Amish Barn Quilt Wall Art
What is an Amish Barn Quilt Wall Art?
It is a wooden mosaic that combines quilt patterns and reclaimed barn wood to create a wall decoration that has character, texture, and beauty. They are made from spalted maple, and midwest barn wood that is not sanded, so the texture, grain, and some of the old paint still shows. To get the bold colors, a light paint is added to some of the pieces. The barn wood and spalted maple are cut into diamonds and squares and then clued together to create unique star and flower quilt designs. They are then edged with dark stained barn wood and hand nailed together for a sturdy wall art.
Who makes the Amish barn quilt wall art?
Grandma and Grandma Miller, as they like to be called, are a wonderful Amish couple that live far out in rural northern Missouri. They are part of the old order Amish, which means they have no access to a phone, and no modern conveniences. If I have a question, I have to drive one hour to their farm and ask them in person. As with all Amish in this area, they live off the land with no power or modern conveniences. They hand cut and hand make everything you see in their shop using a wall of windows as lighting. These skills have been passed down from many generations and Grandpa and Grandma Miller are now passing the barn quilt skills to their children and grandchildren.
Grandpa Miller explained to me that it is important to create a nice pattern because you want others to smile when they look at it. They shared with me that they continue to discover new patterns and styles the more they create the barn quilts. Their enthusiasm with these was infectious. They are always smiling and find so much joy in sharing rustic beauty with others.
What could I use a barn quilt for?
These barn quilts can be used in a variety of ways. You can use it as a table centerpiece, hot pad for a pot of food, porch wall hanging, indoor wall art, or even a side table if you are crafty and want to add legs and a glass top.
Why buy an Amish Barn Quilt wall art?
There is nothing else out there like it! The texture, character, and beauty will be a focal point of your room and add character that can be talked about for generations to come. Each one is made by hand making it unique. Since it is made with reclaimed barn wood, there are not two exactly alike. Instead of something stamped out by a machine, you are supporting an amazing local family that enjoy sharing their craftsmanship with you.
The history behind barn quilts
Starting 200 years ago, barn quilts were seen as bringing good luck and prosperity to a home. They started as paintings back when there wasn’t enough paint to paint an entire barn, so the women would take a pattern of a quilt block that their grandma had made and would hang a large painting on the side of their barn, or paint it directly on the barn. It was a way to decorate their barn, bring family pride, and use a mixture of colors available. It was almost an identity for each family.
Once we reached a time when paint was readily available, the barn quilts slowly disappeared. Then in 2001, Donna Sue Groves brought them back to life when she wanted to honor her mother, Maxine, and her Appalachian heritage. She painted a quilt block on her tobacco barn in Adams County, Ohio. Soon, her friends and neighbors wanted painted quilts of their own and opened the door to tradition. This led to the start of the barn quilt trails.
Since 2001, the barn quilt trails have spread to 43 states. These trails are either walking or driving paths people can take and see the barn quilts along the way. The communities typically come together to identify barns they want to have quilt squares on along the trial. The 8-by-8 foot painted quilt squares create camaraderie between both the young and elders. Everyone gets to paint on them and enjoy stories of their heritage, families, and memories of grandparents and great grandparents.
The quilt trails are now traveled by people from all over the world and bring awareness to rural America and the hard work of the American farmer. In honoring the American farmer, the barn quilts we feature are made from reclaimed wood from the old barns of the Midwest. They are made by an Amish family that still live the American farm life. The current barn quilts take the hard work of barn builders 200 years ago, and make a design you can hang on your wall. It is history re-invented, and will be something you can share with family and friends, just like they did many years ago. You can talk about your family origin, and your grandparents and great grandparents. These barn quilts create the same relationships of the painted ones of the past through conversation.