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The Blade – Calling ALL Barn Quilts!

We are on a mission to find all the barn quilts in the area. Barn Quilts! You have probably noticed some beautiful “quilts” on barns in other communities, and they are starting to pop up locally, too. Throughout the United States, they are really becoming a draw for tourists. Folks like to take “Barn Quilt Tours” and travel a whole area to see them.

What are they? “Barn quilts are painted quilt squares-usually fashioned on boards and then mounted on a barn or other building,” says Suzi Parron, author of the book, Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement. “The pattern for a particular barn quilt may be chosen for myriad reasons. Often the barn quilt is a replica of a painted quilt that resides on the property or honors a loved one. A pattern may be selected because of its name. Corn and Beans is popular among farmers. Sometimes, the barn quilt is simply one whose pattern is appealing to either its creators or its owners.”

Do you or someone you know already have one? “We are trying to get an inventory of existing barn quilts,” says Bobbi McKeon , coordinator of the Specialty Shops group in Fairbury. “There are already several in our area, and we would like to begin putting together a brochure for a “barn quilt tour.” If you or anyone you know has one or is looking to put one up on a barn or another building, please call me at (815) 692-4500.”

How can our area benefit? A local barn quilt tour would provide many benefits to a small community like ours. It can build community excitement and enthusiasm in working together toward a common good. Experiencing the obvious interest from urban folks in what our rural community provides will add to the excitement of showcasing what we offer.

The Illinois Office of Tourism acknowledges the benefits of these tours as they directly increase tourism in our State. Increasing tourism means increased dining, shopping and lodging which yields more revenue for our community, which in turn helps make our area a better place to live.

What can you do? In order to create a Barn Quilt Tour here, assistance is needed from individuals, businesses, barn owners, students, artists, volunteers, community leaders, local food growers, and more. Of course, there is a need for potential barns or buildings to hang the quilts, supplies to make the quilts, ideas, and feedback.

“If you or someone you know has an interest in helping move this forward, it would be a huge help to the entire community,” says Bobbi McKeon.

“In the end, everyone benefits from increased business and money spent in our area. In other counties, barn quilt tours have been very helpful in boosting tourist activity. Let’s work together to put on a successful tour in Livingston County.” Bobbi says. “Please call me at (815) 692-4500 if you have any information or are interested in this project.”

As always, if you have any stories, ideas or suggestions for interesting topics about our community, please stop by Heart’s Desire, call Bobbi McKeon at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com.