Spend extra time enjoying Hamilton County as you tour the barn quilts! For more information about each barn quilt just click on the names below or on the interactive Google map below. Be sure to read the history of barn quilts located below the map.
The idea of barn quilts began in Adams County, Ohio in 2001. It was conceived as a way to capture traffic off a busy four-lane highway as it snakes through the economically depressed area of southern Ohio. Organizers used old and weathered tobacco barns as the canvas for the painted quilts. The Ohio Arts Council encouraged local artists to paint traditional quilt squares on the barns, similar to the way barns were once painted with logos, such as the familiar Mail Pouch Tobacco advertisements. However, this project paid tribute to the large number of crafters in their area.
The clothesline Quilts of Appalachia covers a multi-state region. Today, barn quilts can be found in Iowa, Ohio,Tennessee, North Carolina and West Virginia. Within Iowa the following counties have put together barn quilt projects: Grundy, Greene, Sac and Pocahontas. GrundyCounty was the first Iowa county to pursue such a project. Grundy’s project began in 2003 as a way to attract visitors off of Highway 20.
The Barn Quilts of Hamilton County Project began in 2005 after SEED Director Catherine Bergman and quilt shop owner Sara Harless spent several hours together attending a trade show. Seeing the impact the project has had on other areas of Iowa and the county, the two women knew that Hamilton County could benefit from the idea. From there, the phone calls began to find property owners willing to paint quilts on their barns, and the rest is history (in-the-making).
In Hamilton County the project is being coordinated by Hamilton County SEED, Hamilton County ISU Extension, and Prairie Rose Quilts & Gifts.
Fun Facts Typical size (in feet) of a barn quilt: 8x8 Iowa counties with barn quilt programs: 13 Barn quilts in Sac County (the most of any county): 55 Barn quilts in the state: 290+