clothesline of Quilts" driving trail. (Information was taken from an article in the CountyLine, a publication by the Kentucky Association of Counties.)

McLean County, Kentucky has at least two barns that are participating in this and some of the surrounding counties such as Todd and Christian, are also getting involved. Below are photos of two such barns.

#1. Barn is located on the Pinkston Farm in McLean County, Kentucky. The barn was built in the 1940s and it was reboxed in 2005. The quilt design was added in 2007.

The barn is located on Herman Pinkston Road between Calhoun and Beech Grove.
mechele424 [at] aol.com (Contact)

Jerry Abney Barn

#2. Jerry Abney Barn
1503 Brooks Schoolhouse Road
Calhoun, KY



- Brenda Pinkston, McLean County

"But it's only a spool of thread," said the child
The mother smiled and answered soft and mild,
"We will use this fabric and then we will begin."
"But it's only my old clothes," said the child again.
"We will cut strips, then diamonds and squares."
Then with needle and thread she began to sew there.
The child grew closer so she could look and see,
What the thread and the fabric were starting to be.
Small straight stitches her mother continued to sew,
Piece by piece, row by row, the project began to grow.
A bright colorful pattern was beginning to appear
And the magic of the stitching kept the child very near.
From the thread and the fabric a quilt was taking form.
Being made with love to give comfort, be soft and warm.
She was too young to understand the full measure
That the quilt would be passed thru generations as a treasure.
"May I please have this quilt, it is so beautiful", said the child.
"But it was only thread and old clothes," said the mother, soft and mild.