FHS students create barn quilts


LEESBURG — Eighth-graders at Fairfield Middle School presented barn quilts adorning school district buildings they made for a project in a problem based learning class during a barn quilt tour at the district Monday.

“We started off with a question of how could we spruce up our school grounds or what students could do to contribute to our school grounds,” said Kate Faulconer, who taught the class. “We took a walk around the school, and I just pointed out that we could put some artwork up on our barns, and then I introduced them to quilt squares.”

The students began the project in September. “We did some mini lessons about geometry and the Pythagorean Theorem, and we made the scale drawings and then made the larger ones that you see hanging,” said Faulconer.

Barn quilts are square paintings on wood or metal that can be hung or freestanding to accentuate significant architecture, typically barns, or aesthetic landscapes. A series of them can be made to form a quilt trail.

The first official quilt trail was begun in 2001 in Adams County. Donna Sue Groves wanted to honor her mother, Maxine, a noted quilter, with a painted quilt square on the family’s barn in Manchester.

Though many believe that the Groves’ farm is home to the first barn quilt, the first was an Ohio Star created as part of a community celebration at a nearby herb farm. The Groves farm later became part of a trail of 20 barn quilts that formed a driving trail throughout Adams County.

An emerging concept, a U.S. national quilt trail that first spread across Ohio now includes barn quilts in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

In Canada, British Columbia has developed a trail. Barn quilts also exist in Ontario and Kings County, New Brunswick.

There are quilt trails now in over half of the states in the United States.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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