In August of 2013, a Barn Quilt was installed on the barn at Von Trotha-Firestien Farm. Ruth Firestien is an avid quilter and this was something she had wanted to do for many years!
The pattern is called "Flying Geese" and this quilt block is a tribute to Chuck Firestien, Ruth's husband. He was able to recognize this particular pattern when Ruth was watching her favorite quilt shows on tv and he liked the pattern! It also represents the many geese that fly over the farm every year.
Placing quilt blocks on barns originated in Adams County, Ohio, with Donna Sue Groves of the Ohio Arts Council. Growing up in West Virginia, Donna Sue and her family would play a game of counting barn advertising signs on long road trips. To pass the time, they would also discuss the different styles of barns as a history lesson.
In 1989, Donna Sue and her mother, Nina Maxine Groves, purchased a farm in Adams County, Ohio. On the farm was a tobacco barn. Donna Sue promised her mother, a master quilter, that someday she would paint a quilt square on it for her.
In 2001, Donna Sue, along with help from The Nature Conservancy, decided to paint blocks on several barns to entice tourists to visit the county, stimulate business to local merchants, and create pride and teamwork within the community.
News of Donna Sue's project spread quickly to other communities. Her vision to create an imaginary clothesline of interconnecting barns decorated with quilt squares has grown into a National Quilt Barn Trail across the nation. Over 1,000 colorful quilt squares now adorn barns on the National Clothesline of Quilts that stretches across the US from Ohio and reaching to Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, and New York (Burns, Eleanor. Quilt Blocks on American Barns. http://www.quiltinaday.com/shoponline/books_display.asp?i=26417)
Barn Quilts have become quite popular in Morgan County, Colorado with over 80 quilt blocks on buildings in the area (http://mcbarnquilts.blogspot.com/p/morgan-county-barn-quilt-list.html).
We hope to see the trend continue in Weld County!