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Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement Paperback – February, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When German immigrants arrived in America, they brought with them a passion for brightly colored geometric patterns that they stitched into quilts that kept them toasty on frigid winter nights. They also decorated their otherwise plain barns with hex signs serving as talismans or as purely exuberant decoration. A decade ago, an enterprising Ohioan combined these traditions and mounted outsize quilt patterns in bright colors on old barns. Others quickly followed suit, and now many Midwestern and Eastern states have “quilt trails” that tourists pursue in outdoor “museums” of folk art. Parron and Groves have documented these trails with full-color photographs that show how imaginative many artists have become, incorporating butterflies, horses, flags, and other natural and man-made designs within the more abstract geometries of traditional barn quilts. The text profiles many of the artists whose work dazzlingly enlivens America’s farm country. --Mark Knoblauch

Review

"The book printed on high quality paper with dozens of captioned photographs is everything that a lover of traditional folk culture could desire. Author Suzi Parron and barn quilt pioneer Donna Sue Groves take the reader to the origins of the Quilt Trails in Appalachia and then to other states, particularly those of the Heartland. The reader meets the dozens of local heroines (and heroes) who organized the Trails in their communities." --National Barn Alliance

“Parron and Groves have documented these trails with full-color photographs that show how imaginative many artists have become, incorporating butterflies, horses, flags, and other natural and man-made designs within the more abstract geometries of traditional barn quilts. The text profiles many of the artists whose work dazzlingly enlivens America’s farm country.”  
— Booklist




“Bravo to Suzi Parron and Donna Sue Groves for bringing to light the colorful and rich history of the barn quilt movement. It’s a tale of heart, hope, and deep rural roots. . . roots that started in Adams County but spread quickly across the land. Parron’s deep research and Donna Sue’s love of the subject provide a unique chapter in America’s art history. Happily, a country road is no longer the same.”
— Doug Weaver,  publisher, Kansas City Star Books




“Barn quilts are a perfect fit with our area; they are an excellent companion to the other ag-tourism opportunities in Green County. This has been a great project because it ties the entire county together with an artistic rural theme, promotes county-wide pride, and gets our visitors to all the communities for a true adventure in exploring the roads less traveled along the way.”
— Noreen Rueckert, Green County, WI Tourism




“The barn quilt project is one of the most successful and satisfying projects we’ve ever been involved with and we’re excited that this book documents the spread of this creative idea across our nation and beyond.”
— Harold and Sue Peyton, Sac County, Iowa




“A great book to use as a reference to plan a trip or to simply learn more about the (barn quilt) movement and take in the beauty of some of the creations that grace county roads and highways throughout North America.”
The Budget


“Parron and Groves have documented these trails with full-color photographs that show how imaginative many artists have become, incorporating butterflies, horses, flags, and other natural and man-made designs within the more abstract geometries of traditional barn quilts. The text profiles many of the artists whose work dazzlingly enlivens America’s farm country.”
Booklist


“(Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement) is everything that a lover of traditional folk culture could desire. … The reader meets dozens of local heroines (and heroes) who organized the Trails in their communities.”
The Barn Journal


“(W)hat we have here is a larger, older, and all-encompassing American story about how we make claims to places, how we maintain community, and how we uphold shared values…. To tell this story, as Parron and Groves have so thoughtfully done, is to illuminate the extraordinary beauty that often comes from…community and nation-building tasks.”
Northwest Ohio History
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Swallow Press; 1 edition (February 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780804011389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804011389
  • ASIN: 0804011389
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Smith on February 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Before I received one of Suzi's Barn Quilt calendars as a gift I had never even heard of barn quilts, let alone a barn quilt trail. I quickly became fascinated with the topic and was eagerly awaiting the publication of the book. I was thrilled when my signed copy arrived a couple of weeks ago, and have not been disappointed. The book is filled with beautiful color pictures, as I expected it would be. What was unexpected, however, was the warmth with which Suzi describes her encounters with the people involved, from the painters to the barn owners to the school children, in short, everyone she met in this wonderful project.

Keep up the good work, Suzi! When can we expect Volume II?
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Format: Paperback
I have been waiting for a book like this for some time. I have been painting barn quilts for about 2 years and have been searching for a reference source devoted to the history of barn quilts and the personal stories of the barn quilt owners. This book does that! Suzi Parron, as a writer, has been able to mentally allow me to ride with her to each location in the course of her research. I have truly enjoyed the ride and have been energized to continue to create lasting memories for my patrons.
Dave Snow, barnquiltsbydave.com
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This book tells the story of the Barn Quilt trail movement in a bunch of states. Much of it is fairly boring, and it could be a lot shorter and tell the story just as well. The writing is fair. The photos are quite nice, but the author frequently talks about barns/quilts for which there are no photos, which is frustrating. More photos and less text would make it more interesting--just photos in the order they are along the road, with a short story about each one, would be more effective.
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By css on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Suzi Parron has done a fabulous job in her book Barn Quilts!! The history behind each quilt, the pictures and the overall flow of the book are wonderful!! I found it well organized, the index was quite helpful and her personal stories add "the icing to the cake"!!
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Suzi Parron's new book clears up the mysteries about the wonderful, brightly-colored quilt squares that have appeared on rural buildings coast-to-coast. While bringing people into the country side on barn quilt tours, the brilliant decorations are a source of pride and identity for rural residents. We're just getting started painting them in mid-Missouri and it's great to have a record of what's gone before. This is a fun, well-written and researched book with lots of illustrations and will be a beloved addition to the libraries of quilters, barn lovers and art afficianados everywhere.
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By reedy on February 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
I wasn't sure what to expect but I've thoroughly enjoyed this book. It took me on a journey across America. The interesting stories and colorful photos made me feel as if I was right there. I'd heard about the barn quilts but had no idea there was so much behind them.

I've ordered a copy for my sister the quilter. I'm certain she's going to love it.
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Barn Quilts opens up a whole new aspect for anyone who is passionate about quilting. The quilts are paintings replicating traditional patterns which pay hommage to the women who also played their part in the pioneering movement of America. Reading about the founder of this creative movement is fascinating and moving and leads you into further study. The text would have benefitted from a few more illustrations but that is its only downside. A great book and definitely one for quilters to enjoy at their leisure.
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Fascinating book ! As an art quilter, it was so interesting to me to see quilts that are made of wood that decorate barns and other exterior surfaces. Because of this book, my husband designed and made a beautiful "Barn Quilt" of his own design that we have at our home :-D
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